BookSpeak! Poems About Books

Laura Purdie Salas, illus. by Josée Bisaillon. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-22300-1
“Put down the controller./ Switch off the TV./ Abandon the mouse and/ just hang out with me.” From the outset, this collection of poems makes its message clear: books are where it’s at. Salas’s polished verse demonstrates a deep love for all aspects of books, from their content to their creators, and she’s not above using a touch of guilt to get her audience invested: “If a book remains unopened/ and no reader turns its page,/ does it still embrace a story/ or trap words inside a cage?” She celebrates the physical print book, too (e-readers go unmentioned), with poems dedicated to indexes, cliffhanger endings, and even bookplates (“Write your name upon me/ I’m a paper love tattoo”). Bisaillon’s mixed media illustrations are dizzyingly inventive, their bright colors, sampling of typography, and whimsical details underscoring the idea of the potential that awaits between the covers. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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