cover image Leonardo and the Flying Boy Leonardo and the Flying Boy

Leonardo and the Flying Boy Leonardo and the Flying Boy

Laurence Anholt, Laurence Anhold. Barron's Educational Series, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7641-5225-2

Anholt (Camille and the Sunflowers) continues his imaginative series about great artists with this cleverly executed and engaging account of one of Leonardo da Vinci's real-life apprentices. When Leonardo tells Zoro that one day ""people will sail through the clouds and look down at the world below,"" the boy believes him. After all, ""anything seemed possible in Leonardo's busy studio."" But when Zoro and Salai, a mischievous urchin Leonardo has taken in (also seen in Guido Visconti and Bimba Landmann's The Genius of Leonardo, reviewed Sept. 18), sneak into their master's secret workshop and take his flying machine for a spin, there's trouble ahead. The story is relayed with verve, and the spry colored-pencil drawings that detail Zoro's escapades boast numerous comic touches (such as Leonardo nearly tripping over his oversize red slippers in his haste to get back to his studio when struck by inspiration) and sly references to Leonardo's body of work (backward writing on the endpapers; copies of his botanical drawings, inventions and character studies; even a Mona Lisa reproduction). A fun-filled and accessible introduction to one of science and art history's most fascinating figures. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)