MICHELANGELO'S SURPRISE by Tony Parillo

MICHELANGELO'S SURPRISE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1494, in Florence, Italy, it snowed. Piero de' Medici, the ruler of Florence, called for a day of festivities and also called for Michelangelo Buonarroti, then 19. A page in the ruler's palazzo, young Sandro overhears Piero's command. He is curious as to why Piero wants Michelangelo, so he sets out in search of his father, the chief steward, to ask. That takes readers to the heart of Parillo's book: an extended tour through the Medici palazzo. As Sandro scurries after his father, readers go with him from sleeping chamber to loggia, the great hall to the kitchen to the stable and finally to the courtyard. Along the way, they meet pages, grooms, chambermaids, valets, servers, sweepers, and, not least, the master carver of meat roasts and his assistants. When Sandro tracks down his father, he is in the courtyard with Michelangelo on his shoulders; the young artist is busy sculpting a snow giant (which, indeed, he did in real life when snow came to Florence 500 years ago). The tour of the Renaissance palazzo is good and provocative, while the paintings are architecturally savvy and washed in Mediterranean color.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"