Children's LiteratureIn conjunction with Creative's The Stolen Smile (from which several of Gary Kelley's illustrations are borrowed), this book is part of the "What in the World" series that examines the Renaissance through Da Vinci and his most famous painting. The strategy of the series is interesting: wrap the entire world's existing culture at one particular moment in time around an extraordinary focal point. A discussion of The Mona Lisa itself thus encompasses brief explorations into Greek and Roman "Humanism," voyages of discovery, and highlights of the Florentine Renaissancenot to mention a biographical discussion of Leonardo himself within his period. It is a formidable task, but Kalz's text flows from one concept to another fairly seamlessly. The illustrations are generally well-chosen and brilliantly reproduced on glossy stock with a handsome library binding. The book is worthy of adding to buy lists for middle school libraries. 2004, Creative Education, Ages 8 to 12.