U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Lewis and the prolific Yolen team up for a celebratory picture-book biography in verse of the 20th century painter and designer Marc Chagall (1887-1985) that may quickly become a favorite of art-loving families and museum docents.
This handsome book is amply illustrated with archival photos, spot art from Chagall’s oeuvre and, most importantly, 14 full-color reproductions of Chagall’s affecting, mystical, sometimes surreal re-imaginings of his Jewish childhood in Eastern Europe, paintings that swell with touching imagery of joy, loss and beauty. Most of the book’s two-page spreads include an evocative poem (by either Lewis or Yolen) inspired by or reflecting upon the painting on the facing page. These spreads also feature informative, telling biographical briefs that anchor the art and beautifully crafted poetry to Chagall’s long, incident-rich life and artistic career. Details about each painting’s size, medium, date and provenance also add interest. Chagall’s work is represented in over 40 museums in North America, and teachers and parents often find his work particularly accessible and appealing to children who readily and eagerly decode his imagery, making this book useful as well is beautiful.
This inspired collaboration adds a heightened poetic dimension to readers’ understanding of Chagall’s life and art. (Picture book/poetry/biography. 11 & up)