A Portrait in Poems

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Member Reviews

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a lovely little book in free verse, that made me really curious to learn more about each of the historical figures it explored. I can imagine this would also be the case for its intended audience for whom it might spark an interest in art or writing, or to just know about the world that came before them.

More explicit suggestion that Gertrude and Alice were romantically involved would have improved the book for me, it suggested merely that they were inseparable without going into any further detail. Whilst the book is for a younger audience, not allowing history to be presented accurately suggests that there is or should be embarrassment in suggesting that they were romantically involved. 

However, the book overall was quite delightful.
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"Here's an insider's tour of the fascinating lives of Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, amusingly addressed directly to the reader ("The next time you go to Paris ..."). It explores the couple's art collection, their famous writer and artist friends and even their dog, Basket. It also describes how Gertrude's book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was not about Alice, but was more about Gertrude herself! A celebration of creativity and the creative process, this original and very readable picture book biography champions two women who dared to live unconventional lives.

In playful free verse, author Evie Robillard offers a unique introduction to one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century art and literature. It includes twelve child-friendly quotations from Stein's work, such as: "It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing." Illustrator Rachel Katstaller's fun yet detailed art delightfully evokes the time and place of the text. Touching on literature, history, writing and the visual arts, this biography offers loads of direct curriculum applications. Back matter includes a time line, "snapshots," sources and an author's note with further background."

I LOVE that there are so many wonderful children's books coming out about diverse authors!
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Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

I loved this! The illustrations by Rachel Katstaller and the highly uncommon story of Alice and Gertrude written by Evie Robillard make a perfect combo.

What I enjoyed: The illustrations complemented the book extremely well. The fact that the queer relationship is presented to matter of factly. The mix of history and storyline and the author's note and historical timeline at the end.

What I disliked: Maybe it needed to be a tad bit longer to explain some parts some more, such as the change of apartment, the Nazi invasion.

I would recommend it! A four star book for me!
#Netgalley #KidsCanPress #Aportraitinpoems
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I enjoyed this book and the poems, but it was weird how it danced around Stein and Toklas's relationship, saying nothing about the romantic feelings between them.
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Gertrude Stein is an unusual choice for the subject of a picture book, but Evie Robillard and Rachel Katsaller-through their words and artwork respectively- do an exceptional job of bringing Gertrude's work to a much younger audience. Gertrude's writing is placed throughout the biographical text and only adds to the experience of reading about the unique and creative characters with whom Gertrude interacted. Her brother Leo, Pablo Picasso, and her partner Alice B. Toklas are the three that we spend the most time learning about while reading this picture book. 

It might be a while before readers of this picture book will begin to read Stein's work, but they will certainly find her to be an interesting and remarkable character when they encounter her in this text.
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Disclaimer I received a copy of this book as an ARC via NetGalley.

It is very exciting to see queer history available for children and treated so matter of fact.  I knew a little about Gertrude Stein but nothing at all about Alice Toklas. I like how the author chose to tell their stories together to highlight how they were truly life partners. The bio is brief but the interspersed quotes help add to the sketch we are reading of these two women’s lives. I also like the resources in the back including the note that recognizes Stein may have had friends who were Nazi sympathizers. I like the full representation of history both good and bad.
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I really enjoyed they writing style and art of this book. I learned a lot about two people I didn’t know too much about to be honest. I feel like there could have been a little more information in the book about Alice and Gertrude. But I’m happy with what we got regarding this book.
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A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas is an illustrated short biography of the pair aimed at younger readers. Due out 3rd March 2020 from Hachette on their Kids Can Press imprint, it's 48 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is an age appropriate charmingly illustrated biography of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas and their salon and some of their art collection. Author Evie Robillard's freestyle verse is well partnered with Rachel Katstaller's whimsical and naive pastels. The whole is a short and engaging introduction to Stein and her circle.

The book includes a timeline as well as bibliography and an interesting (and short) discussion of WWII (and why Stein's paintings weren't looted by the occupying forces).

This would be a good selection for classroom use, library, or gifting to a young writing inspired reader. Four stars.
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An easy introductory biography about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas paired with light, fresh, pastel  illustrations. If you are new to their story this book shares just enough information to get you excited and looking for more. If you are already familiar with their story this book will be a nice recap you can share with others. What starts out as a story about an informal art gallery run out of a home eventually leads to authorship and poetry. I was unfamiliar with these two women but now I have learned who created one of my favorite quotes, "a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." Children ages 8 -12 will be dreaming about gardens in France in no time.
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An incredibly charming introduction to Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas. Snippets of Stein's writings are intersperse between Robillard's poems,  a word portrait in homage to those of Stein herself. The illustrations form a lovely backdrop, enhancing and enlarging the text. I look forward to seeing this title on paper! Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the early read.
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This book is lovely It is informative with great illustrations. My young daughters enjoyed looked at the pictures.
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I am not a fan of Gertrude Stein's work, but I am interested in her as a person.  This book is lovely and informative, with some great illustrations, and a really nice colour palette.
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I loved the illustrations but the story itself was a little confusing for a children's book. There seemed to be a lot going on.
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I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book, but the storyline wasn't my favorite. I'm not sure who the intended audience is for this book, as the names of the painters and the disjointed line with its short chapters would probably be difficult for a child to understand. It did, however, pique my interest into Gertrude Stein's life, so I will be adding The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas to my reading list.
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This book was really interesting and I greatly enjoyed reading a story that I knew nothing about previously. The illustrations and presentation are really lovely. This will.make a nice addition to the class library.
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Earc from netgalley.

Loved the illustrations on this one, they made an interesting story even better! but also it was a little bit hard to understand.
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Such an interesting book! I didn’t recognize half of the names in this book. It was really interesting to see Picasso at work with such an interesting woman. 

I love how children’s books can teach them about history without being boring.
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I love everything Paris and was so happy to see such a great book for children that has beautiful pictures.
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Beautiful writing and a lovely use of verse. This is a book to absolutely treasure visually and in terms of the words the author chooses.
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I like the interspersed quotations.  I feel like the book is light on biographical information, possibly to simplify the story for younger children, but at the expense of satisfying any curiosity about the subjects.  Shifted perspectives in illustrations of the salon are kinda cool, and reinforce the theme of the book— make your own art your own way.
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