A Portrait in Poems
The stories, paintings and early twentieth-century Paris of Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, come to life in this charming and innovative picture book biography, told in clever second-person free verse.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.

A Portrait in Poems Details

TitleA Portrait in Poems
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherHachette Book Group
ISBN-139781525300561
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Poetry, Biography, Childrens, Picture Books, Art

A Portrait in Poems Review

  • Alicia Bayer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a whimsical little picture book that tells the story of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, along with their time in Paris with friends like Picaso. It is supposedly told in poems but it just reads like a children's book for the most part. Don't go looking for rhymes or obvious word play. The stories are entertaining and you get a real feel for these entirely unconventional, remarkable women and their life together. Quotes and short poems by Stein are included, as is a timeline, additiona This is a whimsical little picture book that tells the story of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, along with their time in Paris with friends like Picaso. It is supposedly told in poems but it just reads like a children's book for the most part. Don't go looking for rhymes or obvious word play. The stories are entertaining and you get a real feel for these entirely unconventional, remarkable women and their life together. Quotes and short poems by Stein are included, as is a timeline, additional reading and more.I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
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  • Gizem-in-Wonderland
    January 1, 1970
    If you are looking for a way to get your child acquainted with artists and writers, a biographical picture book of an artist is the best way to do it. Here in this charming little book is told the summarized life story of Gertrude Stein and important keystones such as the portrait Picasso painted of her, the way she loved and appreciated good paintings, her life with her partner Alice B. Toklas - the inseparable duo- . Illustrations decorate the book wonderfully, the quotes beautifully complemen If you are looking for a way to get your child acquainted with artists and writers, a biographical picture book of an artist is the best way to do it. Here in this charming little book is told the summarized life story of Gertrude Stein and important keystones such as the portrait Picasso painted of her, the way she loved and appreciated good paintings, her life with her partner Alice B. Toklas - the inseparable duo- . Illustrations decorate the book wonderfully, the quotes beautifully complement the story. A sophisticated, well-thought source for children.(I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.)
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  • Andrea Pole
    January 1, 1970
    A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas by Evie Robillard is a charming tribute to the fascinating lives of two women who dared to defy convention in the early part of the twentieth century. While I was personally fascinated by the information contained within, presented in a flowing freestyle verse, I am questioning the appeal of the subject matter to a younger audience. The gorgeously muted pastel illustrations, however, will certainly capture the imaginatio A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas by Evie Robillard is a charming tribute to the fascinating lives of two women who dared to defy convention in the early part of the twentieth century. While I was personally fascinated by the information contained within, presented in a flowing freestyle verse, I am questioning the appeal of the subject matter to a younger audience. The gorgeously muted pastel illustrations, however, will certainly capture the imagination of both young and old. This is an altogether charming book that will captivate anyone with even a vague interest in the art and literature scene of the early twentieth century, as it lays a solid foundation for further exploration. Recommended.Many thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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  • Lisa Day
    January 1, 1970
    In fairness, it's not the book I didn't like but the subject matter. I don't think Gertrude Stein and I could be friends. In fairness, I am sure I would have been one of the people she didn't invite back to view her art and drink her tea. And I am good with that.
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  • Carol Tilley
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 - charming illustrations and a Stein-inspired overview of her life (and Alice's). I'm less certain of who this book might be for. Read from galley via Edelweiss.
  • Megsbookclub
    January 1, 1970
    I love everything Paris and was so happy to see such a great book for children that has beautiful pictures.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusPicture book format, very free verse, and not quite enough biographical information for middle school.
  • Lucie
    January 1, 1970
    Simply charming
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Gertrude Stein lived in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. She had many friends who visited her apartment often, many of them came to see the wonderful paintings that Gertrude and her brother had purchased over the years. One artist, Pablo Picasso, liked Gertrude so much, he painted her portrait and gave it to her! She lived with her partner Alice B. Toklas, and Gertrude, a writer, wrote an autobiography of Alice (but it was really about Gertrude)! Told to the reader, this delightful biograp Gertrude Stein lived in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. She had many friends who visited her apartment often, many of them came to see the wonderful paintings that Gertrude and her brother had purchased over the years. One artist, Pablo Picasso, liked Gertrude so much, he painted her portrait and gave it to her! She lived with her partner Alice B. Toklas, and Gertrude, a writer, wrote an autobiography of Alice (but it was really about Gertrude)! Told to the reader, this delightful biography of Gertrude and Alice is in free verse. A little longer -page wise - than other picture book biographies, but, because of the verse, it reads quickly. The illustrations are great! Gouache, colored pencil and graphite, they were perfectly paired with the engaging text. I'm excited to add this to my biography section.For this and more of my reviews, visit http://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a book for children. It was so heavy-handed on its agenda and misconstrued so many facts that it was hard to read. These are not women I'd chose as role models for my children.
  • Vidya Tiru
    January 1, 1970
    My ThoughtsThis is a very uniquely styled biography with a distinct Parisian feel. Rachel Katsaller’s illustrations are charmingly whimsical and colorful with details to delight the readers that effortlessly enhance Evie Robillard’s freestyle verse that flows smoothly across the pages.I loved how Stein’s quotes and poems are interspersed throughout, adding a unique and fun touch to the book. This is a perfect start to introduce young readers to these fascinating women. It will also make them cur My ThoughtsThis is a very uniquely styled biography with a distinct Parisian feel. Rachel Katsaller’s illustrations are charmingly whimsical and colorful with details to delight the readers that effortlessly enhance Evie Robillard’s freestyle verse that flows smoothly across the pages.I loved how Stein’s quotes and poems are interspersed throughout, adding a unique and fun touch to the book. This is a perfect start to introduce young readers to these fascinating women. It will also make them curious about art, literature, history, and of course, Paris!! I learned a lot that I had not known before, like how Picasso worked on a portrait of Stein for months and then scrapped it because he couldn’t “see her” (Stein) anymore when he looked at the painting.From the very first lines, “The next time you go to Paris, you might visit this big green spot”(and even before, actually), to the author’s note at the end, this book delights and informs!NoteWhile the age-range says 6 – 9 years, it is text heavy for the youngest readers so can be used as a read-aloud for them, while it will easily for older kids too (and adults as well!!)In SummaryPicture perfect poetic portrait!! That means, yes, I recommend this one:)Check my blog - LadyInReadWrites - for more reviews
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Enter the marvelous world of Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas in France in the middle of the 20th century. Stein created an art gallery in her home after moving to Paris with her brother. They purchased from many incredible artists of the time, including Picasso. In fact, Picasso was so taken with Stein that he had her sit for a portrait which he then gave to her as a gift. Saturday evenings, they opened their home so that others could see the art. Stein was both a writer and a gen Enter the marvelous world of Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas in France in the middle of the 20th century. Stein created an art gallery in her home after moving to Paris with her brother. They purchased from many incredible artists of the time, including Picasso. In fact, Picasso was so taken with Stein that he had her sit for a portrait which he then gave to her as a gift. Saturday evenings, they opened their home so that others could see the art. Stein was both a writer and a genius, working on capturing her world in words for both adults and children. Stein and Toklas purchased a dog they called Basket, that was featured in Stein’s work, including the “autobiography” she wrote about Alice. Robillard captures the essence of the life that Stein and Toklas created together, one of acceptance and adoration for one another. Her author’s note speaks to the complexity of their life in World War II France as well as their relationships with those who conspired with the Germans, which likely allowed them to keep their collection of masterpieces safe during the invasion. These elements are not referred to in the body of the book, instead focusing on the art collection, the world they built for themselves, and Stein’s writing and ideas.Fitting nicely with the clever writing, the illustrations are playful and jovial with a great quirkiness as well. The images depict Gertrude and Alice together, their garden, their home and Basket as well in a color palette that feels timely and modern. A lovely picture book biography that celebrates an iconic lesbian couple in history. Appropriate for ages 6-9.
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  • Sandy Brehl
    January 1, 1970
    This is a well-imagined and lovingly executed exploration of the lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas as told through a combination of original poems by Stein and free verse poems by the author, Evie Robillard. Factors of time (early twentieth century), place (Paris), relationships (sibling and gay and patronage and professional), and circumstances (art movements, war, grief) could make the telling of these two important lives seem beyond the reach of young audiences. Instead, the deft wr This is a well-imagined and lovingly executed exploration of the lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas as told through a combination of original poems by Stein and free verse poems by the author, Evie Robillard. Factors of time (early twentieth century), place (Paris), relationships (sibling and gay and patronage and professional), and circumstances (art movements, war, grief) could make the telling of these two important lives seem beyond the reach of young audiences. Instead, the deft writing and childlike illustrations engage readers with an appealing and familiar feeling of connection within these complexities. Timeline, snapshots, and author's notes at the back enhance the contents for older readers, too. The references to names of famous artists and images of their works on the walls of Stein's residence invite a scavenger hunt through museum links to locate and examine the actual pieces. Highly recommend.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. 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 Robilla Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. 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.Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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  • Bernie Gourley
    January 1, 1970
    This work provides a biographical sketch of Gertrude Stein, her partner Alice Toklas, and their life together in Paris. The vehicle is free verse poetry, although it reads more like a children’s book than poetry. That may sound as though I intended it as a burn, but that’s not the case. The marketing materials for this book present it as a child-friendly picture book, if not entirely marketed in the children’s literature market. What I mean to say is that the writing is simple, literal, and isn’ This work provides a biographical sketch of Gertrude Stein, her partner Alice Toklas, and their life together in Paris. The vehicle is free verse poetry, although it reads more like a children’s book than poetry. That may sound as though I intended it as a burn, but that’s not the case. The marketing materials for this book present it as a child-friendly picture book, if not entirely marketed in the children’s literature market. What I mean to say is that the writing is simple, literal, and isn’t filled with complex metaphor or cryptic description that one might expect in adult works of poetry. The book is illustrated in a child-centric manner as well, with whimsical, unintimidating, and colorful art. I didn’t know much about Stein, and had only heard the title of the book, “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” in which much of this book’s source material presumably resides, and so this was a nice background, without getting too deep in the weeds. If you’re a Stein fan and are interested in introducing a kid to her biography, or if you have your own limited but adult interest in her life, this is quick read to get you up to speed.
