Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

by Gene Barretta


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An introduction to Leonardo da Vinci's genius focusing on his famous notebook sketches and the modern inventions they predicted.

In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span bridge; in 1887, Adolf Eugen Fick made the first pair of contact lenses; and in 1907, Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. But Leonardo da Vinci thought of all these ideas more than five hundred years ago!

At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more. In Neo Geo, Gene Barretta cleverly shows how Leonardo's ideas—many inspired by his love of nature—foreshadowed modern inventions, offering a window into the future.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Barretta provides clear information without veering into scientific explanations. Readers who most closely associate Leonardo with the Mona Lisa will be inspired by the breadth of his interests and the genius of his observations. This accessible introduction will inspire children to look closely at the world around them and come up with some creations of their own.” —School Library Journal

“Barreta's colorful and comical artwork keeps the scientific subject matter fun, with smiling, apple-cheeked characters populating the pages and a grey-bearded da Vinci scribbling notes while studying the world around him. A fine choice to introduce the famous man, his peerless ideas, and the forward-thinking role of inventors in general.” —Booklist

“Energetic, engaging and eclectic—just like its subject.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2–5—In now-and-then comparisons similar to his previous work, Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin (2006), Gene Barretta illustrates the vision and brilliance of artist/inventor Leonardo da Vinci in Neo Leo (2009, both Holt). Barretta's delightful watercolor illustrations become backgrounds for an amazing catalog of inventions. Panning and focusing on a portion of a page creates movement and highlights details; occasional animation gives life and motion to the scenes. The video begins with a humorous introduction in which the author introduces some of Leonardo's fabulous inventions, and speculates on the reason for his odd method of recording his discoveries by writing backwards. Then, to the accompaniment of Bruce Zimmerman's Renanissance-style music and occasional sound effects, viewers are shown how the inventor's ideas foreshadowed inventions hundreds of years later. For example, on the "Neo" side, we have the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903, and the development of the hang glider in 1892 and the helicopter in 1907; on the "Leo" side, we see Leonardo's drawings of an ornithopter, a glider, and an aerial screw. Da Vinci even sketched designs for a single-span bridge, contact lenses, steam-powered engines, and robots. Kirby Ward's narration in spot-on. A fine introduction for units on inventors and inventions.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250079602
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 237,594
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Lexile: AD930L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews