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*A Picture for Marc (A Stepping Stones Chapter Book: History)* by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Matthew Trueman

 
Also illustrated by Matthew Trueman:

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin

Noah's Mittens

Tony and the Pizza Champions
 
A Picture for Marc (A Stepping Stones Chapter Book: History)
by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Ages 6-9 112 pages Random House October 2008 Paperback    

Marc Chagallís unusual artistry is a testament to the beauty of imagination and flights of fancy, famous for the mixing of childlike, dream-like perspectives with the realities of the world. Seeing these different and fanciful works have provoked the ultimate question of how this artist began his journey into art.

Marc lived with his parents and sisters in a small Russian town toward the end of the 1800s. At that time, only boys were sent to school, and Marc truly hated the schoolwork he was forced to get through. Normally, he would have gone to a Jewish school that focused on religious aspects of education and not the mathematics, geography, and languages he was learning at the expensive school his parents paid to put him in. But Marcís focus was always wandering, seeing things in great splendor, unlike most people who just saw everything plain as plain.

When Marc was introduced to tracing, he had never even heard of the words art, pictures, drawing or painting. After trying tracing, he realized that he wanted to try things on his own and drew some pictures. With the creation of his drawings his vivid imagination came alive, adding a little here and there to the artwork. When all was said and done, Marc had drawn some very neat and fanciful pictures that many people raved over. The only people who saw all his pictures as a waste were his parents.

Marc was given the opportunity to meet a teacher of art and was tempted by the thought of lessons with him. His parents felt Marc needed a taste of reality going to work with his father for a day. Of course, Marcís pencil could never be stopped. When his art earned him a very pretty sum, Marcís parents began to think twice about their views on his drawing and the lessons he would like to take.

This short book is a great read and introduction to the foundations of Marc Chagallís artistic career. While many are familiar with the early years of music masters like Beethoven or Bach, most world-famous artists are not researched and explored to such an extent.

Art, in its limitless forms, is something the children of today can explore so easily within themselves. Reading about a master artist whose early years were not marked bysuccess in the classroom - or out of it - is inspirational and real.

Matthew Trueman's entertaining illustrations are Chagall-like in nature even if they are not the famed artist's personal work. This is a small chapter book, but the reading and pictures are entertaining enough to keep even young non-readers attentive for story time. This is a great read.
 
Beginning readers book reviews for developing, emerging and fluent readers

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