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Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer
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Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Famous in his time as a painter, prankster, and philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci was also a musician, sculptor, and engineer for dukes, popes, and kings. What remains of his work-from futuristic designs and scientific inquiry to artwork of ethereal beauty-reveals the ambitious, unpredictable brilliance of a visionary, and a timeless dreamer.Robert Byrd celebrates this passio ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 28th 2003 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Apr 24, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
Wow. This book was seriously long for a picture book. It took us about two weeks of reading a couple of pages each night to slog our way through it.

The positives: There's a ton of great information, wonderful illustrations and a comprehensive look at Leonardo's life as well as of some of his contemporaries. The page on mirror writing was very cool.

The negatives: It's soooo long, with an overwhelming amount of information and at times the font is too small and fancy to be very legible. I know I
This lavishly illustrated picture book biography of Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci paints a well-rounded portrait of the painter, inventor and philosopher who dabbled in everything from astronomy to weaponry. It is also timely; with the tremendous success of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code (Doubleday, 2003), Leonardo has never been a more fascinating figure.

Born in the Italian countryside, Leonardo had a curious eye and artistic hand from the start. These two qualities emerged in each end
Tanya W
After a poor start one day (kids weren't in the mood for a book with long pages), I thought we would just return it to the library. How happy I am that we started again yesterday. We read the first 1/3 in about 45 minutes. What a WONDERFUL book about Leonardo DaVinci.

So far it has given us a chance to talk about names and where they come from, how society once treated illegitimate children, art, Italy, and the destruction of war (which destroyed a larger than life sculpture of a horse that was o
Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer by Robert Byrd is a book depicting the entertaining life of Leonardo Da’ Vinci. Leonardo was a very talented man, famous for being a painter, sculpture, musician, engineer, philosopher, and even prankster. Leonardo is a famous dreamer, who used his scientific inquiry to bring brilliance to his beautiful designed artwork. Byrd’s purpose for this book was to follow the journey Leonardo had from the beginning of interests, to how he took off in his talent. Leonardo learn ...more
Makayla Coffey
Leonardo was a very talented man, famous for being a painter, sculpture, musician, engineer, philosopher, and even prankster. Leonardo is a famous dreamer, who used his scientific inquiry to bring brilliance to his beautiful designed artwork. Byrd’s purpose for this book was to follow the journey Leonardo had from the beginning of interests, to how he took off in his talent. Leonardo learned his way with architecture simply by living in the Renaissance period, being influenced by the artwork and ...more
Gemma Duling
Personal Reaction:
I liked book because it captures the reader's eye. There is a lot of good information and really goes into depth about Leonardo.

I would use this book as a research tool for children wanting to learn about Leonardo Da Vinci. It is too long for a read aloud, but has a lot of good information for a third grader doing a report on Da Vinci. The book was a little distracting with the side notes on some pages, so having children read it individually would be best to give them
I love this book, and so do my children! It focuses, to start, on an early memory of Leonardo's of being almost attacked by a huge bird of prey. Next up: his love of the natural world, observing it and experimenting with it. Insects, snakes, tadpoles, spiders, other wee things. He made a dragon shield for his uncle when he was a boy that actually breathed out smoke! It was so horrific - ahem, lifelike - that his father ran screaming from the room. Allegedly. If you can't tell, I enjoy this book! ...more
Danielle Nasawang

I’m really not a fan of nonfiction books of any sort. Not that I’m opposed to learning about people or things! I just learn better in a fictional world. (For examples, see my Percy Jackson reviews). But Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer really had me enjoying reading about Leonardo da Vinci’s life. Each page was jam packed with pictures and narrative describing one aspect of da Vinci’s life up until his death, and boy was it informative. I found this to be a positive as well as a negative. The main na

This book would have been better presented in a small illustrated chapter book format instead of an overly lengthy picture book. Most children will not complete reading it, especially since some of the rather miniature text is so overly cursivey. That being said my daughter I both enjoyed reading over the numerous interests and achievements of Leonardo da Vinci, a man who lay on his death bed lamenting about how little he accomplished.
Hey, I know this is a kids'book, but I just love Leonardo da Vinci. This book has loads of pictures, of course. But there are some little known facts about the master that you might get a kick out of.
Excellent picture book biography. An homage to his genius and creativity.
Lots of panels with illustrations, text, and quotes from Leonardo.
Mrs Bond
An almost overwhelming amount of information poured onto each page; this is certainly a thorough look at DaVinci. Alongside the main text the sidebars add additional facts and quotes. Color everywhere - the illustrations are fantastic. Additional reference aids: Timeline begins with Leonardo's birth, covers major events in Leonardo's life as well as world events that would have interested or impacted him, ends with 1880's publication of Leonardo's notebooks. Bibliography includes sources for quo ...more
Barbara Lovejoy
BEAUTFUL illustrations and extremely interesting facts about Leonardo.
Beautifully illustrated although I felt it was close to visually overwhelming. Well-written with very dense text. Definitely a book that would be read aloud over several sittings, with time in-between to think and discuss. I read the library copy and unfortunately the dustcover has to be taped on the book, obscuring many of the quotes.

Bibliography in back.

Not really for early readers. I'd label this a chapter book in picture book format.
Amber Henrie
This was an excellent biography about the life of Leonardo da Vinci. I really enjoyed the pictures and the different stories it told about Leonardo's life. I don't think I would ever read it to a class though, because it was extremely long.
Stunning. Another winner. Read this and Tree of Life by Peter Sis. Buy them for the intelligent children in your life. This publisher (Dutton, a division of Penguin) hit a major home run with this book.
James Govednik
Fabulous detail, in both the narrative and the illustrations. Good example of how text and illustration can work together and be greater than the sum of the parts.

Biography as a picture book. Radical change-non-linear narratives written as smaller sections to accompany the main text. Beautiful artwork.
Definitely written for the older reader. Interesting prose and beautiful illustrations.
Very interesting biography with lots of information for a picture book.
Jean Brodahl
Amazing picture book of Leonardo da Vinci!
It was long.
Joanne Morton
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Aug 21, 2015
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Robert Byrd has been delighting children of all ages with his whimsical, fantasy-filled children's books for over 30 years. As author and illustrator he has the rare talent to see his fanciful visions through to the minutest detail. Whether enlightening audiences to the many talents of Leonardo DaVinci or taking us into a wonderous world filled with foxes and bears in military attire, Bob, (as he' ...more
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