BookSpeak!: Poems about Books
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BookSpeak!: Poems about Books

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  313 ratings  ·  94 reviews
A collection of wacky, whimsical poems about books and all the treasures they contain. Laura Purdie Salas, the acclaimed author of Stampede!, is back with another collection of wild and weird, wacky and winsome poems about all the magic to be found on a single bookshelf. In BookSpeak!, each poem gives voice to a group that seldom gets a voice . . . the books themselves! Ch...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Clarion Books (first published October 24th 2011)
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BookSpeak! by Laura Purdie SalasA Light in the Attic by Shel SilversteinWords, Wit, and Wonder by Nancy LoewenLocomotion by Jacqueline WoodsonNight on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield
Picture Books About Poetry
1st out of 32 books — 9 voters
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel SilversteinA Light in the Attic by Shel SilversteinPeter, Enchantment and Stardust by William  O'BrienWhen We Were Very Young by A.A. MilneOur Poems for Kids by Melinda Kinsman
Best children's poetry books
31st out of 87 books — 133 voters

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Community Reviews

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Kathy B.
Loved this delightful picture book that promotes the magic of books and reading. The clever titles and subject matter of the poems create a fun, joyful romp through the experiences of reading and parts of books and stories. The illustrations by Josee Bisaillon are perfection. As I will want to read this one again and again, I now must buy a copy to cherish and share.
Emily Hynes
This book of poems by Laura Purdie Salas are all about subjects relating to books. Each page has mixed media illustrations with creative use of fonts, poetry formats, and visual text presentation.

These poems are told from many different perspectives (from a book's perspective, from the perspective of the parts of a book--beginning, middle, and end, etc.) and cover many book related topics. These include: unread/unloved/unopened books, characters, using an index, cliffhangers, book covers, a boo...more
Natalie O'neill
As a reading teacher who absolutely adores books and loves to share my love for reading with my students, I was ecstatic to stumble across this book. Every single poem in this collection is about the journey that is reading. Not only are the poems so well written, while still containing excellent rhythmic language and fun word play, but the illustrations are incredible as well. The illustrations seem to be collages, made from several different materials. The best part about this book is that it...more
Dec 03, 2011 Sally rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sally by: Holly E. Newton (Meridian Magazine)
What a great book! Fun illustrations and poems about books. What a great addition to the "Books about Books" shelf in my library! Here's a sample:

Calling 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.

I promise adventure.
Come on, take a look!
On a day like today,
there's no friend like a book.
Emily Miller
What a great book of poems! Laura Purdie Salas created this poetry to book to explore different aspects of books. She opens the book with a short poem welcoming her readers by saying put down the remote and come explore all the parts of a book. She has poems about characters, lines in a book, bookshelves, and kinds of books such as diaries. She uses different fonts, poetry forms, and illustration styles throughout. I like how she has a main focus for this poetry book, yet uses various poems insi...more
In this delightful collection of verses, Salas has created a series of poems by assorted book voices. Varying in length and style, for instance some poems rhyme and some are in free verse, there is a wide assortment of points of view: a book character pleads to be liberated; an index brags about being the best part of the book; Conflict talks about being necessary but hated; and many other parts and aspects of a book's life and creation.

Here are some samples of the book voices used in this origi...more
from my blog, 5/1/2012 -I am happy to write about Laura Purdie Salas today about this new book, Bookspeak, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. I wrote a haiku for Laura today as a tribute to her love of books and poetry, and because she wrote a haiku every day during poetry month.

Talk of poetry.
Laura’s popping up everywhere.
She writes how books feel!

When I taught in the classroom we loved conversations about books and reading. We discussed what books give us, what they do for us, those we like and...more
Marianne Hatch
A 2012 NCTE Notable for Language Arts book winner, BookSpeak is a collection of poems written from the perspective of the books themselves. Salas gives life and a voice to books and describes the many experiences books can take you through. From being fascinated by the illustrations, falling asleep on the pages, reading at night when you aren't supposed to, to when the book ends you want it to start all over again. It is not only a collection of poetry about books but it is a humorous, creative,...more
I really enjoyed this book. The poems were excellent, and while I enjoyed some more than others (I'm a plebeian: I like the ones that rhyme the best), all were good. The illustrations were excellently done and very evocative of the poems, but the style of them was sadly not to my tastes.

As for the poems, I've already said I liked the ones that rhymed the best, but I have two clear favorites:

Calling All Readers
I'll tell you a story.
I'll spin you a rhyme.
I'll spill some ideas--
and we'll travel th
Finally, books get their due--with a themed book of 21 poems dedicated to them. This collection is filled with wonderful tributes to readers and reading, and will certainly deserve a place on teacher's desks as they foster a love for reading in their students. The first poem, "Calling All Readers," reminds readers that books can be good friends, something which I have long found to be true. While I loved the eloquence of "Skywriting," which extolls the beauty of print, I also laughed in delight...more
Amy Musser
In 21 clever poems, Salas celebrates the beauty, humor, joy, drama, and structure of books. The poems are accompanied by colorful and lively collage illustrations. Together poems and pictures urge readers to find a new adventure within the pages of a book.

