Friday, January 20, 2012


Title: BookSpeak!
Author: Laura Purdie Salas 
Illustrator: Josee Bisaailon
Publisher: Clarion Books 
Publication Date: October 2011 
Genre/Format: Poetry/Picture Book 
Summary: A collection of wacky, whimsical poems about books and all the treasures they contain. Laura Purdie Salas, the acclaimed author of Stampede!, is back with another collection of wild and weird, wacky and winsome poems about all the magic to be found on a single bookshelf. In BookSpeak!, each poem gives voice to a group that seldom gets a voice . . . the books themselves! Characters plead for sequels, book jackets strut their stuff, and we get a sneak peek at the raucous parties in the aisles when all the lights go out at the bookstore! Illustrator Josée Bisaillon’s mixture of collage, drawings, and digital montage presents page after page of richly colored spreads filled with action and charm. Together, Salas and Bisaillon deliver a unique collection brimming with ideas as much about spines and dust jackets as they are about adventure and imagination.  
What I Think: I’m so happy for this book. I set out to read more poetry in 2012 and this is the first book on my endeavor. It’s the perfect book to embark on this endeavor. I love reading books about readers and books and this book has poetry devoted to this! There is something wonderful about reading about books and readers, it’s hard to describe other than it just makes me feel like I’m cuddling up with a new book to read about reading and loving books.

The illustrations are collage type artwork that are whimsical and fun. I like how the illustrations bring the poems to life. I’m excited to share these poems with students. Calling All Reader is my favorite but I really like the potential of This Is the Book. In This Is the Book, the poet gives a stanza for everyone involved in the life of a book. Since joining Twitter, I have learned so much about the process of a book. It has been so interesting to interact with authors, editors, publishers, marketing departments, booksellers, etc. I have such a different appreciation for books now that I know more about how they come to be. It has been fun to share the process with students and to help them see how much work goes into creating a book to read. (I love showing kids that I have an ARC they can borrow, a book they can read before it’s even on the shelf in a bookstore! It’s awesome.)

In terms of poetry and literary devices, I especially love the poems in this book that personify parts of a book. My favorites are A Character Pleads for His Life, On The Shelf and Under the Bed, and Index. I especially think librarians could use these poems to talk about taking care of books!
Read Together: Pre - K - 12 
Read Alone: Pre - K - 12 
Read With: I Am The Book by Lee Bennett Hopkins, It's a Book by Lane Smith
Snatch of Text: 
Calling All Readers

I’ll tell you a story.
I’ll spin you a rhyme.
I’ll spill some ideas –
and we’ll travel through time.

Put down the controller.
Switch off the TV.
Abandon the mouse and
just hang out with me.

I promise adventure.
Come on, take a look!
On a day like today,
there’s no friend like a book.

This Is the Book

…And she is the reader
who browses the shelf
and looks for new worlds
but finds herself.
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personification, Personal Narrative, Poetry, Perspective, Expository
Writing Prompts: Pretend you are a book and write a story about the book's adventure with a reader. Create a poster, brochure, or video ad about how to take care of books.   
Topics Covered: Books, Respect, Adventure, Care, Responsibility, Perspective 
Jen *hearts* It:

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