LEONARDO, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER by Robert Byrd
Kirkus Star

LEONARDO, BEAUTIFUL DREAMER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

As thorough an exploration of Leonardo’s achievements as can be wrought in picture-book format, this offering takes every opportunity to give the original Renaissance Man his own voice. From endpapers that reproduce Leonardo’s notes in a typeface inspired by his script to frequent quotations from same, the text works to efface the time and space that separate reader from subject. Pages are crowded with vibrant line-and-watercolor, often cartoony, vignettes separated by tiny patterned borders. In this way is the narrative of Leonardo’s life advanced side-by-side with smaller explorations of his many projects. The effect mimics that of Leonardo’s cluttered notebooks, where notes, drawings, and shopping lists fought for space on the page; the major difference is that the pages of this work by and large tackle their subject’s many projects thematically, one spread devoted to his horse, another devoted to his efforts at flight, etc. Byrd’s presentation is above all collegial, consistently working to inspire readers rather than to awe them. His twin regards for subject and reader make this offering a winner. (author’s note, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47033-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2003




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