I Am Leonardo da Vinci by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Dial Books for Young Readers, 97805255555889, 2020
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
What did you like about the book? I like how this book describes Leonardo da Vinci’s life in a way that’s accessible to kids. It’s written from his perspective, but he has a kid-like voice as he narrates it, and describes how he was curious and sometimes bored or distracted at school, which many young readers will be able to relate too. Additionally, much of what he studied is presented in a way that focuses on questions and curiosity, encouraging readers to consider similar questions, rather than simply narrate all of da Vinci’s inventions and creations. The messages of the book – don’t be afraid to be different, be curious, follow your passions – are clear and linked to da Vinci’s life. The illustration style is comic-like and segmented into panels like graphic novels. Though it is not a graphic novel itself, the similarity will appeal to many readers.
Anything you did not like about the book. The book is written for younger kids (grades 1-3) but there are many words that an adult would need to describe or explain.
To whom would you recommend this book? Anyone who is collecting the “Ordinary People Change the World” series will want to add this to their collection. It’s a great recommendation for kids who are looking for easy-to-access biographies but aren’t quite ready for the “Who Was?” series.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians, teachers
Where would you shelve it? Biographies
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts
Date of review: April 11, 2020