Monday 23 November 2015

Tell us a Story, Papa Chagall by Laurence Anholt (Anholt's Artists Range - Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

We've featured a few of the fantastic books in Laurence Anholt's fab "Anholt's Artists" range but could "Tell us a Story, Papa Chagall" feature one of the most child-friendly artists ever? You betcha...!
Marc Zakharovich Chagall (born in 1887, died in 1985) is probably one of my favourite artists of all time and of all the artists I admire and revere, he's definitely the 'classic' artist who seems to have retained a fabulous sense of child-like whimsy and dream-like imagination all through his very long career (Chagall continued painting right up until his 97th birthday!)

In "Tell us a Story, Papa Chagall", Chagall's two grandchildren love to hear the stories their grandpa tells. Chagall sits down in his studio and shows the children some of his earliest works, and shares some of his earliest memories. As one of 9 children born to a very poor family, Chagall always showed an interest in drawing and painting. His earliest works were quite strange but they made his mum smile. His father was less impressed but to try and encourage his son, he took him along to the local art school to share his work with a knowledgable tutor. The man was so struck with Chagall's 'funny' paintings that he paid for Chagall to come to the school, and show others how to paint his amazing flying cows and strange figures.

Papa Chagall continues to tell his life story to the children, demonstrating the stages of his life (both happy and sad - happy as he meets the love of his life and marries her, sad as war breaks out and Chagall and family are forced to leave their home and emigrate to the US).

Laurence Anholt is not only a very talented artist himself, he knows exactly how to draw children into the worlds and the lives of famous artists in such a way that they're utterly spellbound and enthralled. Charlotte absolutely loved hearing all about Chagall's life (and I think she's become as much of a fan of his amazing paintings as me!)

"The Birthday" by Marc Chagall. His first painting of his future wife-to-be
We rather love the twinkly eyed artist, and whenever you see a photograph of him you can see his inventive playfulness in those twinkling eyes, absolutely perfectly captured in Laurence's wonderful book.

Absolutely brilliant, so pleased to see this being reprinted!

Marc Chagall. Behind those twinkly eyes, a mind of rich imagination and inventiveness!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Chagall's description of the day he met his wife (in a dreamy chance meeting on a bridge in Chagall's home town)

Daddy's favourite bit: Glorious storytelling of the life of one of my favourite artists. Chagall is a natural 'draw' for children, he painted and imagined like they do!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

"Tell us a Story Papa Chagall"

Written and Illustrated by Laurence Anholt

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Publication Date (Hardback / Paperback): 5th November 2015