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Leonardo the Florentine (Audio Book via Review by Annette Vellenga

Catherine McGrew Jaime

“MOM! Is that it? Seriously? Is that all there is?” I heard from the back of the car.

“What?” I said.

“MOM! It’s too short. It was just getting really, really interesting. I want to know what happens next!” said an aggrieved 11-year-old lad.

For the past two hours, as we traveled around in Pennsylvania,sussing out interesting places to visit, we had listened to Leonardo the Florentine. We had become immersed in his life as an apprentice, taking part in solving a mystery, and seeing his growing friendship with the Medici family. We had followed his concern over who was threatening their lives. Who could it be?

He was such an interesting character, and the story really brought this out. We knew that he was an artist, but we hadn’t been aware before this audio recording just how very smart and curious he was. He was interested in everything. He created a whole myriad of things and was so interested in everything he came across.

My son was impressed with the thought that many people didn’t want to hire Leonardo as he’d gotten the reputation of being fickle with his commissions. He was known for not finishing the commissions he received. He thought that wasn’t very nice of Leonardo, even if sometimes he had a good reason to be mad at the person commissioning the work.

The mystery of the Pitti Palace had my lad riveted, not letting me talk, asking me to shut off the player when I needed to figure out where we were going and was getting flustered. He didn’t want to miss a single word. It was so much fun seeing the riveted interest. Listening to history, but enjoying the story. A good thing this.

This audiobook is family friendly and teaches the story of Da Vinci’s early years in Florence and his years of apprenticeship.

This book is the first in a series of historically based novels called the Life and Travels of da Vinci. There are currently three books, but only one of them is in audio at this time. Leonardo the Florentine (audio), plus Leonardo: Masterpieces in Milan and Leonardo: To Mantua and Beyond.

My only concern with this audio book is that sometimes I think the reader is too careful with his enunciation and it sounds a bit stilted, but that is a stylistic concern only. It does not detract from the story at all.

-Product review by Annette Vellenga, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017