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BOOK REVIEW: DANNY DAVINCI – THE SECRET OF THE MONA LISA by Rosie Smith & Bruce Whatley

BOOK REVIEW: DANNY DAVINCI – THE SECRET OF THE MONA LISA by Rosie Smith & Bruce Whatley
ABC Books, Children’s – rrp$24.99
July 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10

This little treasure is the story of how young Danny DaVinci and Mick Angelo (and their weird dog Picasso) painted the stunning smile on their friend Lisa’s face for the Duke of Milan in the 15th century. Of course – it’s a frivolous fantasy, but it’s a really cute way to encourage children to engage with fine art, and husband and wife team Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley ensure there are many examples of the real Leonardo DaVinci’s art and creative inventions sketched into the story.

Just as music is fundamentally important to foster in the young as a tool for healing the spirit, so too is art. Whether they can draw or paint or play an instrument or act or write themselves or not, the appreciation of art is an imperative that all too often is ignored in favour of more studious or sporting pursuits.

The concept that some children are arty, some sporty and some academic is an over-simplification at best. All children should be encouraged to live a balanced life, to find pursuits across abroad spectrum which entertain and inspire them, and this book is a lovely entry point for kids to learn some appreciation of art and artistic technique.

Oh – purists need not be concerned: Smith & Whatley follow their story with a couple of pages detailing the real DaVinci and Mona Lisa, making sure that no-one is going to walk away thinking that the painting was actually created by a couple of ten year olds!

BOOK REVIEW: DANNY DAVINCI – THE SECRET OF THE MONA LISA by Rosie Smith & Bruce Whatley

Filed Under: Book Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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