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Leonardo Da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas - 21 Activities Paperback – 29 Mar 1999


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Leonardo Da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas - 21 Activities + Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions (Build it Yourself) + Leonardo Da Vinci: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #38: Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (29 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556522983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556522987
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Enthusiastically recommended!" -- Favorite Resources for Catholic Homeschoolers

From the Author

Leonardo da Vinci's creative genius
Imagine having an intellect so vast and an imagination so creative that you can look at the world in an entirely new way and see things no one ever saw before. Leonardo da Vinci's genius took many forms in art and science. As I wrote this story of Leonardo's life, I tried to imagine how he came to achieve so much in so many disciplines. One of the things I came to believe was that it is important to keep one's mind open to new ideas, no matter now unlikely they may seem, and to question assumptions. I hope this book inspires children to do the same.

The story of Leonardo's life holds many surprises. The uneducated boy grew to be an unsurpassed artist, scientist, engineer, anatomist, and inventor. Activities in each of these areas accompany Leonardo's story and encourage children to learn by creating. Sidebars explain topics ranging from artistic perspective, the Renaissance, flight, and the mystery of Mona Lisa. A glossary, biographies of other Renaissance artists, and recommended web sites on art and science round out the book. Best of all, it is beautifully-illustrated with Leonardo's paintings and sketches. I hope children will be captivated by this book and by Leonardo.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 8 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been going through some of the books by Janis Herbert and others than combine history with 21 activities, and as interesting as I have found those volumes to be I have to say I like the ones that deal with artists even more. "Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas" combines a detailed juvenile biography of the life of the great inventor, military engineer, scientist, botanist, and mathematician who found time to be a great painter and sculptor as well. This was the man who painted the "Mona Lisa" and invented the armored tank, diving suit, bicycle and airplane centuries before they were built. He is also an important figure in what has been the novel that has been at the top of the bestseller list for like the past year.
The biography is divided into four sections, focusing on Leonardo's youth in Vinci, his years as a young apprentice, his period of greatest productivity in Milan, and his final years in Venice and France. The volume is illustrated with dozens of pictures of Leonardo's paintings and sketches, and the back of the book includes a Glossary, Biographies of key Renaissance artists (Botticelli, Michelangeo, etc.) and historical figures (Cesare Borgia, Ludovico Sforza, etc.), Web Sites to Explore, places where you can see some of Da Vinci's work, a Bibliography, Credits, and an Index.
The other half of the book are the 21 activities and the art lessons, because in addition to detailing da Vinci's life Herbert talks about perspective, vanishing points and the like. Some of these are just basic art lessons, such as sketching things by observing nature, painting birds, decorating a jar for holding paintbrushes, and making a small picture frame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MRS JOAN A HUNTLEY on 15 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really clear history of the artist and his work. Some brilliant ideas suitable for KS2 art lessons, which will reinforce some basic techniques and enlarge their view of what an artist can be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jijimjack4 on 22 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book - my grandson was absolutely delighted with it.He was ill and this really cheered him up. I would recommend it to any budding inventors/builders
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Format: Paperback
Good condition. Just what I needed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
A juvenile history of Da Vinci with 21 related activites 8 Feb. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been going through some of the books by Janis Herbert and others than combine history with 21 activities, and as interesting as I have found those volumes to be I have to say I like the ones that deal with artists even more. "Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas" combines a detailed juvenile biography of the life of the great inventor, military engineer, scientist, botanist, and mathematician who found time to be a great painter and sculptor as well. This was the man who painted the "Mona Lisa" and invented the armored tank, diving suit, bicycle and airplane centuries before they were built. He is also an important figure in what has been the novel that has been at the top of the bestseller list for like the past year.
The biography is divided into four sections, focusing on Leonardo's youth in Vinci, his years as a young apprentice, his period of greatest productivity in Milan, and his final years in Venice and France. The volume is illustrated with dozens of pictures of Leonardo's paintings and sketches, and the back of the book includes a Glossary, Biographies of key Renaissance artists (Botticelli, Michelangeo, etc.) and historical figures (Cesare Borgia, Ludovico Sforza, etc.), Web Sites to Explore, places where you can see some of Da Vinci's work, a Bibliography, Credits, and an Index.
The other half of the book are the 21 activities and the art lessons, because in addition to detailing da Vinci's life Herbert talks about perspective, vanishing points and the like. Some of these are just basic art lessons, such as sketching things by observing nature, painting birds, decorating a jar for holding paintbrushes, and making a small picture frame. Others are specific to the artwork of da Vinci, such as making a life mask, lute, notebook, a parachute kite, and learning to measure human bodies the way Leonardo did. You can even make a minestrone soup in honor of Leonardo the vegetarian or Salai's aniseed sweets. Still others deal with the history of the time, such as making a banner.
The net result is that "Leonardo da Vinci for Kids" does more than tell the story of his life and show examples of his great artwork, but provides young readers with an opportunity to try and do the same things. This book is also of great use to teachers doing units on Leonardo, the Renaissance, or art, who will be able to find both information and activities they can use in class.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I learned as much from this book as much as my students did! 9 Oct. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was surprised to see even one negative review of this wonderful book. I think it can be enjoyed equally by both parent/teacher and child/student. The text is beautifully written and presents all of the facets of this fascinating man. It also places his activities firmly within the context of the politics and society of the Renaissance. The book includes explanations, in language a middle-school child can understand, how flight is possible and how canals and locks work. A wide variety of activities, as well as line drawings, are included to illustrate other key concepts in painting, mechanics, etc. I cannot agree with the reviewer who felt that too few of Leonardo's works were included; I felt it included his most important works, as well as an interesting array of his mechanical, nature and anatomical drawings. As a teacher, I suggest using this book in combination with E.L. Konigsberg's "The Second Mrs. Gioconda"; my students really enjoyed seeing how novelists can use facts as the basis for fiction. I finished this book awed by the range of Leonardo's gifts and both my own daughters (one a reader, one an artist) loved this book for different reasons. But they both came away knowing about and loving Leonardo and that's the important thing!I only wish that this author would do a book on "Michaelangelo for Kids."
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
STUNNING! 28 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely amazing. It is interesting, informative, well-written, gorgeously illustrated and entertaining. While it is true that this book may be a bit difficult for the average child at the lower end of the age range it is directed to, it is perfect for older children and the more talented younger children. Ms. Herbert's true genius, however, is in producing a book that adults can learn from and enjoy while they are assisting their children with the activities set out in the book -- or even if they don't have or work with children. After getting this book, I also got Ms. Herbert's next two books -- "The Civil War for Kids" and "Lewis and Clark for Kids" -- which are also wonderful. Get them all!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Dive into the Renaissance with Da Vinci 26 Mar. 2008
By Alicia Van Hecke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Leonardo da Vinci for Kids is a fascinating biography of a fascinating man with plenty of material to keep children and adults interested and amazed. The story details da Vinci's life, works, ideas and interests. His artistic and scientific creations and inventions cover an incredibly broad field - from his famous paintings to complex defense mechanisms for cities under siege to mechanical "creatures" to complex and artistically creative parties for important people of his day. The story is filled with fascinating details about his works, studies and ideas as well as many beautiful reproductions of his paintings and sketches. You'll find a resume that he wrote at the age of 30 for the ruler of Milan - offering his services as a military engineer! There are fascinating and sometimes humorous stories about how he prepared to design some of his greatest paintings, how he dealt with difficult clients and how some of his paintings were recovered centuries later.

