I have mixed feelings about Tony Parillo's Michelangelo's Surprise. On the one hand, it is set in Florence (who wouldn't love that?) and the historical facts behind the story are very interesting. On the other hand, I found it a bit boring. I don't think my 6 year old did, he seemed to like it, but I simply prefer books with a little more zest and whimsy. And, well.... plot.
In 1494, Piero de'Medici commissioned Michelangelo to sculpt a spectacular snowman. Ah, to be rich and have a genius artist at your beck and call. However, the story focuses not on Michelangelo, but instead follows Sandro, a young page, as he searches for his father throughout the palazzo, finally finding him with the famed artist in the courtyard. The author introduces us to various features of the palazzo but there is little excitement. But if your children are interested in Italy, the Renaissance or architecture there might be something in this book to amuse them.
Get it from the library, but don't spend your cash.
Big Kid says: I don't think I could make my snowman look like that.