Tag Archives: laura purdie salas

Day 110 – Book Speak

This evening we read another fabulous book of verse for National Poetry Month. “Book Speak” by Laura Purdie Salas is a compilation of poems about or inspired by books. Full of clever turns of phrase, insightful metaphors, and just the right mix of rhyming and free-verse compositions, “Book Speak” was an absolute joy to read aloud! The collage and watercolor illustrations by Josee Bisaillon added a playfully colorful touch of whimsy.bookspeak

After we finished reading the book together, we paused – as we frequently do – to discuss our impressions and to pick out what it was we liked best about the book. Overall, I think it’s fair to say that what we liked most about this book was: it’s a book about books (one of our favorite subjects)! Our favorite poem was “This is the Book” – in part because of the informative way it walks through the the individual roles that are played when a book is made (writer, editor, designer, illustrator, publisher, buyer, and reader), and in part because we loved the ending:

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

What a beautiful concept!

There are also lots of clever points of view in the book. I particularly liked “Index” where the voice of the book’s index sounds distinctly like a shady street vendor hocking “Rolex” watches from inside his raincoat: “psst!”, don’t bother with the rest of the book, kid – I’ve got everything you could possibly want right here in the back! I also enjoyed “The Middle’s Lament”, which is a “Poem in Three Voices” with the middle of the book having an existential crisis and being “talked off the ledge” by the front and back. What I liked about this one was that the three voices facilitated a collaborative read-aloud, like a play, for me and our oldest…(as a side note, I can’t wait until we can read some plays together as a family).

I could go on with examples, but suffice to say that this is a very entertaining, charming book. You can tell in reading it that Ms. Salas is a true book lover (why wouldn’t she be?). I think we also enjoyed it in part because we learned on a recent online author event that Ms. Salas’ first love is poetry. She mentioned that it can be difficult to get a poetry book picked up by a publisher. However difficult it may have been, we are very happy Ms. Salas was able to get “Book Speak” published.