Leonardo Da Vinci: Giants of Science #1
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Leonardo Da Vinci: Giants of Science #1 (Giants of Science)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  37 reviews
For thirty years, the whole last half of his life, Leonardo da Vinci was obsessed with unlocking the secrets of nature. His notebooks are the mind-boggling evidence of a fifteenth-century scientist standing at the edge of the modern world, basing his ideas on observation and experimentation. Scrupulously researched, juicily anecdotal, this book will change children’s ideas...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 21st 2005 by Viking Juvenile
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itle: Giants of Science: Leonardo Da Vinci

Author: Kathleen Krull (has won numerous awards and her books have been listed as New York Times Bestseller)
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov

Date of Publication:2005

Genre: Non-Fiction/informational- Biography

Summary: Most people know Leonardo da Vinci as a fame artist of the Mona Lisa but he is less known for his scientific explorations. The book discussed da Vinci's origin and background, the major influences on his research, his work habit, character, relatio...more
Allegra Hailey Green
Wow, Kathleen Krull is a great non-fiction writer. Based on this book I would read anything else that she wrote.

This was an excellent overview of Leonardo's life, his achievements, and why the topics and his ideas were so taboo at the time. It was a quick read, but had the perfect amount of information to be useful. I appreciate that it was age-appropriate for younger readers without leaving out the darker details of his life. I particularly like the descriptions about his personal life and the...more
Jul 30, 2011 Julia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ms.Kromholts&Mrs.Litzenblatt
Recommended to Julia by: My Parents
I thought that this book was great because it had a lot of exciting stuff.

When I first read this book I thought about all the stuff I knew about Leonardo Da Vinci like how he made Mona Lisa. Then after that I thought about all the stuff I've read, what kind of new stuff I have learned, and what was new. For example, I learned that he was also interested in science before art. But, my other thinking was which one he liked the best because in this book he learned both.

Also I wondered what kind of...more
Part of the Giants of Science series, I was interested to learn about Da Vinci since I knew him as an artist. The book is filed in the children's section but covers some sketchy area of his being an illegitimate child, accused for homosexuality, and a few terms that go along with it. It kind of sets the stage for how despite being so talented and smart he never seemed confident of himself enough to publish the works of his science only the works of skills (paintings of which there were only 13)....more
This is a great young adult book that is also a fun read for adults. Most people know about and associate Leonardo Da Vinci with art and invention, but I bet few people know much about his scientific investigations with water, optics and human physiology. Leonardo was an amazing person with an enthusiastic curiosity about the natural world.

Krull's biography acknowledges and honors Leonardo's scientific thinking and self-directed approach to learning before the terms "scientist" or "scientific m...more
This book is an easy read full of information and description both on the middle-ages and on Leonardo da Vinci's role as a scientist. While the book is geared toward middle school children, younger children could understand and follow along. She does mention his arrest for being accused of homosexual behavior, so if reading to young children you will either need to be prepared to explain or skip chapter 4; however, I feel the topic was handled appropriately for an older child.
Feb 19, 2009 Michelle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any adult or youth, who enjoys scientific exploration and invention in addition to art.
Shelves: read-with-ds
Very good book on the man and scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

My 10 year-old read this book to me. There were some words that he struggled with, but for the most part this was a good read for him. We enjoyed learning more about Leonardo da Vinci's life, his many varied interests, and his extremely disorganized, and somewhat paranoid, way of recording his thoughts.

The bibliography at the end of the book contains some books and websites through which we can expand our learning on da Vinci.

