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BookSpeak!: Poems About Books Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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Bright, mixed-media collage scenes illustrate this picture-book poetry collection that plays with literary allusions. In “Cliffhanger,” a desperate dog clinging to a cliff above a shark-filled ocean implores, “Please, author, write / a sequel fast!” In another selection, a character pleads for his life: “Don’t close the cover and don’t walk away / Don’t leave me squished in here day after day.” On one spread, the index brags: “I’m telling you, kid: ignore the rest of the book. / All you really need is me.” Plot has a voice in another poem: “My characters / hate me. They don’t think I’m grand. / But without me / their plots / would be dreary / and bland.” And in a poem for three voices, Beginning and Ending try to comfort Middle and show him he matters, and then the three vie for importance. With its mix of poetic forms and wry twists on language-arts terms, this is a natural choice for sharing in classrooms and young writers’ workshops. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman
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Each page holds another bookish voice, introducing some aspect of one of our most favorite things--books! I just want to tell about each poem! There are books that tell certain uncomfortable things that happen to them, like when someone falls asleep on them, or the worst, when "wet" happens. There are those that speak of unhappiness, like being the book's middle, instead of first or last. Laura's words show well that she really has crawled INSIDE books in order to speak for them.
Illustrator Josée Bisaillon uses collage and drawings that add to Laura's words, connecting well the beauty and excitement that books can bring to the reader. The book recently won the award for Children's Literature from the Annual Minnesota Book Awards.