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letterstoleonardolrgSeeing as it’s Cyber Launch day, Matt Hudson has decided to put in an appearance. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, but he said he has a few questions for me, and he doesn’t mind if I share his questions and my answers with you. Matt wanted to talk about how Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings have been used in Letters to Leonardo.

MATT:       Why did you think that Leonardo da Vinci would be a good person to help me tell my story?

DEE:          Even though you two lived over 500 years apart, Leonardo was a lot like you, Matt.

MATT:       How?

DEE:          You both got taken away from your Mum’s at a young age, you both seek truth, you’re both sensitive – and you’re both perfectionists.

MATT:       I guess you’re right. Anything else?

DEE:          Your art – it was a strong connection between the two of you – and it linked you to your mother as well.

MATT:       You used Leonardo’s paintings a lot throughout the book. Why do you think people will want to know about them? Not everyone is an LDV fan like us?

DEE:         The paintings were a great way to symbolise people and events in the story. Take the Mona Lisa for example – she was an enigma, just like your mum.

MATT:       And that painting of St Jerome – you used that to show how I was feeling?

DEE:          That’s right – sometimes the emotion of the painting was a good way to show what was going on with you – without have to say “Matt’s upset” or “Matt feels bad”.

MATT:       Why did you have to tell everyone how much I loved LDV’s stuff? Why do you think it was their business anyway?

DEE:          Readers needed to understand the sort of person that you were – so they could empathise with you. Like when you talked about the Drapery Study and you said, “We all wear an outer layer to hide who we really are,” that was to help people realise how vulnerable you were.

MATT:       How does LDV connect us – you and me, I mean?

DEE:          He’s our shared obsession:-)

Here’s a fun word search for your students to do based on words found in Letters to Leonardo.

Hope you enjoy solving  it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Dee and Matt:-)

LETTERS TO LEONARDO

 WORD SEARCH

 

L I E S L E R M I N E B E N D
O E R O M O N A L I S A H B R
V A O U T C O M E S L J M A A
E S N N M B C F I F T E E N P
S Y B D A M E D I C I N E D E
L E T T E R S T R S B T T A R
U T B R D A D R A W E R C G Y
H A P P Y I R O K A Y U L E S
T S C A O F I Y D A R T I S T
H O U S E I P T B A T H F S U
E M D I N N E R I N V B E F D
R E N D E D T O R G O I L N Y
A M E L T E D O T E B P N S T
P O L I C E T M H R Y O L C D
Y R P I Z Z A D D I A L S R I
O Y R H E S I T A T E A Y H N
V A N D A L N B Y F I R E L S

                                  

HAPPY BEND EASY
HOUSE DIAL ROOM
OKAY MEDICINE LIFE
MONA LISA SOUND MEET
BANDAGES ARTIST DRAPERY
FIFTEEN MEMORY STUDY
PAINT ANGER ENDED
DRAWER BIRTHDAY PIZZA
TROY LIES LOVE
LETTERS THERAPY MELTED
DINNER DAD POLICE
FIRE HESITATE FIND
DRIP BIPOLAR OUTCOMES
LEONARDO DA VINCI TRUTH ERMINE

dee's featherHere’s a writing activity that’s fun for the whole class. It’s based on the first chapter “Sneak Peek” of Letters to Leonardo.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  • What devices/techniques/things did I use to interest readers right from the start?
  • What does the start of the book tell us about the main character, Matt?
  • Do you think a letter is a good way to start a story?

WRITING ACTIVITY

  1. Write a letter to someone you don’t know – it must be a person that you admire or dislike because of something you believe they have done. It could be a politician, an actor – anybody.
  2. Try to use this letter to start your own story.

Have fun and happy writing – and for more activities and writing tips, make sure you check out http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com

Hope you’re enjoying the Cyber Launch.

Dee and Matt:-)

Walker Books Australia has been fantastically supportive with our blog tour and Cyber Launch and as a special treat, they’ve allowed us to upload Chapter 1 of Letters to Leonardo, so that you can read it.

