Leonardo's Monster

Leonardo's Monster

by Jane Sutcliffe, Herb Leonhard, Herb Leonard
     
 

Although not much is known about Leonardo da Vinci's childhood, one rare story exists. When Leonardo was a young boy, his father received a request from a friend to have a shield painted. Knowing how talented his son was, he naturally asked Leonardo. Leonardo set out to paint a monster, a monster so terrifying even his father thought it to be real. Leonardo's father… See more details below

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Overview

Although not much is known about Leonardo da Vinci's childhood, one rare story exists. When Leonardo was a young boy, his father received a request from a friend to have a shield painted. Knowing how talented his son was, he naturally asked Leonardo. Leonardo set out to paint a monster, a monster so terrifying even his father thought it to be real. Leonardo's father was so pleased with his son's work that he decided not to return the shield to his friend. Instead, he sold it and bought his friend a shield that wasn't so frightening.

The first picture book re-creation of this childhood tale examines the imaginative process in art. As he tries to create a horrifying monster, Leonardo studies a number of distasteful creatures, and only in combining the characteristics of living things with imaginary elements was he able to develop his frightful monster. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest artists of all time. A man of many talents, he liked to accomplish the unimaginable.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara Wheatley
Leonardo da Vinci was a handsome, strong young boy who was good at everything he tried—math and science, playing, writing, and singing music, and especially drawing. He was such a talented artist that as a young boy his art teacher, Andrea del Verrocchio, quit painting because of him. Since Leonardo was an excellent artist, many friends would ask for paintings for free. One such person was a man who worked for Leonardo's father who made a shield and wanted someone to paint it for him. This shield was crooked and lumpy, so Leonardo smoothed and straightened the shield first. Leonardo decided to paint something scary on the shield and gathered every creepy-crawly creature from the woods he could find—snakes, bats, newts, caterpillars, and dragonflies. He kept these creatures in his room for weeks while he observed and drew them; combining heads, wings, teeth, and claws of various animals over and over again until he created a terrible monster. Leonardo took so long to complete the shield that the owner quit asking for it and his room began to stink from the various animals. When the shield was finished, Leonardo wanted to be sure it was scary enough, so he arranged the shield with a shaft of light shining on it. His father was scared when he saw it and so pleased with the work that he purchased another shield with a heart painted on it to give to his worker. Leonardo's father later sold the monster shield for a large sum of money. Complete with an author's note explaining the origin of the story, a bibliography, and a timeline, this story brings Leonardo's childhood events to life. Accompanied by illustrations reminiscent of Leonardo's own work, this book will delight readers of all ages. Reviewer: Barbara Wheatley
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Many unproven legends exist about the great artist da Vinci. One of them is that Leonardo's father asked him to decorate a shield for an employee. As was his habit, the young artist studied nature and created a creature composed of the most horrifying elements of several animals. Upon completing the monster, he invited his father into the studio, whereupon the man was frightened "out of his wits." The high quality of his son's painting, however, led him to sell the shield for a large sum. Leonardo's monster was allegedly passed on to a duke for even more money. Painterly illustrations realistically add depth to the story. Leonardo is depicted as a likable boy, yet the vibrant colors surrounding the unseen monster enhance the fantastical. As Sutcliffe retells the legend, she weaves true biographical facts with the unproven, creating a sense of adventure, and leaves the final opinion to readers.—Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589808386
Publisher:
Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/02/2010
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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