Book Review: Leonardo, the Genius Who Defined the Renaissance

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Ages 4-8

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Eleanor of Aquitaine
Marco Polo
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Yet another wonderful book from National Geographic, this one is all about Leonardo, the Renaissance Man who defines the term.

The usual biographical details are here, including some not found elsewhere. Also welcome are the incredibly well done art (and not just the ones done by Leonardo himself) and the helpful fact boxes.

Leonardo literally changed the face of painting, and this book explains why. Again, this is not something normally found in a Leonardo biography, and it is a very welcome sight here.

An interesting sidebar focuses on Leonardo's notebooks, the famous and fascinating journals in which he recorded words, pictures, and musings on all manner of subjects, all written backwards.

Lastly, the book throws in the story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen. This updates the subject matter in a way that other topics cannot.

Overall, this is a well-defined, well-rounded portrait of Leonardo the man, the artist, the scientist, and the man famous for being famous.

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