Leonardo, the Beautiful Dreamer

by Robert Byrd

Most biographies of Leonardo daVinci celebrate his myriad successful inventions and... read more

Most biographies of Leonardo daVinci celebrate his myriad successful inventions and influential art. In this gorgeous picture book biography, Byrd emphasizes daVinci’s nature as that of a visionary and dreamer. Beautiful, detailed drawings are scattered in boxes alongside squares of text that tell the story of his life and of his achievements and failures. Byrd’s drawings include versions of specific works by da Vinci that will be recognizable by many readers, as well as representations of the sights and sounds of his time. The visual details are extraordinary, if at times overwhelming. Even without text, they convey the story of a man with scientific acumen, artistic genius, and a wild sense of humor. Nowhere else will readers find a study of daVinci that includes everything from his pets (he had a porcupine and a lizard) to his intricate scientific fantasies, which would be realized hundreds of years later (the telescope and the airplane). An author’s note describes the challenges in writing a biography of Leonardo, and a detailed timeline of his life. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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