Leonardo da Vinci lived at a time when people did not specialize in a particular area, like we tend to do today, and his life showed that trend clearly. I started researching da Vinci almost twenty years ago when I was going to teach a co-op class on him. I have been studying him on and off since then! One of my biggest frustrations as I have taught and studied da Vinci has been the shortage of family-friendly Leonardo da Vinci materials.
From that frustration and all those years of study, has come a variety of non-fiction books on Leonardo and my first historical novels. When I had the pleasure of volunteering at a local da Vinci exhibit, I also put together a number of Leonardo-based Scavenger Hunts. The original hunts were designed for the exhibit, but have been redone so they can be done on the internet. Links are here to bring a variety of his sketches and paintings, and a brief timeline of his life, into one location – useful for the Scavenger Hunt or just a general introduction to Leonardo and his work.
Historical Novel #1: Leonardo the Florentine
Historical Novel #2: Leonardo: Masterpieces in Milan
I had actually started the second novel about Leonardo da Vinci almost as soon as Leonardo the Florentine was completed. Leonardo: Masterpieces in Milan is a family-friendly novel of Leonardo da Vinci’s many, productive years in Milan. Follow Leonardo as he works for the Duke of Milan, paints the Last Supper, studies architecture, and much more! This book picks up where Leonardo the Florentine left off, but they can be read in any order! A good read for families or for individuals who want to learn more about the master!
Books 3 through 7 have been completed in time for the 500 year anniversary of Leonardo’s death, and books 8 & 9 are currently works in progress:
- Historical Novel #3: Leonardo: To Mantua and Beyond
- Historical Novel #4: Leonardo: A Return to Florence
- Historical Novel #5: Leonardo: A Return to Painting
- Historical Novel #6: Leonardo and the Looming Litigation
- Historical Novel #7: Leonardo: Living through Loss
Nonfiction: Da Vinci: His Life and His Legacy
From the Introduction: What makes this book different from others about Leonardo? Why take on a project like this, when so many others have already been written about him? Because, most books I read that were geared for kids had very little information, and those geared for adults generally had too much. I have tried to make this book complete enough to give a good picture of who Leonardo was and what he accomplished, without overwhelming my readers. I have tried to make it interesting for those who may know nothing about Leonardo, and yet still interesting for those who already know quite a bit! I have also attempted to make it interesting enough for a wide range of ages — from kids of all ages through adults.
I’ve been studying and teaching Leonardo da Vinci for many years. This book is my attempts to bring da Vinci to students of all ages, but particularly younger ones. It includes pictures of many of da Vinci’s drawings, Word Searches, and quotes, all arranged around a variety of topics relating to Leonardo da Vinci’s great achievements, including his Horse, his studies of the Human Body, and many more.
Doing Da Vinci can be used as a stand-alone book, or in conjunction with the non-fiction look at Da Vinci’s life, Da Vinci: His Life and His Legacy.
We’ve simplified our Leonardo Lapbook. Instead of the complicated, two-sided booklets it used to contain, it now contains 4 cards for each of the various topics: Horse, architecture, math…, as well as a timeline, maps, etc.
As with our other lapbook kits, we do not included detailed instructions, but we are confident you and your students will find fun ways to arrange these pictures, timeline, map, and more.
You may also enjoy my blog posts about da Vinci: