Self-Portrait With Seven Fingers

Overview

To do something with seven fingers is a Yiddish expression meaning to do something well or adroitly. Marc Chagall was a Russian Jew and a wandering dreamer. From his humble hometown of Vitebsk, Belarus, he went out to take in the world the grandeur of St. Petersburg, the romance of Paris, the freedom of New York. Through wars, Nazi persecution, and the passing of nine decades, he found love, pioneered techniques in modernism, and painted. Above all, he painted. Fourteen of Chagall's works are here vividly ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $5.42   
  • New (8) from $6.80   
  • Used (2) from $5.42   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

To do something with seven fingers is a Yiddish expression meaning to do something well or adroitly. Marc Chagall was a Russian Jew and a wandering dreamer. From his humble hometown of Vitebsk, Belarus, he went out to take in the world the grandeur of St. Petersburg, the romance of Paris, the freedom of New York. Through wars, Nazi persecution, and the passing of nine decades, he found love, pioneered techniques in modernism, and painted. Above all, he painted. Fourteen of Chagall's works are here vividly reproduced and accompanied by the poems of notable children's writers J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen in this colorful celebration of a most remarkable artist.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
From the Publisher
With a title inspired by one of Marc Chagall's paintings, this handsome, large format book traces his life through freeverse poems and paragraphs of information, illuminated by excellent reproductions of his paintings and a few period photos of the artist and his world. Born in the Russian city of Vitebsk, Chagall married Bella, his muse and frequent model. A Jew, he left Russia in 1922 after the formation of the Soviet Union and fled Nazi-occupied Paris for New York in 1941. He returned to France after the war. Both Lewis and Yolen contribute poems, usually written from Chagall's point of view, and the quality of the verse is quite good. A list of sources is appended. On a typical double-page spread, a clearly written paragraph of information works with the poem and the large illustration on the facing page to communicate a sense of who Marc Chagall was and what he loved as well as tracing the story of his life, noting his accomplishments, and commenting on the artworks shown. A unique introduction to Chagall and his art.

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.)

Two equally esteemed poets lend their voices to the art of Marc Chagall. Fourteen poems, which take their titles from Chagall's paintings, provide a chronological narrative of the artist's life, up to his death at age 97 in 1985. Excellent-quality reproductions grace this picture-book-size volume, as do photographs of the artist. There are explanatory notes beneath each poem and a bibliography at the end. Yolen's "Maternity" begins with Chagall's birth, in the then Russian city of Vitebsk; family members toast with schnapps-"May he be a herring merchant like his father." But it is his mother who seems aware of the muse already present in the room: "May he always be happy in his work." Some of Yolen's poems are flavored with Yiddish (translations appear at the bottom of the pages); Lewis's poems are more formal but are also rich in revelation about the paintings. In "I and the Village" he writes, "I knew myself, white lips, my face in green, / I drew the cow's contentment in between." Both poets offer readers new understandings of the paintings: Yolen's "The Flying Horse" conveys the inescapable fear present during the Holocaust, while Lewis's "The Fall of Icarus" provides a horrifying explanation of the red path that divides the painting. The writers grasp the iconography and sensibility of Chagall's work and provide readers with new paths to make this strange and beautiful journey.

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Two equally esteemed poets lend their voices to the art of Marc Chagall. Fourteen poems, which take their titles from Chagall's paintings, provide a chronological narrative of the artist's life, up to his death at age 97 in 1985. Excellent-quality reproductions grace this picture-book-size volume, as do photographs of the artist. There are explanatory notes beneath each poem and a bibliography at the end. Yolen's "Maternity" begins with Chagall's birth, in the then Russian city of Vitebsk; family members toast with schnapps—"May he be a herring merchant like his father." But it is his mother who seems aware of the muse already present in the room: "May he always be happy in his work." Some of Yolen's poems are flavored with Yiddish (translations appear at the bottom of the pages); Lewis's poems are more formal but are also rich in revelation about the paintings. In "I and the Village" he writes, "I knew myself, white lips, my face in green,/I drew the cow's contentment in between." Both poets offer readers new understandings of the paintings: Yolen's "The Flying Horse" conveys the inescapable fear present during the Holocaust, while Lewis's "The Fall of Icarus" provides a horrifying explanation of the red path that divides the painting. The writers grasp the iconography and sensibility of Chagall's work and provide readers with new paths to make this strange and beautiful journey.—Tess Pfeifer, Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
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)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898129748
  • Publisher: Creative Company, The
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,183,330
  • Age range: 10 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen

J. Patrick Lewis spent years as an economics professor before finding his passion as a writer. Today he holds an esteemed reputation in children's publishing, having authored more than 60 picture books, including such acclaimed titles as Black Cat Bone and The House. In 2011 he was named The Children's Poet Laureate by the The Poetry Foundation. Jane Yolen has been called "the Hans Christian Andersen of America" due to her significant contributions to children's literature, especially her original and collected fairy tales. She has written more than 300 books, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Owl Moon.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)