A young girl secretly invents a machine to impress her father.
Cleonardo wishes to be an inventor like her father, Geonardo, and grandfather Leonardo. While her father welds metal and hammers bolts, she sources her materials from nature. Cleo offers to help her father for their town’s annual Grand Festival of Inventions, but he does not take her suggestions seriously. In order to impress her father, Cleo decides create her own invention for the festival. With the help of her grandfather and his favorite tool, she secretly constructs her machine using materials found in the forest. Missing his daughter by his side, Geonardo invents his greatest piece, hoping to lure Cleo back to his workshop. On the day of the festival. Geonardo excitedly releases his invention, a mechanical bird, only to have it malfunction and hurtle toward the crowds. It’s up to Cleo to save her townspeople using her forest-inspired invention. GrandPré creates a spirited heroine with both her words and her illustrations. She effortlessly depicts Cleo’s unconventional imagination with the flowers woven through her wavy brown hair and her description of the forest Cleo loves. The story will inspire young readers to embrace their creativity, no matter their preferred medium. Cleo and her family appear to be white; their Renaissance-inflected town is cheerily diverse.
An inspiring tale for inventors of all ages. (Picture book. 5-8)