Poetry Friday: Book Review – Laura Purdie Salas: Book Speak!

Poetry Friday is hosted by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
The Slice of Life March Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers
What a joy it was to open an envelope on a dreary March evening to find Laura Purdie Salas’ new volume of poetry: Book Speak!  Charmingly illustrated by Josee Bisaillon,
Laura’s poems are a joyous romp in the world of books.  Just as the jacket copy promises, “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!”    Who would not want to dive right into a book that looks like this??!!:

Salas’ poems fairly leap off the page – they are a cheerful, spirited take on the richness of our reading lives.  Poems like “Calling All Readers” skip along to a welcoming cadence (I’ll tell you a story./I’ll spin you a rhyme./I’ll spin some ideas – /
and we’ll travel through time….), inviting readers to the pleasures of the world of books.  Others are whimsical plays on words – “Top Secret,” an acrostic devoted to the “treasure box” that is one’s diary, for instance, captivated  my students’ imagination immediately.  The poems I found to be particulary arresting were those devoted to literary devices, poems like”Conflicted” (I’m trouble./I’m misery,/ I’m problems/unplanned…” are imaginative leaps into personification – my kids loved this one, too, because it gave poetic life to a concept we’ve been working with all year.
My personal favorite was:

If a Tree Falls
If a tree falls in the forest
with no ear to hear its fall,
does it make a cracklin thunder
or descend in silent sprawl?
If a book remains unopened
and no reader turns its page,
does it still embrace a story
or trap words inside a cage?
Isn’t that what the magic and power of a reading life is all about?   I shared Laura’s book with my class today and they were absolutely captivated, just as I’d been.  We used our Elmo to examine the illustrations closely, which is a treat all by itself, and took turns reading each poem aloud.  What a fabulous way to send my kids off for our Spring Break!
To check out Laura’s other books and learn more about “Book Speak”  you can visit her website  …where you will also find a book trailer that will be sure to entice you into purchasing this book for your classroom library, or for yourself!


5 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Book Review – Laura Purdie Salas: Book Speak!

  1. Yes, this looks like something I should have. Love the poem you shared and the snippets of the others. Do you get a commission for selling? :0) Hope you are having the time of your life in London.

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