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  • Emily Fox
    January 1, 1970
    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 t 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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  • Vaiomo ♡
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very cute little collection of poems.When I saw this book online I was immediatly drawn to ot because of the art style. It was so soft and yet so fascinating.I read the poems and they started of very fun. Introduction of the characters, where they lived. And I love how they put the little french hints in it to make it somewhat romantic. Halfway through so to say at the Pablo Picasso point I thought it got quite dull and a bit boring. However the story was wrapped up nicely and I just This was a very cute little collection of poems.When I saw this book online I was immediatly drawn to ot because of the art style. It was so soft and yet so fascinating.I read the poems and they started of very fun. Introduction of the characters, where they lived. And I love how they put the little french hints in it to make it somewhat romantic. Halfway through so to say at the Pablo Picasso point I thought it got quite dull and a bit boring. However the story was wrapped up nicely and I just couldn't get over the cute and soft illustrations. Definitely would buy this book if I saw it in the shops here. Thank you to the publisher for giving me a copy of this book to read 😁
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  • Theediscerning
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm… This book tells you what you can do when you visit Paris , and what you can see in regard to the two people that are its focus. But on this evidence I have no inclination to ever go there again. The brevity of the piece means we have to just take it on as gospel that Stein was a genius (patently untrue on the evidence here), and for me there was zero impetus to even start to think of making a pilgrimage. I like the fact that juvenile biographies about atypical, unexpected subjects are avai Hmmm… This book tells you what you can do when you visit Paris , and what you can see in regard to the two people that are its focus. But on this evidence I have no inclination to ever go there again. The brevity of the piece means we have to just take it on as gospel that Stein was a genius (patently untrue on the evidence here), and for me there was zero impetus to even start to think of making a pilgrimage. I like the fact that juvenile biographies about atypical, unexpected subjects are available, but they have to attend to the fact that often the topic needs to be sold to the reader, and this didn't start that. And the blankest, verseless "blank verse" approach helped nobody, either.
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  • joyce w. laudon
    January 1, 1970
    This is a charming story about Gertrude Stein and her world including her brother, Alice and the many artists that they knew. Gertrude's acquaintance with Picasso is there as are stories about Gertrude's salon. Space is even given to the sweet dog, Basket. The illustrations are whimsical and very appealing. The story itself is simply told and engages the reader/listener. Additionally, the text is interspersed with quotes.At the end of the book, there are additional sections. One of these focuses This is a charming story about Gertrude Stein and her world including her brother, Alice and the many artists that they knew. Gertrude's acquaintance with Picasso is there as are stories about Gertrude's salon. Space is even given to the sweet dog, Basket. The illustrations are whimsical and very appealing. The story itself is simply told and engages the reader/listener. Additionally, the text is interspersed with quotes.At the end of the book, there are additional sections. One of these focuses on why Stein's artworks were not taken by the Germans during WWII. There are also a timeline, a list of Stein's writings and a bibliography. I found this book to be very appealing. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
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  • SpoonfulofHygge
    January 1, 1970
    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 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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  • Dontreadlikethem
    January 1, 1970
    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 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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  • Allie
    January 1, 1970
    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 includi 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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  • begüm
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review."...writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live in" Even though I'm not the aimed audience for this book, it was quite enjoyable.It did make me want to know more about Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas. But the art wasn't really my style.
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  • Zelie
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely read biography and this book is really entertainingThe illustration is cute, the color tone is nice, the story is smooth. It even made me curious about Ms Stein and dig more info from internet.I love how the author give information about a person, and doing it so nicely that we want to know more. Good job.
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  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • John Clark
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating and offbeat book for youngsters. It blends great illustrations with art history, personal quotes from Gertrude and a running description of the life she began with her brother Leo and what happened after she and Alice met and became a couple. It's delightful and low key, perfect for youngsters who are curious and have a great imagination
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  • Amanda Sanders
    January 1, 1970
    I can't wait to go back to Paris and look at Gertrude Stein's grave after reading this. It tells the story of Gertrude and her partner living in Paris. I like the occasional Gertrude quotes throughout. The book focuses mainly on their art collection and people's reactions to it. It is lyrically written--very well done.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.A Portrait in Poems is a beautifully illustrated tribute to the lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, bursting with colour, commemoration and history. A charming compilation and a great starting point for anyone interested in learning about the lives of these women.
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    'A Portrait in Poems' is a sweet rendition of Gertrude Stein's life. It includes snippets of her works and a light biography of the high points of her life. The text is presented simply and smartly on softly muted pastel artwork.
  • MayorEmma
    January 1, 1970
    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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