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Uh-Oh, Leonardo!: The Adventures fo Providence Traveler

Uh-Oh, Leonardo!: The Adventures fo Providence Traveler

by Robert Sabuda

Meet Providence Traveler. Providence likes to make things. Not just ordinary things like macaroni pictures, but things that have never been made before. So it is not surprising that her hero is Leonardo da Vinci, the great sixteenth-century artist and inventor. One day at the library, when Providence is taking out her favorite book, Leonardo da Vinci:


Meet Providence Traveler. Providence likes to make things. Not just ordinary things like macaroni pictures, but things that have never been made before. So it is not surprising that her hero is Leonardo da Vinci, the great sixteenth-century artist and inventor. One day at the library, when Providence is taking out her favorite book, Leonardo da Vinci: Boy Was He Busy, she finds a scrap of paper covered with interesting designs for what looks like a mechanical mouse with a key coming out of its back. Diligently she follows the instructions on the paper and builds the intricate mouse. Just as she is putting on the finishing touches, in barge her brother and the meddlesome McMuzzin twins, who turn the key in the mouse's back. Suddenly there is a sound like thunder and a flash of light...and the four find themselves transported to Florence, Italy, during the time when Leonardo was alive. Will Providence get to meet her hero?

Gifted artist and storyteller Robert Sabuda introduces young readers to an extraordinary new character -- Providence Traveler -- whose curiosity and excitement will match their own. Providence leads readers on an exciting adventure, full of fun and fascinating information.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Where's Topo Gigio when you need him? Young mice run amok in 16th-century Florence in Sabuda's (The Night Before Christmas; Tutankhamun's Gift) idiosyncratic, wordy picture book. When modern-day mouse Providence Traveler visits the local library and discovers a design for a mechanical mouse supposedly drawn by her hero, Leonardo da Vinci, she recreates the invention. But a mishap involving Providence's young brother and the pesky neighbor twins lands all four mice (and the seemingly magical mechanical one Providence has constructed) back in time, to da Vinci's stomping grounds (assuming he and his peers had been mice). A run-in with a corrupt bishop and a wild denouement in the Florence cathedral follow, but not before Providence and pals meet the great da Vinci himself. Unfortunately, the mix of elements-fantasy, slapstick, science, history-results in breathlessly paced mish-mash. Busily designed pages "from" Providence's sketchbook, consisting of panel or spot drawings with such themes as "The Streets of Florence," are inserted periodically; these offer factual observations but disrupt the visual and narrative flow. They also threaten to blur the distinction between Sabuda's inventions and da Vinci's-will readers come away thinking that da Vinci really did build a successful flying machine, as he does here? The bright pencil-and-watercolor artwork has humor and spunk, but fails to make the disparate pieces cohere. An author's note about da Vinci and his time is included. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Providence, a contemporary, anthropomorphic mouse, likes to invent things. Like her hero, Leonardo da Vinci, she always keeps a sketchbook handy�"just in case I have an idea." While in the library, she discovers a dusty piece of paper, which may have been Leonardo's. She immediately follows the directions to create this invention. Inadvertently, the twins from next door get their hands on it, and instantly Providence, her brother Malcolm, and the twins are thrust back in time to 1503. An exciting adventure ensues, as the key to the time-traveling mouse must be retrieved in order to return the gang to their own time. Departing from his usual pop-up genre, Sabuda still creates illustrations full of life and depth. Interspersed throughout are several double page spreads filled with details about 16th century Florence from Providence's (and even Malcolm's) sketchbooks to pore over�such as the streets of Florence, a print shop, and more. Sabuda even deftly manages to include Leonardo's secret technique of writing in mirror image. While the format is not easily categorized�the story is much longer than a typical picture book and also serves as a springboard for all sorts of information about the time period, it will have great appeal for sophisticated younger readers. The combination of time travel and subtle humor, featuring the famous Da Vinci as a character, will definitely encourage curious readers to repeatedly return to this gem of a book. 2002, Atheneum/Simon and Schuster,
— Micki Nevett
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
There's more fantasy than fact here, but following four mice flung back to da Vinci's Florence offers readers a peek at Renaissance politics. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sabuda (The Night Before Christmas, not reviewed, etc.) takes an uncharacteristic direction with this freewheeling tale of a young inventor cast back to the time of her hero, Leonardo Da Vinci. He follows Kevin Henkes�s lead in creating a cast of small, somewhat pop-eyed mice, but the settings and costuming, not to mention plot, are more elaborate. Having built a mouse-shaped robot from mirror-written plans found in her local library, Providence discovers that it�s also a time machine when a pair of mischievous mouselings switches it on. Arriving on the outskirts of Renaissance Florence, the terrible two scurry into town with the machine�s wind-up key, leaving Providence and her tagalong little brother to chase them down with the help of Leonardo, a smooth-talking ally. Pausing for full-spread side excursions into an artist�s studio and a printing office, plus glimpses of Florentine daily life and a lavish saint�s day celebration, the author sends his visitors from the future scurrying in various directions, then reunites them for a climactic face-off with an anti-science ecclesiastic, and a last-second rescue that sees them safely home. The mix of fact and fiction is less smooth, but in pace and general tone this resembles the Time Warp Trio series and readers with a yen to tinker will find kindred spirits in both Providence and the insatiably curious polymath after whom she�s modeled herself. (afterword) (Picture book. 8-10)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 10.27(h) x 0.49(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Sabuda grew up in Pinckney, Michigan, and is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York City. He is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Tutankhamun's Gift, Arthur and the Sword, Saint Valentine, and most recently, The Blizzard's Robe. He is also a pop-up artist extraordinaire, and the creator of the bestselling The Twelve Days of Christmas and The Wizard of Oz. He lives with his partner, author and illustrator Matthew Reinhart, in New York City. You can visit Robert at www.RobertSabuda.com.

Brief Biography

New York, New York
Date of Birth:
March 8, 1965
Place of Birth:
Pinckney, Michigan
B.F.A., Pratt Institute, 1987

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