It is Leonardo da Vinci's birthday! Year 2 where I teach undertake an extensive enquiry of his life, inventions and artwork. They thoroughly enjoy it and make some wonderful discoveries. The library has a very large collection of books to support this unit, but the newest book is the one I want to highlight here - Leonardo Da Vinci by Steve Augarde and Leo Brown. It has a subtitle on its front cover - Discover the world of Leonardo through his apprentice's diary - and that is exactly how its starts, as a diary written by ten year old Paola who tells about his life between 1490 and 1498. When the diary finishes with the painting of the Last Supper, then there are some other sections about what happened next, a timeline of Leonardo's life, information about the Renaissance and Italy at the time, information about his inventions and paintings. It is comprehensive but not overpowering for young readers. It is a highly visual book, albeit without great illustrations, it includes reproductions of Leonardo's drawings and paintings and its presentation is done in a fun way.
Now to the birthday of someone who is very much alive, Pamela Freeman, an Australian author who is writing books for young people many of which draw them into the fantasy genre and make them make connections with other things that they have read. Most popular of her books are Victor's Quest and its sequel Victor's Challenge. Dr Freeman teaches writing courses and visits schools enthusing children about writing. Learn more about her at her website.