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The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

Booklist Review

We really liked the ending, where more of his inventions were being developed and tested, even today. The backward writing notes is a fun way to insert puzzles into the story. We had fun deciphering the words, and we were able to do it even without a mirror! Aug 30, Betsy rated it really liked it. Dead white men predominate and blend together. This is why I think that most kids are taught about historical persons who invented or drew things. By logical extension, then, Leonardo de Vinci should by rights be the most memorable man kids are taught about in school.

Read the concept, page through the book, and take in every last the word. Your conclusion? So were they just silly ideas or was there some merit to them? Everything from the helicopter to the aqualung to the automatic rotisserie are displayed. A Bibliography at the conclusion rounds out the text.

I've dealt with such kids before and finding them easy reading interesting books on non-fiction scientific topics is rarely easy. The illustrations may prove a different kind of lure. The images in this book are watercolors on cold-press paper, but the colors are far more vibrant than your average fluffy bunny fare. Characters are colorful and fun without ever becoming too cartoonish. This becomes all the more strange when two later inventions the automobile and the robots correlate to just one page of information that pertains to both on the opposite page.

The opening two-page spread of Leonardo looking about and sketching may strike you as just a way of setting Leo within the context of his times. Closer inspection yields a treasure trove of rewards, though. I first noticed the fact that a woman in one of the windows bore no small resemblance to the Mona Lisa. And that cross hatched insert on the building above a window A woman leaning of with a bird upon her back could easily become an angel.

There are more too, so for any kid learning about Leonardo it might be fun to have them try and count how many homages they can find on a single spread. The bicycle is a good example of this. Others say it was drawn as a prank by someone centuries later. Some correlations feel more of a stretch than others. At the beginning of Neo Leo Barretta writes in his Author's Note that Leonardo wrote backwards and no one really knows why. Another theory is that writing backward prevented smudging his ink. Initially I found this tiresome, but eventually I came around to the idea. And if that means coercing them into holding up a biography to a mirror every other page, so be it.

After all, when I was a kid I loved those Encyclopedia Brown mysteries where you had to hold an image up to a mirror in order to get the answer to a crime. I had a child of eight in my library just the other day desperate for any kind of non-fiction with a technical element that would pique his interest and discuss inventions in some manner. He wanted something interesting, easy enough to read, but with some complex ideas at hand.

Had it been on my shelf, Neo Leo would have been my first choice for him. A great idea for a book, and a truly enjoyable end product. Like no other Leonardo da Vinci title for kids out there today. Ages Apr 17, Vicki Cline rated it really liked it Shelves: kids , math. This book shows many of the inventions found in Da Vinci's notebooks, with their modern counterparts. While this was very interesting, I had hoped it was more of a biography of him, including his artistic creations. Great illustrations. Jul 23, Kaye Cloutman rated it it was amazing.

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci | Reading Rockets

While all of these artists are to be revered and appreciated, many would agree that Leonardo da Vinci far exceeded all their combined talents. He was a true genius, somewhat in the same category as Nikola Tesla. Da Vinci was a real visionary and way beyond his years with his ideas and contraptions, but there was much more to him than that.

Neo Leo is a wealth of historical information with which kids will surely love to be familiar. Many of us grew up in an era where there was no Internet, and information such as what Barretta presents here could only be found in the most insipid way-perusing library stacks of thick books with crusty pages and gleaning what we could from microscopic fonts in the footnotes of confusing research books. Neo Leo is an educational success because the details presented elicit curiosity and a desire to learn more.

The author is to be commended for his ability to pull his desired audience back to opening a book and reading through its pages, which is very hard to do since we are in the age of modern technology when our young often prefer gaining knowledge through audio-visual means rather than from printed media. Even the most computer savvy child will be intrigued and inspired by this book. The illustrations are done in a whimsical, yet detailed manner. Make sure you have a mirror on hand to read some of his inscriptions, which you may mistake initially as typographical errors.

If you want to make the Renaissance come alive for your children or students, this book is the way to go… and maybe, just maybe, the world would be a much better place with young aspiring Neo-Leos in it. Sep 28, Sophia rated it it was amazing. Leonardo da Vinci is my favorite inventor!

I like learning about him! May 18, Thabata rated it liked it Shelves: children-s-books. A great little book that dives into history to explore one of the most intelligent and creative minds that existed. In a simple exposition it presents to the reader a range of fields in which he dwelt. It is a very curious book which helps young minds to value people who came before them, which imagined and made the world a much more modern place to live.

Mar 10, Jo Oehrlein rated it really liked it Shelves: picture-books , engineering , history-of-science. About the various inventions in Leonardo da Vinci's notes and how many of them eventually came to fruition by more recent inventors. Jun 14, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: wou-ed A very interesting take on learning about Leonardo Da Vinci. I enjoyed how it compared the then and now, and how it showed that "Leo's" ideas had inspired so many things later in the years.

Sep 01, Brittany rated it really liked it. Oct 12, Jina Kim rated it it was amazing. This book is about Leonardo da Vinci who was extraordinary person that thought of all these ideas over five hundred years ago. It will good to read for graders as well. I like the illustration because it would compare his inventions and others' one after his death so, it could be easy to understand what he did earlier; the Leonardo's notes were fabulous! His ideas are finally coming to our comfy life!!

Mar 02, Mills Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: rdng This book was about Leonardo da Vinci, and how his love for nature fueled his mind to create wonderful ideas that werent fleshed out for another years. He was a man before his time, and this book simplifies his complexity into a group of thoughts that children can appreciate and enjoy. I really enjoyed this book, and I thought that it could be very useful in the classroom to inspire innovation, individuality and creativity. Aug 06, JustOneMoreBook. Playful, edge-to-edge illustrations and cheerily worded nuggets of history, mystery, physics, and biology paint a thrilling picture of a brilliantly curious and creative man that will tickle the scientist in all of us.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast. Other books mentioned: Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Fra Playful, edge-to-edge illustrations and cheerily worded nuggets of history, mystery, physics, and biology paint a thrilling picture of a brilliantly curious and creative man that will tickle the scientist in all of us.

Feb 21, Quinn Rollins rated it really liked it Shelves: history , biography , picture-books , science , world , art , lgbt. The author and illustrator has a similar book on Benjamin Franklin, but that doesn't make this one any less enjoyable.

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Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by the world around him. He studied animals and people.

He watched plants grow and birds fly. He explored the mighty rivers. Nature was his teacher.

Review of the Day – Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gene Barretta

It inspired his remarkable studies and inventions. With that brief biography, Barretta sets up the reader, and then delivers his thesis--that da Vinci was a man before his time, and that his designs were too expensive, sophisticated, or controversial to be built.

But, hundreds of years later, we're catching up. What follows is 24 pages of two-page comparisons. On one side of the book, you have "Neo"-- a modern interpretation of da Vinci's plans. On the other side of the book is "Leo" -- his version of the same invention. Some examples: Neo: Adolf Eugen Fick makes the first pair of successful contact lenses, Leo: da Vinci's diagrams show detailed concepts of a contact lens, using light and water to study vision and magnification.

Neo: Captain H. Mortimore uses the first tank in World War I, Leo: using turtles as a model, da Vinci designs an armored weapons platform. There are more than a dozen of these comparisons, sometimes with direct connections between da Vinci's version and the "modern" invention, sometimes with a more tenuous link. In every case, the genius of Leonardo da Vinci is startling.

The comparisons are interesting, and Barretta's colorful, cartoony illustrations are engaging for young children, but detailed enough for adults to appreciate his artistry--and more importantly, the artistry and ideas of Leonardo da Vinci. Barretta includes notes on the da Vinci side of the pages in his "mirror writing," and my sons found that detail a lot of fun. This was a book that was enjoyable to read with my sons, and all three of us learned more about da Vinci and his world. If you're interested in history, inventions, or art, this is a great picture book.

Barretta includes suggestions for DVDs, books and websites at the back of the book, so if you or your kids wants to research his ideas further, there's more to go.

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Nov 27, David rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , picturebook , kids-nonfiction. Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci by Gene Barretta is a clever informational picturebook book about the great scientist, inventor, engineer and artist and his many ideas which fore-shadowed modern inventions. An author's note begins the book, introducing Leonardo and noting his use of mirror writing, which Barretta uses when discussing his ideas and inventions.

Barretta's text, with accompanying illustrations, focuses on over a dozen of Leonardo's sketches and ideas, pairing them wi Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci by Gene Barretta is a clever informational picturebook book about the great scientist, inventor, engineer and artist and his many ideas which fore-shadowed modern inventions. Barretta's text, with accompanying illustrations, focuses on over a dozen of Leonardo's sketches and ideas, pairing them with related inventions which appeared later.

