Reading Age: 10+ Feed

The Genius of Leonardo by Guido Visconti and Bimba Landmann

The Genius of LeonardoBarefoot Books, Bath, 2000

Harback, 36 pages

ISBN: 978-1-8414-8300-9

Suggested reading age: 10+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ****

"A person's life is just a moment in infinity." Leonardo da Vinci

I really like the illustrations in this book about the life of Leonardo da Vinci.  They are in a more abstract style, reminiscent of paintings from the period.  The story itself is told from the perspective of his apprentice, Giacomo.  His master had this to say about the young Giacomo "1490. Giacomo has come to live with me.  He is ten years old.  He is a liar, a thief and a greedy brute."  The book skilfully weaves quotes from Da Vinici's journals into the story.

At the beginning and end of the book are two double page spreads that describe the work of Da Vinci, using pages from his journals.  A great book to introduce readers to the work of this influential thinker.

One Beetle Too Many by Kathryn Lasky and Matthew Trueman

One Beetle Too ManyCandlewick Press US, Massachusetts, 2009

Hardcover, 48 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7636-1436-2

Suggested reading age: 10+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ****

This is a great book for budding naturalists and history buffs. In One Beetle Too Many x and x recount the life of Charles Darwin. From his childhood, his school years, travelling for years on the Beagle, exploring South America and experiencing earth quakes and fissured sea shells high in the Andes to his publication of the origin of the species.

I have to confess that I knew very little about the great man until I read this meticulously researched and very informative book. Clearly Kathryn Lasky loves her subject. Did you know that one one ocassion when Charles Darwin went beetle hunting and found three new beetles, he popped one into each hand and the third one went into his mouth to get is safely home?