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Leonardo da Vinci
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Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work. Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. dianestanleybooks.com. Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work. Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. dianestanleybooks.com.

Reviews

Gr 4-7‘Using the format found in her biographies of Cleopatra, Dickens, Shakespeare, and Shaka, Stanley gives readers a fascinating portrait of the Italian genius. The text is readable and interesting; the author is careful to distinguish between facts and surmises, and uses quotes from Leonardo's own writings to demonstrate his attitudes. His possible homosexuality is not discussed. The book's design is exemplary, with text pages bordered by an adaptation of a Leonardo drawing and decorated with images from his notebooks. Full-page paintings in watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, and photo collage face each page of text, many of them showing the artist-inventor testing his creations. A postscript describes the unhappy fate of Leonardo's remains and of his paintings and lost notebooks. A pronunciation guide is included. Richard McLanathan's Leonardo da Vinci (Abrams, 1990) covers the same ground in more detail and for somewhat older readers; Richard Muhlberger's What Makes a Leonardo a Leonardo? (Viking, 1994) is concerned primarily with his paintings, while Rosabianca Skira-Venturi's A Weekend with Leonardo da Vinci (Rizzoli, 1993) is written as though in the artist's own words.‘Pam Gosner, Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ

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.)

"A virtuosic work." -- "Publishers Weekly""This is the best of the many children's books on Leonardo." -- "ALA Booklist""A stunning account. A first class production in every way."-- "The New York Times Book Review"

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