Title: Leonardo Da Vinci
Author and Illustrator: Steve Augarde
Concepts: innovation, invention, apprenticeship, human resources.
Review: Young Paolo Valenti could not believe his luck: he had secured an apprenticeship in Milan with the celebrated inventor, artist, and scientist Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo had already developed an impressive reputation for his intellect and artistic talent, enabling him to earn hefty commissions from the well-to-do in Milan, including the Duke and his court. His earnings, in turn, allowed him to hire a cadre of apprentices, including Paolo, to help with his work as they learned their trade. With new skills to learn, Leonardo's unusual ideas and hot temper, rumored visits to the morgue, and another apprentice who seemed more a rascal than a help, the days never wanted for excitement.
Steve Augarde complements his informative text with engaging illustrations and splendid photographic reproductions to make Leonardo's insight and artistry accessible to young readers. The format of describing da Vinci's story through the diary entries of a young apprentice works extremely well in stimulating children's interest in Leonardo's contributions. This book should prove a valuable resource for teaching children about how innovation and creative thinking lead to new ways of doing things and a higher standard of living.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children