This lovely book is a delightful introduction for children to the life of Marc Chagall. The vibrancy of the gorgeous illustrations, paired with the simple and charming text, make it a sure winner. Chagall’s Jewish roots are lovingly portrayed from his first days in heder to the holidays he celebrated with his family. For example, here is the entire text from a vibrant double page spread of his family observing Passover:
“The seasons brought wondrous holidays. On Passover, Marc loved the colorful pictures in the Haggadah. He loved the deep violet of the wine in his father’s glass. And when he opened the door for the prophet Elijah, silver stars trembled on a velvet spring sky.”
The illustrations exude a domestic tranquility and beauty and even the choice of typeface for the text is appealing in its simplicity. The reader eventually finds out why Chagall is so unusual: “Marc knew he was different from other boys. He saw things they didn’t see. On the Sabbath, enchanted by the singing of prayers, Marc saw houses floating.” Chagall’s devout family regards image-making as a sin, but Marc goes to art school and eventually ends up in Paris after World War II. At the age of 90 he gets his own exhibition at the Louvre — one of very few living artists to be so honored.