Booklist recently shared an article interviewing author and editor Melissa Stewart on the importance of expository nonfiction. Stewart discussed what she felt made a good work of expository literature, how it differs from fiction or from narrative nonfiction, and why this underappreciated genre is so valuable for children. She also shared some children’s literature that she thinks are great examples of expository literature – including Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci, written and illustrated by Gene Barretta.
Neo Leo was included as a great example of the compare and contrast format. Booklist wrote, “Colorful cartoon watercolors, clear and concise text, and an ingenious format that reinforces the compare-and-contrast text structure highlight how the ideas recorded in da Vinci’s notebooks foreshadowed…modern inventions.”