Little Guides to Great Lives: Leonardo Da Vinci

Laurence King. May 2022. 64p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781510230088.
Gr 1-4–Leonardo da Vinci’s collective genius is represented in a work that tracks his life and accomplishments from birth to death, and is embellished with artwork that represents the text yet misses the mark. Why? Because, photos of the art and work of da Vinci are available, and though Spitzer’s cartoonish offerings reflect consistent efforts, da Vinci’s art is integral and cannot be adequately replaced. Despite the Briticisms and the lack of documentation, this book will enlarge young readers’ understanding of who this great artist, scientist, sculptor, mathematician, engineer, and architect was. His eclectic interests and talent are revealed in such a way that children will be awed. Back matter consists of a time line and glossary.
VERDICT The value of the text overshadows the illustrations, but pair this with photos of da Vinci’s actual work for a winning combination.

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