Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art
Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art

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Annotation: Presents the life of the twentieth-century Jewish modernist artist, lyrically tracing the impact of war on his career, his use of powerful emotion, and his masterpiece paintings and stained-glass windows.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #182083
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: GrandPre, Mary,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-524-71751-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4419-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-524-71751-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4419-5
Dewey: 921
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
The life of Chagall--amid turbulent times in the twentieth century--is captured in Rosenstock's rhythmic, lyrical text with a repeated, thematic refrain: "Through the window, the boy sees... / ...the student sees... / ...the painter sees..." GrandPri's acrylic paintings likewise capture the feel of Chagall's art, both in the images (windows, musical instruments, animals, etc.) and in the geometric style and saturated colors, especially his signature blue. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
Moishe Shagal leaves his home in Belarus and grows up to become acclaimed artist Marc Chagall.Little Moishe looks through his window in the city of Vitebsk and sees a warm and bustling patchwork of people: "Neighbors squabble, rabbis bless, a bowlegged fiddler plays on a rooftop." The unremarkable theme of looking through a window continues from childhood to prime of life to old age, through political turmoil and danger. But despite the tepid window-gazing motif, Rosenstock's prose shines, from alliteration ("poets peeling pears, Cubists clinking cups") to keen evocation ("Two-faced slivers of St. Petersburg, glittering city of czars and princes") to fond, appropriately fanciful artwork descriptions ("A misty woman on a parti-colored rooster. Frilly acrobats tumble in the sky"). Grandpré's illustrations, acrylic paint on board, feature plenty of recognizable Chagall images and content but lack Chagall-like vibes: The figures and compositions are too concrete, not dreamlike, and the stained glass isn't crisp. Bizarrely, Chagall's Judaism goes unmentioned until the author's note, which means that anti-Semitism is missing too. Judaism's hardly irrelevant to a name-change from Moishe Shagal to Marc Chagall, but the text praises his new name as "French, elegant, light as pâtisserie." Even his flight from occupied France for the United States during World War II summons no reference to Judaism. Rabbis mentioned once in Vitebsk and once in later paintings don't make up for it.Despite sparkling prose, look elsewhere. (author's note, art reproductions, sources) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)
Publishers Weekly
Beginning with Chagall-s childhood in the village of Vitebsk, Belarus, Rosenstock-s expressive ode to the artist is laced with references to familiar moments from Chagall-s oeuvre: -Neighbors squabble, rabbis bless, a bowlegged fiddler plays on a rooftop.- Working in painterly layers, GrandPré integrates Chagall-s chimerical imagery into her pictures. Rejected by some for his nontraditional work, Chagall was embraced by a community of French artists, including Cezanne, Gauguin, and Matisse. Rosenstock and GrandPré closely observe and reflect Chagall-s life and creative process: spreads show the artist envisioning, painting, and sculpting, while artisans prepare stained glass for the enchanting, blue-bathed -America Windows- in Chicago. A lush and insightful portrait of a daring and imaginative artist. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* With poetic language and whimsical pictures, Rosenstock and GrandPré have completely captured the beauty of Marc Chagall's life and art. Using windows as a framing device both in the prose and illustrations, they mimic the highlights of his career as he looks out at life in Russia, Paris, and the U.S. Elements of the artist's paintings and stained-glass work repeat throughout, as seemingly soaring and weightless as his recurring images of fiddlers, birds, and flying horses. GrandPré, whose illustrations will feel comfortingly familiar to young fans of her Harry Potter spot art, also emphasizes Chagall's strong profile and sweet smile, making him seem approachable to children who may see themselves in the observant boy and man. Brilliant endpapers and an essential author's note, which adds crucial, solid biographical information, help make this a book to be savored. Add in source material and the inclusion of several of Chagall's works in the afterword, and its usefulness to students is apparent. Rosenstock and GrandPré have collaborated before on books about artists, first with the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box? (2014), about Vasily Kandinsky, and again with Vincent Can't Sleep? (2017), about Van Gogh. Let's hope they find more artists to celebrate together.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (7/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 555
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 199770 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD800L

A gorgeous, expressive picture-book biography of Marc Chagall by the Caldecott Honor team behind The Noisy Paint Box.

Through the window, the student sees . . .
His future--butcher, baker, blacksmith, but turns away.
A classmate sketching a face from a book. His mind blossoms.
The power of pictures. He draws and erases, dreams in color while Papa worries.
A folder of pages laid on an art teacher's desk. Mama asks, Does this boy have talent?
Pursed lips, a shrug, then a nod, and a new artist is welcomed.
His brave heart flying through the streets, on a journey unknowable.

Known for both his paintings and stained-glass windows, Marc Chagall rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world's most renowned artists. Admired for his use of color and the powerful emotion in his work, Chagall led a career that spanned decades and continents, and he never stopped growing. This lyrical narrative shows readers, through many different windows, the pre-WWI childhood and wartime experiences that shaped Chagall's path.

From the same team behind the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box, which was about the artist Kandinksy, Through the Window is a stunning book that, through Chagall's life and work, demonstrates how art has the power to be revolutionary.


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