cover image Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

Diane Stanley. HarperCollins, $18.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10437-5

Adding this Renaissance genius to the illustrious lineup of individuals whose lives she and Peter Vennema have chronicled, among them Cleopatra, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, Stanley produces her most stunning pictorial biography to date. Drawing from a range of sources, including her subject's extensive notebooks, Stanley's conversational narrative describes Leonardo da Vinci's astoundingly far-reaching and varied achievements. Young readers will come to appreciate both da Vinci's universally renowned accomplishments as a painter and the breadth of his scientific experimentation and research. While her text is thoroughly intriguing, even more impressive is the artistic challenge Stanley takes on and triumphantly meets: her paintings not only portray the period particulars and likenesses of da Vinci, his patrons and colleagues, but successfully incorporate, in seamless collages, miniature reproductions of such celebrated masterpieces as The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. These exquisite reproductions, as well as sepia-toned spot art taken from da Vinci's notebooks, sit uncommonly well within Stanley's own paintings, educating the reader about da Vinci's masterpieces as a natural part of the visual storytelling. A virtuosic work. Ages 7-up. (Sept.)