Published: 1975
Theme: Historical Fiction
Best for: 12 to 14

“Why, people ask, why did Leonardo da Vinci choose to paint the portrait of the second wife of an unimportant Florentine merchant when dukes and duchesses all over Italy and the King of France as well, were all begging for a portrait by his hand? Why, they ask, why?” This is quite a lovely way to introduce older children to the world of Leonardo da Vinci, and his painting of the Mona Lisa, and history of the Renaissance.

Published: 1996
Theme: Friendship
Best for: 11 and up

“When I told Tillie that six steps seemed a lot to have to do before you begin, she said, “You must think of those six steps not as preparation for the beginning but as the beginning itself.” To get right to the point about this children’s book, it is an absolute treasure. The previous books by this author hardly prepared me for this one…