Cover image for Amazing Leonardo da Vinci inventions you can build yourself
Amazing Leonardo da Vinci inventions you can build yourself
Publication Information:
Norwich, Vt. : Nomad ; Lancaster : Gazelle Drake Academic [distributor], 2006.
Physical Description:
122 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Reading Level:
IG 1240 L Lexile


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 709.2 AND 0 1
Book J 709.2 AND 1 1
Book J 709.2 AND 0 1

On Order



Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself introduces readers to the life, world, and incredible mind of Leonardo da Vinci through hands-on building projects that explore his invention ideas. Most of Leonardo's inventions were never made in his lifetime--they remained sketches in his famous notebooks. Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself shows you how to bring these ideas to life using common household supplies. Detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project combine with historical facts and anecdotes, biographies and trivia about the real-life models for each project. Together they give kids a first-hand look into
the amazing mind of one the world's greatest inventors.

Author Notes

Lauri Berkenkamp is the author of six books for kids. Writing under the pen name Maxine Anderson she has written Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself , which was excerpted in the New York Times Book Review and Christian Science Monitor, chosen as the #7 BookSense Children's Pick for Summer 2006 and named Book of the Year by the Society for School Librarians International in 2006; Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself , which was excerpted in Boys' Life magazine and called "a fascinating gem of a book" by the New York Times Book Review; Explore Spring , and Explore Winter , which were chosen as Parents' Choice Recommended Books for 2007, Discover the Amazon , as well as Discover the Oceans .

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Anderson has combined biography with doable activities that mirror ideas found in Leonardo's notebooks. Using common household objects (duct tape, foil, cereal boxes, paper-towel tubes, etc.), readers can make a parachute, hydrometer, invisible ink, "walk-on-water" shoes, etc. Anderson introduces each project with an explanation of why Leonardo came up with the idea and whether he created just the sketch or the sketch and the object. Detailed steps and illustrations provide clarity. Adult supervision is noted where appropriate. Readers will probably be more interested in the activities than in Leonardo's life and the Renaissance background that Anderson provides, but this title will be a welcome addition to schools in which cross-curricular teaming is in place. Science classes can re-create Leonardo's ideas while English classes can read excerpts from his notebooks and history classes can discuss the Renaissance.-Delia Carruthers, Sunset Ridge Middle School, West Jordan, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

A round-up of accessible titles introduce young readers to people and events. Amazing Leonardo da Vinci: Inventions You Can Build Yourself by Maxine Anderson begins with an introduction to the Renaissance and a biography of da Vinci before delving into his interests in art and science. Snippets from his notebooks, reproductions of many of his drawings, brief biographies of the people who influenced him most (e.g., del Verrocchio, to whom he was apprenticed; Luca Pacioli, a famous mathematician and friend), plus experiments youngsters can do themselves (building one's own perspectograph, making paint, etc.) bring an immediacy to da Vinci's life and work. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
What Was the Renaissance?p. 3
Biography of Leonardop. 7
Leonardo the Artist and Dreamerp. 11
Perspective and Leonardo's "Perspectograph"p. 14
Masks for a Masquep. 23
"Plastic Glass" and Paintp. 27
Leonardo and Luca Pacioli's "Divine Proportion"p. 32
Leonardo the Jokesterp. 37
Monster Shieldp. 43
Leonardo's Useful Machinesp. 49
The Camera Obscurap. 52
Leonardo's Weather Predictionsp. 56
Leonardo's Hydrometerp. 60
Leonardo's Monkey Wrenchp. 63
Leonardo and Waterp. 66
Walk-on-Water Shoesp. 69
Leonardo's Webbed Glovesp. 74
Leonardo in Flightp. 77
Leonardo's Ornithopterp. 79
Leonardo's Helicopterp. 83
Leonardo's Parachutep. 88
Leonardo's Anemometerp. 92
Leonardo's War Inventionsp. 97
Leonardo's Safety Bridgep. 100
Leonardo's Trebuchetp. 103
Leonardo's Tankp. 108
Image Creditsp. 116
Glossaryp. 117
Bibliography/Resourcesp. 119
Indexp. 121