Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chagall: My Sad and Joyous Village by Jacqueline Loumaye #27

Loumaye, J. (1989). Chagall: My sad and joyous village (Art for Children series). Illustrated by Veronique Boiry. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

Third through fifth grades

Curriculum Links:


Author Credibility:

Jacqueline Loumaye has written several books for children on artists. This book is part of a series called Art for Children, in which an artist is spotlighted. The text information matches the chronology at the back of the book.


I could not locate any awards for this book.

Book Summary:

This book was about Marc Chagall. Chagall was born in the poor city of Vitebsk in Russia. Chagall went to Paris to study art where le honed his craft. Chagall is best known for his imaginative paintings with whimsical touches. He returned to his native Russia, but left prior to World War II. Chagall mastered many mediums including painting, sculpture, and stained glass windows.

National/State Standards:

National Art Education Standards:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and culture
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


The illustrations in this book consist of watercolors by Veronique Boiry, reproductions of Marc Chagall’s work, and photographs. The book has more text than illustrations, which I feel detracts from the overall appeal of the book. The watercolor illustrations compete with Chagall’s work, which is similar in color, movement, and humor. The overall feel of the illustrations I feel takes away from the beauty of Chagall’s work.

Access Features:

Important access features in this book include a glossary, a chronology of events in Chagall’s life, a location list of Chagall’s paintings featured in the book, and a list of photographic credits.

Writing Style:

The writing style of this book was complicated to follow. The story follows a boy named Giles and his adult friend Nicholas, as they travel through France to learn more about Chagall. Information about Chagall is revealed through their dialogue and travels. The story line was splintered and hard to follow. This was not a well written book!

Use in My Classroom:

If I had this book in my classroom, I would use it more for the photographs and reproductions of Chagall’s work. The text and story was confusing.

My Response to the Book:

This was the second book in this series that I read. I did not like this book. I was looking forward to learning more about Chagall and his work, but got muddled in the story. I did enjoy looking at the artwork and photographs and will further research Chagall to learn more information.

Related Texts:

Other books about Marc Chagall:

Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall by Michelle Markel
Marc Chagall (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia
Marc Chagall: What Colour Is Paradise? (Adventures in Art) by Marc Chagall

1 comment:

kathy said...

Hi tassierandom thoughts,

Here are two more books that you can add to your collection:
Henri Rousseau, Mike Venezia (This is a book that comes in a series called, Getting To Know The World's Greatest Artists)

Play, Mozart,Play by Peter Sis
Since you did not like Chagall.