I'd recom...more
I read this book in highschool when I studied Leonardo da Vinci. It was so fun to read, and full of so many interesting facts; I couldn't get enough of it. Who would of thought that a person could have done so much with one lifetime. Leo was very carefully self-educated. He studied and closely examined everything that facinated him. da Vinci kept his detailed drawings, and left handed descriptions on unbound, large sheets of paper. He drew the first accurately drawn pictures of the innerworkings...more
I learned so much about da Vinci! This book was interesting (was it ever!), full of fantastic quotes from the scientist, and has lots of ideas at the end for finding out more about da Vinci, some of which I've already looked into. How could I resist going to the website of the British Library! I look forward to reading more in the Giants of Science series. Next one I will read is about Newton.ahhh.physics. Maybe I'll be able to have a conversation with my physicist nephew afterwards? We'll see!
Kathy Martin
Fascinating descriptions of a fascinating man--the original Renaissance Man--Leonardo da Vinci. I think the descriptions paint a picture that middle schoolers can understand and learn from. The breadth of da Vinci's curiosity was amazing. From art to anatomy to hydraulics to optics to paleontology, it seems there was nothing that didn't interest him. The story of his notebooks and the way he wrote them and what happened to them is a wonderful mystery.
Ana Bennett
This is a great little biography, and it’s written at a great level for young adults to read—it’s short, fast-moving, and interesting. The author does a great job of giving background information for the time period and comparing DaVinci to his contemporaries as well as influential people that came before/after him. A fun, great book to read to get background info on a great man!
Stephanie Davis
I liked this book because it had an interesting take on Leonardo Da Vinci. Instead of talking about his artwork, the author decides to take a different approach and write about Da Vinci as a scientist. This would be an easy read for an eighth or ninth grader. Not many people know that Da Vinci was a scientist as well as an artist, so I think it is important for students to realize this.
I think I had heard too much about this book. I still think it was a great biography but I just finished "Lincoln Shot" and "Two Miserable Presidents" and wish Krull had put a little more humor in here. I think it was a great read and fun facts but it pales to here own non-fiction alien books. I would still grab it for a kid with a Biography report and feel it would catch interest. Grades 5+
Leonardo has always been my favorite artist and it was interesting to learn a little more about him as a scientist. This was a book geared towards young adults so I found it a little odd that they brought up fisrt the possibitlity that he may have been a homosexual and than at the end concluded that he was. Always interesting to see how people skew things to thier beliefs.
This series rocks. Well written, some of this is conjecture based on the times and based on his writings but still a ton of information and insight into one of the greatest minds on record. A quick, quick read and hard for me to put down (I stayed up late reading this two nights).
A decent introduction to da Vinci. She does include a bibliography, which is kudos to her, and a brief overview of the notebooks and where they are. The sum up at the end does have her personal views as a historian--but to be honest, what history book doesn't have personal views?

before reading this i though i knew leonardo di vinci but after reading this i realized i really didn't. there was soooo much more to him that most realize and katherine krull makes this book really an easy read and well as a very intriguing one. at one point i couldnt put it down.
Felicia Peacock
I have always found interest in Da Vinci so reading this book was enjoyable. It was written at a lower level so it is a really easy read and also quick. I've had this book for a month or so and finally got around to reading it yesterday,I finished it in one day.
He was amazing. The saddest thing is that his notes were scattered and lost so that other scientists could not build upon his ideas. This is a must read for an easy understanding of who Leonardo Da Vinci was. Very accessible.
Maggie V
A nice biography of Da Vinci especially for those who don't know anything about him. This biography focused more on his scientific life and discoveries. Very interesting, and definitely a good one to recommend.
Great book for using in a middle school science classroom. I only wish I had a classroom set! I'll have to settle for reading this one out loud and hope that I'll be able to purchase a classroom set in the future!

Great biography on the scientific bent da Vinci had. Loved learning! Will read with kids. After reading this, I spent all morning reading da Vinci's notebooks that have been published online.
Besides artistic gifts, Leonardo da Vinci was very much a scientist with a passion for understanding the natural world. Kudos to Kathleen Krull for this great start to her Giants of Science series.
This was a lot of fun to read. It was about Leonardo's interest in Science, not his works of Art. Very interesting, and a shorter read so it would be great for kids or teens.
Rosaleen Leclair
I am currently reading this and so far I like this book. I've noticed lots of differences for back then to today. I had no clue that Leonardo was also a scientist.
Jul 05, 2008 Jo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jo by: library
This is a wonderful short discription of the extensive work of Leonardo da Vinci. This was just enough of a summary for me to be a perfect refresher.

What a fascinating story of the science side of da Vinci. He was a genius in many areas. Very interesting and easy read.
Nov 07, 2008 Sally marked it as to-read-library-has
Looks like a great series of junior biographies. Our library has:
Marie Curie
Sigmund Freud
Isaac Newton (liked)
Stacey Mulholland
Great biography for kids that focused on his timeline and his love of the scientific process. There wasn't much on his art.
Fabulous account of Leonardo's life but had some unsavory content relating to alternative lifestyles.
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