by J. Patrick Lewis & Jane Yolen. 40 p. The Creative Company, August, 2011. 9781568562110. (Purchased)
Two premier poets team up again, this time they use fourteen of Marc Chagall's paintings as inspiration for poems depicting various stages in his life. Full-page, full-color, fully annotated reproductions reside opposite a poem, which bears the name of the painting. Pale-tinted text boxes below each poem provide more information about the artist's life in prose and below that, if necessary are definitions of the Hebrew or Yiddish words used above. Several black and white photographs are also reproduced. The final page lists works that the authors consulted.
What a creative and intriguing biography! I was a bit surprised by the copyright date of 2011. How had I missed this? I don't remember what prompted me to put this in my school library book order, but I'm glad I did. It might lend itself to lovely cross-curricular collaboration with the art teacher, not necessarily biographical but perhaps having students choose a painting of an artist or artistic movement being studies and composing poetry along with a bit of additional research. Or, the book can be part of a literature circle with a verse biography theme, joining books by Marilyn Nelson (A Wreath for Emmett Till; Carver: a life in poems), Margarita Engle (Poet Slave of Cuba), Carmen T. Bernier-Grand (Frida: Viva la Vida!), or Carole Boston Weatherford (Becoming Billie Holiday).
Of course, it can be enjoyed all on its own and certainly deserves space in the poetry collection.
Non-Fiction Monday is being hosted this week by A Wrung Sponge.