Here’s the Sneak Peek first chapter: 

 

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 7

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 8

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 9

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 10

 

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 11

 

LtoL Chapter 1 - page 12

 

Extract from Letters to Leonardo

by Dee White

Available in bookshops July, 2009

ISBN: 9781921150883

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

 

Copyright © Dee White, 2009

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Matt and I hope you enjoyed Chapter 1. If you’d like to keep reading, you can buy the book at any good bookstore or online at:

http://booktopia.com.au

http://boomerangbooks.com.au

http://collinsbooks.com.au

http://thebookabyss.com.au

Happy reading!

Dee and Matt:-)

letterstoleonardolrgIf you’re looking for some great new classroom writing and literacy activities make sure you come to our Cyber Launch tomorrow. It’s at http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com but we’ll be crossing back to this blog https://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com for all sorts of interactive reading and writing fun.

During the day, we’ll be uploading to this blog, a Sneak Peek at Letters to Leonardo and some great associated classroom activities. We’ll be providing a link to the movie book preview and a fun word search based on Letters to Leonardo.

Plus there will be reviews by YA readers.

Hope to cyber see you at the launch.

Dee and Matt:-)

Today, Matt and I visited http://thebookchook.blogspot.com to talk about how art has been used in Letters to Leonardo.

While we were there, we told Susan about a great writing activity linked to the book. Drop in and see the bookchook and I’m sure she’ll be happy to share this information.

Walker Books, our publisher has also produced some fantastic teaching notes and classroom activities – and they’ll be uploading them on 1st July – the day the book is released – how exciting!

Hope you’ll join us tomorrow at http://belka37blogspot.com where we’ll be talking to Mabel about the research process.

Catch you in Cyber Space.

Dee and Matt:-)

letterstoleonardolrgWord searches and classroom writing activities are just some of the fun things you can expect to find when you join Matt Hudson (the main character from Letters to Leonardo) and me (the author) on our Cyber Space tour.

Make sure you join us tomorrow at http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com for the very start – so you don’t miss out on anything.

We’ll be back here on Cyber Launch day 1st July to give you a Sneak Peek at the book and loads more.

Here’s the complete blog tour itinerary:

24th June 2009             http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com        
Dee and Matt talk about promoting Letters to Leonardo online.
 
25th June 2009             http://spinningpearls.blogspot.com     
Author interview
 
26th June 2009             http://thebookchook.blogspot.com    
How art has been used in Letters to Leonardo – with some teaching activities included.
 
27th June 2009             http://belka37.blogspot.com
The research process involved in writing Letters to Leonardo           
 
28th June 2009             http://weloveya.wordpress.com
Guest blogger – talking with Vanessa Barneveld – interactive discussion about dreams and writing

 
29th June 2009             http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale            
An author interview on the writing process – covering things like inspiration and perspective
 
30th June 2009             http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com
Use of mentors in YA fiction, and Leonardo da Vinci’s involvement in the book
 
1st July 2009                 Cyber launch http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com including cross to Robyn Opie’s blog http://robynopie.blogspot.com – hurdles overcome on the way to publication.
 
2nd July 2009                http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com
How the author’s life paralleled Matt’s – her growing obsession with Leonardo da Vinci
 
3rd July  2009                 http://bjcullen.blogspot.com
Working with a publisher and the editing process
 
4th July  2009                 http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com
Interview with the elusive Matt Hudson at Sandy Fussell’s blog. Sandy is the author of the Samurai Kids series
 
5th July 2009                   https://teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com
Class writing activities based on Letters to Leonardo – themes in the book
 
6th July 2009                   http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com
Tips 4 young writers on how Letters to Leonardo was written – how the author turned fact into fiction
 
7th July 2009                    http://www.JenniferBrownYA.com
An overseas stop before heading home – USA blogger Jennifer Brown talks to Dee about bipolar themes in the story and the affect on teenagers of having a family member with a  mental illness.     

Hope to catch you and your students in Cyber Space.

Dee and Matt:-)