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The Life of Leonardo da Vinci

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The performers began the show by asking the audience if anyone knew who da Vinci was. Many audience members had heard of him but did not know exactly what his various accomplishments were. With music, colorful costumes, and eye-catching props, the performers took the audience on a journey exploring the artist's life.

The children were amused by the precocious, thumb-sucking baby da Vinci and admired his creative ingenuity as a young artist. Several audience members delighted in learning about da Vinci's more mischievous endeavors, such as perfecting the stinkball; or his clever strategies, such as hiring musicians in order to make the Mona Lisa smile. The action-packed play even showed the artist in a sword fight! One young audience member in particular appreciated the scene, saying that the sword fight was his favorite part of the play. Another favorite moment during the play for the children occurred when da Vinci tried to invent a flying machine, which proved to be very unsuccessful in the end — when da Vinci tried to fly, he leaped into the air and ended up falling on the ground with a loud clunk! The play was not all sword fights and action, however; there were quieter moments, such as the touching portrayal of da Vinci's friendship with the King of France.

When the play concluded with da Vinci's death, the children had witnessed his (very full) life — in less than forty minutes! The performers then invited audience members to ask questions about the artist. The questions ranged from the enthusiastic to the thoughtfully inquisitive. One audience member asked about an instrument called a grid, which the performers explained was a tool that da Vinci used to create perspective in his paintings. The play about the artist's life and his many creations seemed to have inspired the audience. One child wondered how one person was able to invent so many different things. Another awe-struck audience member stated, "I want to learn about all the paintings he did."

For more exciting, fun-filled reading about da Vinci, the following list of books will surely entice any reader.

Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci
Jon Scieszka
The Time Warp trio is back, and this time they're in sixteenth-century Italy, where they meet da Vinci!

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci
Gene Barretta
Learn about da Vinci's many inventions, such as the hang glider and the robot, through his sketches and drawings. See how his inventions worked and compare them to today's versions.

Da Vinci & His Times
Andrew Langley
Are you curious about the Renaissance, the time period that da Vinci was from? This book provides a lot of pictures that show what life in the Renaissance might have looked like.

Monday with a Mad Genius
Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie go back in time to meet Da Vinci. They see the Mona Lisa and learn about life during the Renaissance period.

Who Stole the Mona Lisa?
Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton and friends have to go back in time to stop the Pirate Cats from stealing the Mona Lisa.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Kathleen Krull

This book is packed with facts and details about da Vinci's life and accomplishments. Learn about his childhood and life as an apprentice artist, and discover his thoughts and theories about science, the human body, and the world around him.

Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer
Robert Byrd
This biography is filled with colorful and detailed illustrations that provide a lot of information about da Vinci's life and work. The book also includes some of his quotes, and short stories about his ideas and observations.

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