Neo Leo The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

The "Neo" part of the two page spreads is the inventor who is credited with an invention that "Leo" imagined long ago. A bibliography, including websites and DVD's concludes the book. Barretta's watercolor illustrations have child appeal without appearing too cartoonish. On an early page, Berretta includes illustrations that match Da Vinci's famous paintings: Mona Lisa eating pasta , a window protrait of Cecilia Gallerari with ermnine, and an arrangement of women and a child that is similar to the portrait Virgin and Child with St.

Someone very familiar Leonardo's art and sketches will find more connections within the figures portrayed. This is a very clever way to appeal to children and show the breadth of Leonardo's interests, genius, and vision. While the arrangement may take a little getting used to, it works well.

While the mirror writing is tough to read as written in cursive without a mirror, if you use one it becomes a snap to read. A number of other inventors are mentioned which may spur yourg readers to do some research on them. I recommend this book for school and public library collections. Oct 24, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: history , children , nonfiction , discoverytime.

This book is all about how Leonardo da Vinci came up for the idea for many modern inventions back in the 15th and 16th centuries, years before they were invented properly in the 19th and 20th centuries. The book discusses his plans and drawings for the first man-powered aircraft, a glider, contact lenses, a projector, a single-span bridge, tanks whose designs were based off of turtles and other war paraphenalia such as grenades, machine guns and a giant catapult called a trebuchet , the he This book is all about how Leonardo da Vinci came up for the idea for many modern inventions back in the 15th and 16th centuries, years before they were invented properly in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The book discusses his plans and drawings for the first man-powered aircraft, a glider, contact lenses, a projector, a single-span bridge, tanks whose designs were based off of turtles and other war paraphenalia such as grenades, machine guns and a giant catapult called a trebuchet , the helicopter, and he improved upon the designs of scuba gear.

Leonardo also figured out how blood travels through the heart, steam power and air pressure, and robots and automobiles.


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The book talks about modern inventors who uses his notes to create prototypes of his inventions. Recommended for ages , 4 stars. I find Leonardo da Vinci to be an amazing artist and inventor. I've been to Leonardo's museum in Vinci and was fortunate to see a lot of his inventions as they were revealed in his copious notes. Leonardo was the first person to create robots in the late 15th or early 16th century in the form of a robot knight and the drawings for a mechanical lion.

There is actually a full adult book on Leonardo's robots, but it is pretty technicial, so couldn't use that volume. The illustrations are bright and offer a fun way of looking at the roots of different inventions based on DaVinci's many pages of notes, without going to far into detail.

It also includes some interaction with the text as it has places where readers can read more about different inventions by holding the book up to a mirror to read the backward pr format: picture book age: grades protagonist: Leonardo DaVinci This is a picture book biography about all of the inventions DaVinci helped to create.

It also includes some interaction with the text as it has places where readers can read more about different inventions by holding the book up to a mirror to read the backward printed text This is a great way to introduce one of history's most flavorful people. Having only known DaVinci for his artwork, I was amazed at all the different things he dabbled in and ultimately led the way in discovering such as the hang glider and robots. As a forerunner for many of the things we use today, such as bicycles and airplanes, this book does a great job at focusing on DaVinci's work rather than his life and does so in a very create and interactive manner.

I highly recommend this book. For use in a classroom, I think it would best be used to encourage younger students to always use their imagination to create new things and used to introduce DaVinci to older kids. Sep 19, Beth Maline rated it really liked it Shelves: maline-digital-bookshelf. This was one of the first books I picked, and I loved it. The illustrations are clever, and introduce a young reader of maybe years of age to a painter that adults are all familiar, but takes the reader through the mind of Leonardo da Vinci the inventor, the creator, the dreamer.

While we are all familiar with how he created wonderful paintings - the timeless classics - this book introduces robots and flying planes gliders to the reader in cheerful drawings and this offbeat genius. Boys This was one of the first books I picked, and I loved it. Boys will be particularly intrigued by this book as they can play with a mirror and explore backward handwriting which was the actual style of Leonardo da Vinci and there is a lot of history here as well. What initially drew me to this book was the idea of Leonardo da Vinci being discussed by a senior citizen and a young person - think of that interaction - but what grabs you in this book is the simple way you move into the mind of a genius.

I think the story will inspire some creations on the part of young people, and since my theme seems to be to challenge the norm and move toward your dreams, I think a few may find inspiration and start tinkering as a result of reading and discussing this book. You are here Home. Gene Barretta. Literacy Apps Find the best apps for building literacy skills. Target the Problem Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and discover ways to help. Ready for Kindergarten What parents, teachers and child care providers need to know.

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