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BookSpeak!: Poems About Books Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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Describe your desires and they become mine.
I'm a treasure box where feelings can shine.
All thinkers need pages where dreams can take flight.
Your secrets, one entry per night.
In an acrostic, the first letter of each line in this poem reveals that the top secret book is a D-I-A-R-Y. Children will not only learn about books, but also can learn about the different kinds of poetry. The poems are whimsical, charming, instructional, and just plain old fun. The delightful mixed media artwork swirls through the book as it meshes perfectly with each poem. This is a book about poems with poems about books ... how good can that get? This is one book that definitely should be added to your shelves!
Line after line of inky black birds
Forming the flocks that shift into words. ...
BOOKSPEAK will give young readers new insights into a familiar object, and perhaps inspire them to come up with their own poems, too. Josée Bisaillon's illustrations are varied and lively.
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.
BOOKSPEAK by Laura Purdie Salas is a book about reading. Some poems- Calling All Readers, The Sky is Falling, Hydrophobiac, Vacation Time, On the Shelf and Under the Bed captures the joys of reading, owning, and caring (or not caring) for books.
Several of the poems, I've Got This Covered, A Character Pleads for His Life, Picture This, I'm Conflicted, and The Middle's Lament: A Poem for Three Voices and The End will be terrific to use in the fiction unit I am currently completing with my fourth graders. And then there's Index to share when we are working on nonfiction. (Do anyone else's students have trouble remembering the difference between an index and a table of contents?). Several other poems- Paper Sky, Written in Snow, and Skywriting- simply create beautiful images around books and words:
The illustrations, by Canadian Josee Bisaillon, are a combination of paint (I think), cut paper, and collage, mostly done in shades of orange, blue, golds, greens. Hard to describe, but gorgeous!
The End is one of my favorites, because it so captures me as a reader:
checking pages numbers
and calculating their distance.
sprint skip skim
the reader's race
to cross me--
the book's finish line.
smile, cry, sigh
flip to chapter one
and start again.
I am not so much
as I am an
to the beginning.
- Laura Purdie Salas