It is our pleasure to finally feature the lovely picture book in verse by one of our Poetry Friday friends, Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. BookSpeak! is actually one of the inspiration for our current bimonthly theme Books about Books and the River of Words. Poetry Friday is hosted this week by one of our favorite teacher-bloggers of all times: the comforting, sensitive, and lovely Linda Baie of TeacherDance.
This is a definite must-read for bibliophiles who have an ongoing romance with the crispy pages of books as they whisper secrets and truths to a reader’s ear. It is a tribute to readers everywhere as could be seen in the opening poem that sets the tone for the entire book: Calling All Readers.
I promise adventure.
Come on, take a look!
On a day like today,
there’s no friend like a book.
Honestly, I could not agree more. The reader is also in for a treat as A Character Pleads for His Life – surely, we can set this character free by turning that first page and holding his hand throughout his adventures.
Laura also gives space to that forgotten, unloved book in On the Shelf and Under the Bed, and she shares how the middle part of the book feels sandwiched and forgotten in The Middle’s Lament: A Poem for Three Voices. I also love how Laura waxed lyrical about the Book Plate (I should really get one of these) and Index:
I always say, if you really
want to know what’s in a book,
go to the back.
I can tell you the page number
of anything you’re looking for.
I was taken by The Sky is Falling – exactly how a book must feel whenever a young girl snoozes off into dreamland while reading – something that often happens to my own ten year old daughter. And have I already mentioned how stunning and glorious the illustrations are? The soft and muted colors are a perfect match to Laura’s mellifluous and hushed voice as she ‘bookspeaks’ and touches our hearts with the music in her lines. I also love how each poem is put together like a string of book-pearls – perfectly crafted from start to finish.
For today’s Poetry Friday, allow me to share one of my favorite poems from Laura’s beautiful book.
Skywriting by Laura Purdie Salas
Line after line of inky black birds
forming the flocks that shift into words.
Page after page of tales winging by,
singing a story against a
And that is exactly what poetry is about, dear friends: skywriting. Need I say more?
Book Speak! Poems about Books by Laura Purdie Salas and Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. Clarion Books, New York, 2011. Book provided by author/publisher. Book photos taken by me.
Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. AWB Reading Challenge Update: 109 (35)