Leonardo da Vinci has long been considered the paradigm "Renaissance Man". Through this book, he offers children a great example of enthusiastic love of life and learning. Readers will come away with a greater perspective on the importance and joy of learning, early advancements in science, general concepts of art and how to appreciate it, basic scientific concepts, ideas for using the imagination and memory, concepts in math relating to science, Renaissance life and much more.

I was impressed with the care the author took in relating so many interesting ideas in an accessible and engaging manner. I found difficult concepts handled graciously and respectfully - particularly for the intended age level. For example, the reader will learn that da Vinci's parents were never married and that this had consequences on his career choices. We learn that da Vinci dissected dead bodies at the morgue for the sake of artistic and scientific learning. At one point the Pope prohibits him from continuing this mode of study. Instead of being judgemental about these sorts of issues or dwelling on them inappropriately, they are explained in clear, simple terms as relevant parts of the story, but without any extra nonsense.

This book also includes 21 activities relating in various ways to da Vinci's life. They span a wide range: baking, drawing, math, science, painting, observing, language and more. The book is best for independent reading in 6th grade and up, though it could be read aloud to younger children.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, pretty pictures 24 Nov. 2001
By "sweetinfidel" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Knowing little about art, I found this book easy to understand, enjoyable and informative. However, it is too advanced ("boring") for my almost 8 year old daughter. My opinion is that this book would be great for 10 and up.
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