Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers: The Life of Marc Chagall in Verse

J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen. Creative Editions, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56846-211-0
Lewis and Yolen pair 14 poems about Marc Chagall (1887–1985) with reproductions of more than a dozen of his paintings (as well as vintage photographs) in this moving account of the artist’s Jewish upbringing in what is now Belarus (“Oh, Uncle, play me a communion,/ on your kishefdik violin”), his ascent in the art world, and his loves and losses, including arrest by the Nazis while living in Paris (“There is no arguing with soldiers,/ no pleading while wearing the yellow star”). The duo’s emphatic and empathetic verse is put into context by informative biographical sidebars that appear beneath each poem. A study in resilience, dedication, and wide-ranging talent. Ages 11–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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