Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leonardo Da Vinci: Giants of Science #1” as Want to Read:
Leonardo Da Vinci: Giants of Science #1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  169 Ratings  ·  50 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 Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leonardo Da Vinci, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Leonardo Da Vinci

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 345)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 27, 2015 Cpapas7 rated it liked it
Leonardo Da Vinci wants to learn everything he can and preserve all of his studies and discoveries. One thing that is stopping him from doing that though is that he doesn't have the money and the resources to be able to do it as well. A solution to his problem is to work for any of the wealthy Monarchs or Popes to get paid a nice sum. This way Leonardo continues his journey and his studies whilst being able to do it easily and comfortably.
Mar 24, 2014 Sasha rated it really liked it
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
I was rather disappointed in this book. Da Vinci was such a fascinating man, painter and inventor, that I feel a book for young people must at least include illustrations of his many sketches. This book does not do that, and it's a shame. There are so many excellent biographies for middle school and high school readers today, which captivate our interests. I fear that when a middle school student takes this book off the shelf, and sees virtually no illustrations, maps or portraits, they will not ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Julia rated it liked it
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
May 27, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2009 Jenny rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
"It is an amusing game, with the advantage of hindsight, to find Leonardo everywhere." Indeed, Da Vinci was very well versed in many different subjects, which the author portrayed adequately. What bothered me was his inability to finish many of his projects. Multiple times, he was hired to do something and never finished. What is genius without follow through, inspiration with action? Unfortunately, that was the message I received, which I am certain the author did not intend to convey.
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 22, 2016 laipeen rated it really liked it
Very accessible and interesting. Great for adults who can't be bothered to read a adult biography or who think an adult biography would be too long or dry. This book contains a list of bibliography and index, rendering it more academic than a normal children's book.
Jan 21, 2016 Amy rated it liked it
A biography of Leonardo Da Vinci for young readers that emphasizes his notebooks and science/technology investigations. Lack of actual Leonardo drawings is a drawback, but the writing is not dull. Kids will love the gross description of his anatomy investigations.
Jun 23, 2015 Bree rated it did not like it
Shelves: kids-history
so disappointing
no images from his notebooks, not even one
too much focus on speculating about his sexuality -- why in the world is this important for a 10 year old? (by the end the author states as fact that daVinci was gay)
Dayna Smith
Two well researched books on Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci. The illustrations are magnificent and the books are packed with information on these two "giants of science". A great way to make science readable.
Stacy Kirkman
This is a complete detailed account of Da Vinci's life and inspirations. There are some chapters that may not be appropriate for all ages that discuss him being a bastard and his father's affairs.
TheRLPL Rice Lake Public Library
Patron Review:

This short book is really written for youth readers, But it was very informative about the life of da Vinci. It is a bit biased in a few areas, but otherwise enjoyable
Allegra 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
Jun 27, 2015 Wayne rated it really liked it
This was a short read, but fairly thorough in its presentation. It is inspiring to me to read about the great master artists, and da Vinci in particular. A great man indeed.
Feb 19, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
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
Aug 20, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 26, 2016 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly interesting! It really paints a picture of his life and times.
Nov 15, 2009 Allison rated it really liked it
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
Apr 15, 2013 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2013 Ana Bennett rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2013 Stephanie Davis rated it liked it
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.
Feb 14, 2009 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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+
Jun 10, 2010 Are rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Rafael Montez
Jan 22, 2016 Rafael Montez rated it really liked it
It very interesting book. It about his story of life. Do you know Leonardo was vegetarian? Yes, he was. Because he think we eat meat. It mean we kill animal. When he was young he become create of art. He study space and draw what he feel like in space. He thinking about freedom of peace.
Feb 05, 2015 Mykey rated it it was amazing
I love how Kathleen Krull writes a biography :)

My favorite part: "Leonardo was a vegetarian; he believed that any creatures that moved felt pain. He despised me who shot birds for sport. He thought that men who ate meat were walking tombs and that someday people would no more murder animals than they would kill other people."
May 24, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it
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).
Apr 12, 2011 Skedatt rated it liked it
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?

Dec 07, 2011 Zdream rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
BYU-Adolescent Li...: Leonardo da Vinci 1 2 Jun 08, 2013 08:51PM  
  • William Shakespeare’s: Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Retellings, #4)
  • This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and  Songs of Woody Guthrie
  • Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz
  • Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth
  • Leonardo's Legacy: How da Vinci Reimagined the World
  • Eleanor, Quiet No More
  • A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
  • Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic
  • Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott
  • A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev
  • The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According To Susy)
  • Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci
  • Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini
  • Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor
  • Shipwrecked!: The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy
  • From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History (Great Courses, #8320)
  • Me, Frida
  • National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees--W: Western Region

Other Books in the Series

Giants of Science (7 books)
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Albert Einstein (Giants of Science)
  • Charles Darwin
  • Isaac Newton (Giants of Science, 2)
  • Sigmund Freud: Giants of Science #3
  • Marie Curie

Share This Book