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Leonardo da Vinci

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  214 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Book by Stanley, Diane
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 27th 1996 by HarperCollins
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Dec 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Leonardo Da Vinci

Non-Fiction Biography
Grades 4-7

Award-winning author and illustrator, Diane Stanley, chronicles the life of the artist Leonardo Da Vinci from his birth to his death. This biography contains a wealth of information and is told in a story that blends Renaissance paintings and interesting facts about the artist. The text is lengthy for a picture book, but the illustrations are equally rich in detail. Da Vinci was denied a noble profession because of his illegitimate birth. The famou
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A visual feast, this is a gorgeous picture book (good for parental narration). The layout is left page text, right page Diane Stanley illustration. It's a lot of text for younger children, but a great beginning biography for middle grade students.

One thing surprised me (I must have forgotten from earlier studies): da Vinci greatly disliked Michelangelo. There was contempt and jeering from both of them towards the other.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book about Leonardo da Vinci. The text is long, so I would read it all to my 7-year-old, but I picked out highlights to tell my 4-year-old while he browsed the book. He loves Leonardo da Vinci, especially the Mona Lisa. We borrowed this book from the library, but the 4-year-old really, really wants to keep it forever.
Leonardo wanted to succeed in life but he wasn't allowed to paint in the workshop so he worked extra hard then he became a world known artist.
Amy Cornelsen
Favorite Quotes:
"As he was to do all his life, he began projects only to abandon them. No one is sure why. It may be that his true interests lay elsewhere and that the long an meticulous process of painting bored him."

"'If you are alone,' he once wrote, 'you being entirely to yourself... If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself, or even less.'"

"All this was written in a peculiar backward script, going from right to left. You must use a mirror to read it. This
Brigid McMenamin
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Title: Leonardo Da Vinci
Author: Diane Stanley
Genre: Biography grades 3-5
Theme: Art, history, Leonardo da Vinci
Opening line/sentence:
Leonardo da Vinci lived in exciting times.
Brief Book Summary:
This book is about the life of Leonardo Da Vinci from birth to death. It includes his sketches, artwork, and life story.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, Sept. 15, 1996 (Vol. 93, No. 2))
Well researched, intelligently written, and beautifully illustrated, thi
Wayne S.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Leonardo da Vinci was born in the village of Vinci near Florence, Italy, on Saturday, April 15, 1452, to Ser Piero da Vinci, a country gentleman and notary, and a peasant woman named Caterina. Apprenticed as a boy to the famous artist Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence, he quickly became more skillful than his teacher. One of the most amazing people who ever lived, he grew up to be a great painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist, and inventor, although he had a bad habit of not finishin ...more
Roger DeBlanck
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Stanley’s non-fiction picture book on Leonardo Da Vinci begins with mentioning Leonardo’s “illegitimate” birth. During the era he was born, this issue made him an unlikely choice for formal education. Starting with this fact allows Stanley to focus on the aspects of Leonardo’s self-educated genius, which began with his love of nature. She essentially turns the circumstances of his birth into a positive by implying that it steered his life towards perpetual discovery and the quest for knowledge. ...more
Andrew Miller
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Leonardo da Vinci by Dianne Stanley takes you through Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable life. Unlike many timeless renaissances, Leonardo was not an aristocrat – rather, he was relatively poor, being born and raised on a farm in the country. Although he was never given a proper education, and coined himself as “a man without education”, he was still a notable artist at even an early age, with an unusual talent for drawing. Through his artistic ability he was given an apprenticeship with Verrocchio. ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1) Genre: Biography

2) Summary: With its lengthy text and accompanying illustrations, this biography is centered on the legendary artist. Leonardo da Vinci.

3) Critique:
a) While I thought the text was a bit longer for a childrens' biography book, I feel like the illustrations really capture the personality of the man behind the artist.

b) The illustrations, both of Da Vinci and of his works, were very vivid and elaborate. They actually showcased Da Vinci, specifically on his physical looks. I thin
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Growing up with an artist as a mother, our bookshelves always had biographies of famous artists on them. However, I avoided those huge, boring-looking books and must admit that this is the first biography of an artist I have read. My mother will be so happy! Maybe if we had had more biographies like this one I would have read them earlier. No wonder this book is an award-winner! Stanley uses rich language and shows the humanness of a brilliant man. Her use of words such as “perhaps, may, probabl ...more
Marissa Kuhn
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Leonardo da Vinci is a good picture book about Leonardo da Vinci’s life. Since it is quite lengthy, I would recommend it for older children, especially if they needed to do a report. It definitely packs in a lot of information in a small book. Da Vinci covers his most famous works of art, including pictures of the works incorporated into the illustration, which is great for kids who aren’t familiar with the names. Not only does it talk about his successes, but it covers his failures as well, suc ...more
Tony Ruiz
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Leonardo da Vinci – Diane Stanley
Grade: 5 - 8
Pages: 48
Theme: Renaissance, History, Art, Invention
Genre: Middle School Picture Book
Response: Surprisingly, this is a wonderful biography book. The illustrations, I believe, really help and show readers who da Vinci was. His paintings and inventions are well done, and even comparing the front cover illustration, the Mona Lisa, and da Vinci’s sketch of himself is a great way of getting the readers/students more interested into even more art. Upon chec
Savannah Spaulding
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book, like “Who is Leonardo Da Vinci”, is centered upon the main character Leonardo Da Vinci. The story was told from a third person point of view, and gives great detail about his life. It tells about the many inventions he had created during his lifetime, and explains the reasoning behind why he became an artist in the first place. I thought it was interesting that they told a story that is not heard often. It tells about how he was born to a peasant woman, and that because his parents we ...more
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
"Leonardo da Vinci" by Diane Stanley is that wonderful type of hybrid picture book which fills the gap between preschool and high school. The target audience is kids ready to appreciate a true biography, but who might find a standard biography more abstract than enjoyable. This is an audience who would still get the most benefit from pictures to help the story along.

