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Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci Hardcover – August 4, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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“Barretta provides clear information without veering into scientific explanations. Readers who most closely associate Leonardo with the Mona Lisa will be inspired by the breadth of his interests and the genius of his observations. This accessible introduction will inspire children to look closely at the world around them and come up with some creations of their own.” ―School Library Journal
“Barreta's colorful and comical artwork keeps the scientific subject matter fun, with smiling, apple-cheeked characters populating the pages and a grey-bearded da Vinci scribbling notes while studying the world around him. A fine choice to introduce the famous man, his peerless ideas, and the forward-thinking role of inventors in general.” ―Booklist
“Energetic, engaging and eclectic--just like its subject.” ―Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
With its clear text and lively illustrations, Gene Barretta's new book brings Leonardo's ingenious ideas to life for young readers. The format of showing images of each original sketch side-by-side with the modern version works extremely well in communicating the depth of Leonardo's interests and foresight. This book makes an excellent vehicle for teaching children about the enormous contributions to society made possible by innovation and creative thinking.
I love reading to my 8 year old about people who follow their passion, are willing to take a risk, try new things, etc. Certainly Leonardo was a brilliant mind. However, my expectations were off. I thought this was a bit more about his life story and not JUST a comparison of what we've found in his sketches and how it compares to what has been invented since. It came off a bit dry and it didn't seem to make that "he was a kid once" connection that I was looking for.
Further, although it's *mind-boggling* what he had envisioned 400+ year before so many "inventions" were actually made/tested ... the long list of examples was presented in a way that seemed a bit too neat and tidy. Almost like his press people were putting in the spin and maybe even trying too hard to get him credit. Lastly, they were NOT clear about when he lived. They had specific dates on each "modern" invention but no clear dates for his sketches or even his life (some said "400 years earlier" but a child is left to do the math!?). A real miss for somebody who wants to know more about Leonardo and not just his cool ideas.
Okay, I read it once and should ask my 8 year old (I may update we have totally opposite reviews!) but, depending on your expectations, be careful whether you put this at the top of your buy list. Sadly, it is no longer on mine!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son loves this book series! We own every book. I wish there were more! My son is a reluctant reader and prefers non-fiction books. Read morePublished 8 months ago by MosMma
great book Part of a Montessori curriculum that it is great for childrenPublished 9 months ago by penny/marcus
I chose the rating for the book because I thought it was interesting
It was very cool to here about his inventions coming to life
This book was used as a "Book of the Month" at my school. It's compare contrast text structure is ideal for introducing expository writing.Published 20 months ago by jan p stiers