“The love of anything is the fruit of our knowledge of it, and grows as our knowledge deepens.” Leonardo daVinci. Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer is full of information and a great resource for any child traveling to Italy or interested in Leonardo daVinci. The endpieces are full of quotes from daVinci as the story opens with a child lying in a cradle watching the birds. Each section is self-contained and titled with the aspect of Leonardo’s life that is being described, allowing you to fully explore each chapter of Leonardo’s life as he travels from the town of Vinci to Florence, Milan, Venice, Rome and France.
There are also glimpses of Leonardo’s personality and his love of the strange and unusual as he invented bizarre creatures, dressed his pet lizard like a monster, and kept a pet porcupine that was allowed to freely wander around his house. He took notes backwards, writing from right to left. If you hold parts of the book up to the mirror, you can read translations from some of his notebooks.
This book is definitely on the long side for a picture book with a lot of material, but there are multiple ways to read it from focusing on the main story, to reading the additional detail in the sidebars. You could also spend a lot time just pouring over the pictures filled with details of his discoveries, explorations and inspirations. This is a great introduction to Leonardo da Vinci and if you are planning a trip to Tuscany, Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer is a good source to pique your child’s interest in the region and the history there.
If you’d like to add this book to your child’s library, click here: Leonardo: Beautiful Dreamer