Monday, April 18, 2016

I Am Marc Chagall by Bimba Landmann from Eerdmans Publishing Young Readers

About the book: "I painted my world, my life, all the things I loved, all the things I dreamed of, all the things I could not say in words. I painted my beloved Russia, my hometown Vitebsk, the Jewish neighborhood where I grew up, the way I saw everything as a child."

During prayers, he would daydream; in school, he was distracted; and at home he worried about what profession he should choose. But when the young Marc Chagall realized he had artistic talent, he translated his unusual way of looking at the world into color and shape.

Chagall grew up, became a painter, and traveled the world, but he never forgot about his hometown of Vitebsk, the place that shaped his character and inspired his art.

This book, loosely based on Chagall's autobiography, gives readers a glimpse into the early life of one of the twentieth century's most significant painters. Landmann's charming three-dimensional mixed media illustrations celebrate the colorful, the whimsical, and the extraordinary aspects of Chagall's life and work.

My thoughts: Typically one would think of a picture book being for young children. We think, usually, ages Pk-8 year olds. In the case of the I Am Marc Chagall by Bimba Landmann it is easily a book that can be of interest and educationally effective through older students. Adults can even find it interesting and attractive.

Capturing the essence of Marc Chagall as he grew up Jewish in Russia and his deep seated insights visually and emotionally into what is going on in his world and that of his village, the foundation is laid for the later years of Marc Chagall the Artist. His style was Expressionism and Cubism - both of which are very abstract.

I found this children's picture book biography very interesting to read and can readily recommend it to home schoolers, classroom libraries (especially art collections), school libraries, and public libraries. It is good to learn about artists and how they grew up and what shaped them for their later works.

The author and illustrator, Bimba Landmann, utilizes a mixed collage of materials to illustrate the book rendering a three dimensional effect to the illustrations. They are not Marc Chagall's work, though they essentially capture a Chagall atmosphere.

There is a nice "The Life of Marc Chagall" section at the back of the book listing by year events in his life and his involvement.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishign Co. to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.


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  2. I'm so glad you shared this at Booknificent Thursday on this week!


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