Reviews for Bookspeak! : Poems About Books

Booklist Reviews 2011 December #2
Bright, mixed-media collage scenes illustrate this picture-book poetry collection that plays with literary allusions. In "Cliffhanger," a desperate dog clinging to a cliff above a shark-filled ocean implores, "Please, author, write / a sequel fast!" In another selection, a character pleads for his life: "Don't close the cover and don't walk away / Don't leave me squished in here day after day." On one spread, the index brags: "I'm telling you, kid: ignore the rest of the book. / All you really need is me." Plot has a voice in another poem: "My characters / hate me. They don't think I'm grand. / But without me / their plots / would be dreary / and bland." And in a poem for three voices, Beginning and Ending try to comfort Middle and show him he matters, and then the three vie for importance. With its mix of poetic forms and wry twists on language-arts terms, this is a natural choice for sharing in classrooms and young writers' workshops. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
In twenty-one clever, amusing, and spirited poems, books find their voices: an index beckons a reader to look up page numbers, a cover shouts out "Please stop! Take a look!", a library book compares being checked out to going on vacation. Buoyant mixed-media illustrations celebrate books as concrete objects while reinforcing their role as springboard for imagination.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #3

"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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 December

Gr 3-5--Some of these 21 poems are written in rhyme and meter, while others are free verse. They vary in length from a few to several stanzas, and all are well crafted and clever, covering a variety of aspects of books and reading. Salas includes poems about an index, a cover, cliff-hangers, and falling asleep while reading. The poems are, by turns, philosophical, humorous, and even instructional. Typeset is creative, and the titles appear in a variety of artistic font styles and colors. Whimsical, mixed-media illustrations grace every page. Bisaillon skillfully incorporates the printed poems into the artwork so that the words and images have a single, unified, visual effect. This is an appealing offering that will be especially popular with librarians. For a collection of "book" poems by a variety of authors, Lee Bennett Hopkins's I Am the Book (Holiday House, 2011) is also a good choice.--Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

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