Ms. Stanley provides full page illustrations opposite mostly full page text. Each text page is accompanied by actual sketches from
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This book tells Leonardo Da Vinci’s life in a narrative that only gives a little background information on his early life but provides historical information of what was happening around him at the time. A vast amount of his accomplishments are told on the pages, including paintings or monuments and much more. His astonishment with life is told through the author’s own words. Although this book was extremely informational, it wasn’t told in a very interesting way. Yes it talked about his accompl ...more
Oct 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: pbgs-4
I really enjoyed the content of this book and felt that it would be a great fit for mid to upper level elementary. The text was very informative and gave a lot of information beyond what would be already known about Da Vinci. The illustrations were disappointing to me though. I felt that they should have included more pictures of his works. Also, the style that the images were done in were very simplistic and I felt that it would have been more cohesive to have them represent Da Vinci's style of ...more
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
An interesting biography of the famous Renaissance artist, scientist, and inventor, illustrated with Da Vinci's sketches and the author's own paintings. Some of her paintings incorporate Da Vinci's artwork, such as a page showing him display a painting to a patron. There is a short bibliography but no source notes. The text notes contradictions in Da Vinci's work; for example, he was a vegetarian and man of peace, but his inventions include machine guns, bombs, and even a tank. A postscript expl ...more
Dec 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Written by Diane Stanley, Published by Morrow Junior Books, copyright 1996.

Grade level: 3rd

This book covers the life and times of Da Vinci starting from his birth, and it gives the reader insight to his works, inventions, and especially his journals that show how brilliant his mind was.

I think kids will enjoy this book because it gives a lot of detail about the famous painter and tells them a lot more than they probably know. A lot of the things we use today were originally thought up by Da Vin
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a biographical book about Leonardo Da Vinci. Due to the complex vocabulary, this book is geared toward children in 4th-7th grade. The author chronologically speaks of Da Vinci's upbringing, education, and his amazing accomplishments thereafter. Effectively using detailed information and facts about the renaissance time period and Da Vinci's life, Stanley creates a storyteller's voice in what would otherwise be just another dry, fact laden biography. Her descriptions make the time pe ...more
I didn't read this to the kids. After reading it myself I thought I'd wait until they were a little older, they're in 3rd grade now. Because of the length I thought it would be best to have them read it themselves and then discuss it with them instead of using it as a read-aloud.

I thought the book very well done. The information was easy to read, but very detailed. The pictures were excellent. I came away with a very good feel for da Vinci and the world around him.

I'm looking forward to having t
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: world-history
This book was okay. We read through it for our unit study on Leondardo da Vinci. It had some good information. The kids were impressed with all the things he wrote about in his notebook. I think they learned a lot.

I wouldn't necessarily hunt this one up in the library, but if you do find it is worth reading. I think there were some things that didn't need to be in a children's book about him-unimportant things. Don't read inappropriate in that though, just unnecessary things. I think perhaps the
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid
I was fooled into thinking this was a read out loud book, given the cover, pictures and placement in the library. This is a long book and it's very text-intensive for a picture book. Also, it has some themes that either kids wouldn't really be interested in or are just beyond them. I would peg this for maybe a 12 year old or so. The pictures are really beautiful and might just lead to an interest in Renaissance and Dutch Masters-style paintings.

Leah Koch
Apr 21, 2015 added it
Shelves: biographies
This biography of the famous artist Da Vinci is great to have in my classroom because although it describes his life and artwork, the book also tells about Da Vinci's mathematical and scientific ideas, some of which are used today. The book also describes his fascination with the human body. I like this book because it shows links between art and math a science, something that could inspire students to link these disciplines in the classroom as well.
Stephanie Linton
Good informational book about Da Vinci. Stanley does a good job weaving content with expository style that makes it an engaging read. She introduces the reader to Da Vinci's life, his art, and his other contributions to the world.

I also liked the illustrations. While the illustrations of the artist himself are not amazing, some of Da Vinci's artwork is incorporated into the illustrations. This complements the text very well when reading the book.
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I learned a lot I didn't know about da Vinci. Having recently visited the Grand Rapids Public Museum and seen an exhibit dedicated to da Vinci's inventions, I'm impressed to learn more about his life and struggles. Though he kept detailed journals, much of his writing was lost and spread around Europe. The quintessential renaissance man. I'd like to learn more about him.

This book also cleverly includes his own artwork within some pretty nice illustrations of Diane Stanley's.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was amazed about the life of this famous artist. I never knew that he lived with his grandfather or that since he was an illegitimate child he was not accepted into the University of Florence. I love how this book as a pronunciation guide as well. I would use this as an example to my students of biographies and artists.
Yasmin Gomez Geng
Although a long book with lots of text and only a few but gorgeous pictures, this tells of the life of Leonardo da Vinci. It also tells of the rivalry that he had with other artists, and of his inventive nature.

His more know pictures, inventions, and journals are showcased in this book.

Grade: 3rd Grade - 6th Grade
Topic: Artists, History, Important People, Research
This lengthy beautiful picture book biography on Leonardo da Vinci is worth the time to learn interesting facts about the original Renaissance Man. A wonderful addition to any elementary/middle school library and perfect for 7th grade students covering the Renaissance in their World History textbooks.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Diane Stanley has some of the best biographies out there for kids. They aren't so dumbed down so as to learn nothing, but they aren't so full of dry facts that you're bored to tears. My daughter and I both learned a lot about da Vinci and even were so intrigued that we went on to read more about him elsewhere. Very well done!
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