Friday, November 8, 2013

PPBF: Leonardo's Horse


What a FABULOUS book I have to review today!  Stellar in every way. . .


Amazon
Author: Jean Fritz
Illustrator: Hudson Talbott
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Date: 2001

Ages: 8-12+
Themes: perseverance, sculptors, Leonardo Da Vinci, horses.
Genre: Historic Fiction/Biography

First Paragraph: "Anyone who watched the young Leonardo wander the countryside around his home in Vinci might have guessed that he would be an artist. He stopped to examine everything. He looked at the landscape as if he were memorizing it. So it was no surprise when his father took him as a young teenager to Florence to study art."


Why I love this book (let me count the ways!): How can I not love a book written by Jean Fritz, who is considered the "top biographer writing for children and young people today"? She makes the event come alive for us. We feel as though we are on location, watching the process ourselves.

And the illustrations. . .oh, my goodness! So beautifully done, and so realistic for the time period. Both author and illustrator have a passion for history, as you can see revealed in their words and images.

But, even above those reasons, the story itself is poignant. Can you believe I cried in parts when I read this to my teens?? Well, I did.  Because it focuses on an artist's passion, and his determination to pursue it. And how two other artists, many years after Leonardo's death, took on the challenge so this Renaissance artist could have his wish fulfilled.  It's about hard work, vision, and selflessness. It reminded me that we as writer's can help one another pursue and realize our dreams.


Source
Okay, enough! I can't enough good things about this book, so you will have to check it out for yourself!

Some Teacher's Resources:


Illustrator Hudson Talbott's site HERE  with pics of his other kid friendly artwork.

Lesson Plans HERE and HERE



Link to information about Jean Fritz HERE  and a fabulous summary of Jean's past and present HERE.
It's a fascinating look into here books and life. . .did you know JEAN FRITZ will be 97 in less than 10 days???  She is my literary hero. . .my passion is to make history come alive for my readers!

YouTube video of the history behind the story:





   


Hope you enjoyed today's offering for Perfect Picture Book Fridays, when we review picture books which we deem worthy of mention.  This concept was created by Susanna Hill, and is a helpful resource for librarians, teachers and parents.  For a list of all books reviewed so far, along with activities to complement them, click here.


20 comments:

  1. Leonardo da Vinci had an amazing mind. It is great to see another fabulous biography about him, especially focused on his horse.

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    1. Yes, Joanna, I consider him to be one of the most talented artists of all times. His genius is on par with Benjamin Franklin.

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  2. I don't think I've read this one, but it's on the list now! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. We picked a lot of NF for picture book Friday this week. ILOVED the video-I live close enough to the Allentown School of art to make a trek and now that is on my list. Thank you for introducing this to me (we lived outside the US back in 1999 when I'm sure this was big news in PA). These books aren't just for kids. :)

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    1. You are fortunate to live so close. Yes, Wendy, I agree. I enjoy learning history in this way. Hope you get to visit Allentown soon!

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  4. Wow, what a beautiful find! I love Leonardo da Vinci -- such a remarkable artist and scientist. I will definitely look for Leonardo's Horse. I agree, Jean FItz writes outstanding biographies. Great video and activity suggestions!

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    1. Yes, it is worth checking out, Patricia!

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  5. Jarm...I commend you for choosing this book that reveals such an amazing story. Yet another NF book in this week's PPBF list.:) I've always loved the stories about the genius of DaVinci...and it was so inspiring to discover how his dream was carried, like a torch at the Olympics.
    Wonderful review...thank you for telling us about this gem!

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    1. Yes, the torch aspect is what brought me to tears. It is truly as special book. Thanks for commenting, Vivian!

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  6. Great book choice. You can't gush enough about Jean Fritz. Early on I collected picture books for the art, but her writing made me collect kidlit for the writing. My favorite book of hers is Why Don't You Get a Horse Sam Adams? Thanks for this great review.

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    1. You are quite welcome, Joanne! Good point. . .collecting kid lit IS a good way to improve ours. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. I love Leonardo da Vinci. I remember doing an essay on him. Love his artwork. Haven't read this book, so must look it up. Thanks for the great choice Jarm!

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    1. You are welcome. . . I know you will like it!

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  8. Oh, I've seen this sculpture - it's incredible for its sheer size. I hadn't realized there was a book about it!

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    1. I would love to be able to see it in person. . .glad you had the opportunity!

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  9. SO much great information, and such a beautiful book! I love that horse! Thanks so much for adding this one to our list, Jarm!

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    1. Yes, this IS a beautiful, book! One of the few PPBF books that I own. And I can see why you love it after reading your post on Vivian's blog. Horses are your thing!!

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I would love to have you comment...thanks!

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Journey into the Promised Land
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