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Thursday, October 27, 2011

BookSpeak! Written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. Clarion, Thomas Allen & Son, 2011. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"He is the buyer
who orders the tale
to put on display
for loan or for sale.

And she is the reader
who browses the shelf
and looks for new worlds
but finds herself."

OK! You take a former teacher and teacher-librarian, and a forever book lover; then, give her a book about BOOKS, where the books are allowed to have a voice. What are the chances that she is going to tell you all about it? Pretty good, I would venture to guess!

Right from the first poem, I am intrigued. Laura Purdie Salas plays with words and ideas like the accomplished writer she is...each new poem gives the reader pause to think, and reread and be awed by the wonder of her words. Her first is an invitation to 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."

And on she goes, writing about characters, conflict and cliffhangers. She gives voice to the poor perfect book that takes up space on a shelf rather than sharing the dust bunnies under the bed, jam smudges and other signs of having been read and loved. The index shows its brash, boastful side in trying to convince the reader to ONLY  look at all that it has to offer. Even the book plate has a say:

"I don't need your napkin.
I'm not your soup bowl's mate.
I don't want your peas or bread.

I'm not that kind of plate!"

More? Yep! The cover, the middle, the illustrations and the publishing process add their singular voices to the whole shebang. Mostly written in first person, readers will delight in the images created by careful word choice and thoughtful conversation.

I like Josée Bisaillon’s mixed media illustrations which add depth and understanding to the nature of the poetry included here. There are bold colors, varying perspectives, changing backgrounds and familiar bits and pieces added to the collages that create a sense of fun.

I will leave the final lovely sentiment to THE END:

"I am not so much
The End
as I am an
invitation back
to the beginning."


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for my new book. It just makes my day when a fellow booklover likes it!

    P.S. (It's $16.99--still expensive, but not quite $19.99-- :>)