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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  43 reviews
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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoy this biography series. Loved the Noisy Paint Box too (Kandinsky)
Nice overview of the inspiration behind Chagall’s work. Nice illustrations.
Richly rendered and imaginative acrylic illustrations accompany the inspiring story of artist Marc Chagall (born Moishe Shagal). Readers will feel as though they are alongside this talented individual as he observes the world around him and then tries to capture it through his drawings. Growing up in Russia, he made note of the stark contrast between how the poor and the wealthy and privileged lived. The text and images capture the influences on his work, including his studies, living in Paris, ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is as beautifully written as it is illustrated.
The back matter includes additional information about Chagall's life, and this quote, that I am going to carry around with me in my pocket for a while.
"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." Marc Chagall
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Chagall and this picture book is the perfect introduction to his life and works.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Excellent introduction to this wonderful artist. The art is truly inspired.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary Grandpre. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Knopf, 2018. $18. 9781524717513



This book walks through the life of Marc Chagall, from his early years in a bustling village, to his artistic schooling in St. Petersburg, on to artists communities in Paris. When he returns to Russia he sees the devastation of war and leaves for France and then America with
Mary GrandPré is amazing. <3 for the way she brings Chagall's world and focus on windows to life. Stunning illustrations.
I love Marc Chagall. I need to read more about him already.

I get where Rosenstock is coming from. I'm slowly getting onboard with the influx of picture book biographies that are story with facts. But I do wish a few more details from the author's note (which is lovely) were in the text itself.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The team who created The Noisy Paint Box take on another picture book biography of a famous artist. This time the book is about Chagall who was born in Belarus. Even from a young age he was interested in being an artist. He is sent to school for art, but doesn’t conform to the Russian instruction, filling his canvas with color rather than Greek studies. He moved to Paris where his entire life changed with new friends and a new French name. When he heads back to Russia for a family event, he is t ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Uses a repeating metaphor of Chagall looking out the window at various points in his life and describing what he sees.

The theme of windows is common in Chagall's art, so it's appropriate in a book about him.

Would be good when studying art or art history, or when talking about pre-Soviet Russia, WWI, and WWII.
There are a few other ways this story could have been told. They way this story is told made it difficult for me to really grasp the life of Marc Chagall. And if I struggled with it, how will a child grasp it.

Or maybe I was just tired when I read it.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
5 stars for the artwork, 3 stars for the text.
Mireille Messier
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a perfect blend of lyrical beauty and historical facts. I am smitten! The musicality and conciseness of the text makes this story the perfect read-aloud. The illustrations are also perfect - they embrace Chagall's style while going beyond and offering the readers a glimpse at Chagall's life, from boyhood to adulthood. A must read!
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, nonfic
Beautiful, but not entirely clear.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
While the illustrations in this bio are beautiful (although you have to ignore the fact that Chagall looks exactly like Vincent Van Gogh in another Rosenstock book), I just didn't like the narrative. Supposedly echoing Chagall's autobiography, it really didn't tell enough about his life for an elementary school kid to understand. I much prefer the picture book biographies that have a straighter narrative, because for kids trying to learn about a person they have never heard of, poetic/vague refe ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated artist biography book. I am so in love with picture book biographies! The author's note is wonderful in this as well.
Read  Ribbet
This is the third picture book biography by Rosenstock and Grandpre (who won a Caldecott Honor for their first effort) which has focused on the life and inspiration of an artist. After Kandinsky and Van Gogh, the team looks at the life and art of Marc Chagall. The narrative by Rosenstock is supported by Chagall inspired illustrations by Grandpre. Again, readers will see the inspiration and the create process of an important artist. End notes provide additional information and resources.
Julie Seifert
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The art in this is beautiful. The text was sparse, which was beautiful in some ways but also a bit hard t o follow sometimes.
I was totally not expecting for this book to get me all choked up. I've always like Marc Chagall's art, but didn't realize all the places he lived and worked in an eventful life marked by wars and persecution. This is all somewhat between the lines of a poetic manuscript (based on his autobiography, My Life), with gorgeous illustrations by Mary GrandPre, she of Harry Potter fame. (The same creative team made "The Noisy Paint Box," about Kandinsky.) Reading this makes me extra-happy to have seen ...more
Aliza Werner
As a Jewish person who was kind of obsessed with Marc Chagall as a child (totally normal, right?) I was thrilled to see this vibrantly illustrated biography of his life. The narrative’s language is a bit too meandering to get a true understanding of his life.

However what I truly take issue with is the erasure of Chagall’s Jewishness from the story itself. Never in the text does it even mention that he is Jewish. Alluding to rabbis is not enough for young readers who have likely not heard of the
“The power of pictures. He draws and erases, dreams in color while Papa worries.”

Born Moishe Shagal, this artist dreamed of a life beyond what he was destined for. He saw things that other didn’t see and painted them. He painted outside the conventions of what was considered art by “stale professors [who] dismiss his easel.” He faced censorship in Russia: “His radical canvases, orange faces, sky-blue horses, called harmful, hated.” He faced Nazi persecution in France. Through it all, Marc Chagal
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
A little disappointing. I walked away from this one not really knowing the artist or his art. Picture books of artists are confusing to me. Unless I was already very familiar with the artist, I don't know how much of the art is the original and how much the illustrator. This is very true in this one. Still a good readable children's picture book biography. And a very nice historical note in the back.
Beautifully painted illustrations and lyrical text take young readers through the years and places in the life of the renowned artist, Marc Chagall. From a small Russian village, to the streets and cafes of Paris, to America, the story is told as Chagall looks out windows. An author's note and a list of sources for further research help make this a terrific nonfiction resource for young readers.
Keri Douglas
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The illustrations in this book belong in a gallery! The inspiration from the Chagall is second-to-none. This is biography of artist, Marc Chagall, is told by looking into the artists' life through windows in his life. Adults will be enthralled but I am not sure other than art inspired children will really be engaged by this book. Not a needed nonfiction/picture book in elementary libraries.

Judi Paradis
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I continue to have issues with picture book biographies. While the illustrations are lovely, I don't think a child would easily follow the text without a lot of adult help (from an adult who knows a fair amount about Marc Chagall). The author's note was the best part!
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Informative without being dry - the text has a dreamlike quality that is, according to the author's note, a nod to Chagall's memoir. The illustrations are beautiful, and a perfect complement to the words.
More detailed information in both the note at the end and the sources.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is another title in the mock Caldecott lesson that I'll be doing in December. It is a biography of Marc Chagall, illustrated in Chagall's style.
Michelle Gray
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would be good in my Preschool STEAM program to read aloud as we talk about art one month.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The most amazing endpapers I have seen recently. Very good book with quite an interesting story and great illustrations.
Melena Streitman
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Illustrations were great, the broken writing was not.
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