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by Rick Jacobson & illustrated by Rick Jacobson and Laura Fernandez

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: March 11th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-88776-783-8
Publisher: Tundra

Marco’s family brings him from Venice to Florence, where he is to be apprenticed to the great young master, Michelangelo Buonarroti. A second apprentice, Ridolfo, sneers at him and stymies Marco’s attempts to learn what he should be about. The young Michelangelo is fierce and volatile, rejecting the scarlet paint Marco makes from a secret family recipe, but adopting the glimmering green. Marco refuses to tell the artist the secrets of the recipe, and Michelangelo rewards his loyalty to his family by taking the boy to Rome where he will face Leonardo da Vinci in a competition. Jacobson definitely aims his story at older readers, but doesn’t tell a lot about the artist or about Renaissance art. An author’s note helps to fill in some detail, perhaps leading readers to want to learn more. Jacobson and Fernandez’s images are striking—the full-face close-up of Michelangelo wearing a hat, the brim of which is covered with candles so he could paint at night, is particularly riveting. A fascinating little tidbit that could be true, but is unsourced. (author’s note) (Picture book. 8-11)