Leonardo da Vinci

Most people are familiar with Leonardo’s works of art – like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Many are acquainted with his blueprints for flying machines, tanks and other mechanical devices. But few know the extent of his scientific mind and pursuits.

This biography paints a different picture of Leonardo, and reveals a man whose talent for art provided the means he needed to follow his true passion – science.

In this fascinating, conversational account the author unravels Davinci’s life, providing meticulous details and insight into his personality, lifestyle, and genius mind.

However, in so doing, she goes beyond what I think even Leonardo would be comfortable sharing. In the fourth chapter of the book she writes of Leonardo’s being accused of having sex with a male prostitute and how this humiliating event may have begun his disdain for others. She writes, “Historians disagree about Leonardo’s sex life, or whether he even had one. But most think he was homosexual.” Then at the end of the book, she states: “True, he was like a surfer on a huge wave….Yet he always remained out of step: a left-handed, illegitimate, homosexual, antiwar vegetarian with extraordinary artistic talent.” C’mon, do children really need to know that information? Isn’t that just a little too personal? I mean, who really cares if he was left handed?

If it wasn’t for these intimate, and I believe absolutely unnecessary details (this is a CHILDREN”S book) I would recommend it, because it was so interesting. Unless you pre-read and edit at your discretion, I can’t possibly endorse this book. But, I can agree da Vinci himself should be studied. Let me know if you’ve found an appropriate da Vinci biography for kids, and meanwhile, here’s a few cool da Vinci websites:

http://library.thinkquest.org/3044/

http://www.mos.org/leonardo/index.html

Author website

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