Salas’ poems take a variety of forms from rhyming verse to acrostic. Length also varies, some poems reach across two pages, while others are composed of thirty words or less. I especially love the poems that focus on a specific element of a boo...more
Nisah Haron
Delightful! I have always love any book-about-book. And now, a poetry book about books - double delight! There are poems about 'index', 'cliffhanger', 'book plate', 'hydrophobiac' (fear of getting wet, a book always is), 'conflict' and in fact, there are a poems about writing.

My personal favourite is called : "The Middle's Lament-A Poem of Three Voices". It is about the 'middle part' of the story who is trying to negotiate with 'the beginning' and 'the end'. The 'middle part' wanted to be at th...more
Amy Lemley
Loved it! This was a clever poetry book about the features of books and how they are put together, which includes insights from a book's perspective at times. I especially enjoyed the poem for three voices among the beginning, middle, and end of a book, which resembled a text conversation on a smart phone. This book would make an excellent complement to any secondary English language arts or reading classroom.
RLL52013_Kaitlin Larson
I love to use poetry in my classroom as a read aloud and when we get ready for the end of the day. BookSpeak! is a collection of silly poems about books. Poems range from parts of books to characters from books that perhaps want recognition or a sequel to their stories. It is a great way to see books in a positive light. The poems reference the craft of books as well, such as authors, literary elements, types of books available etc. It can also be used to teach special concepts about books and g...more
I'd use the collection when teaching poetry, but I might also use individual poems with other lessons. For example, the poem Index would be fun to share with students when teaching them to use their indexes.
"BookSpeak!" by Laura Salas is a primary book in the poetry non-fiction genre. It won the Minnesota Book Award in 2012 and was nominated for the Beehive Children's Poetry Book Award in 2013. The book is a collection of poems that center around books. The twin text that I would choose for this book is "We Are in a Book" by Mo Willems. Willems's book is a fiction title that is about a pig and an elephant that realize that they are in a book being read by a reader. The book relates to Salas's book...more
Elaine Bearden
This is really an amazingly cool book. The art is minimalist collage-y with some watercolors. And all of the poems relate to something about books. Diaries, characters, the end, etc. are all topics. It would be really fun to use these with a class that is studying writing - a great way to make the standards speak to our imaginations. The quality of the poems is a bit uneven, but mostly is good and imaginative. I especially like the last poem, "The End" which ends with "I am not so much / Th...more
Kaitlynn Meurrens

This book is a collection of poems of fun poems that write as if the book is writing them itself. The characters ask for sequels and we get out some insight at what happens when the bookstore closes at night. This book gives readers a view on how they can write poems in a silly way and also provides an enormous amount of imagination on every page.
It appeals to students who enjoy poems and writing. It is intended for ages 9 and older. I would implement this in my upper elementary classroom by usi...more
What's better than a book about books? Absolutely beautiful illustrations and poems all about books!
I'm a sucker for illustrations that use collage. Josee Bisaillon absolutely does not disappoint. Plus poetry about some serious book love? What's not to like!
At first I wasn't really grabbed by the poems, but as the book went on I began to enjoy them more. I thought the poems would be more about specific books. Instead, it was about book specifics. I became interested and entertained by some of the personifications of book parts. But like all poetry, some I liked and some didn't click with me. I wasn't much of a fan of the illustrations.

A Beehive nominee. I think those who like reading will enjoy it. Librarians and teachers will probably love to prom...more
A bibliophile's collection of poems! I think that the book may have been a little overly didactic, which kids might be able to perceive. In order to keep children's poetry books truly engaging, I do think there needs to be some elements of humor, like Silverstein's and Prelutsky's collections. I feel like kids would completely catch on that this is a book for teacher's, and not for them. This would be an excellent teaching tool, but not quite a RICBA book.
I will vote to drop this.
Jessica Harrison
What's better than a book? A collection of poems about books in book form, perhaps? This group of eclectic poems celebrates the world of bookshelves and pages and the magic found therein. Readers will find themselves swept into the world of character who wants, nay needs a sequel, will learn the intricacies of an index and the fears of a hydrophobiac. A mixture of collage, drawings and digital montage come together to form charming illustrations that perfectly suit this book's needs.
An absolutely delightful picture book filled with poems about books and reading. My favorite is If a tree falls, but the question expands to books:
"If a book remains unopened
and no reader turns its page,
does it still embrace a story
or trap words inside a cage?"
Every poem in this collection, as well as the delightful color illustrations, will cause you to smile of give pause to ponder the thoughts/questions they provoke.
Erin Gunderson
I came across this book while I was checking in books at the library, someone had just returned it. I'm not usually a fan of poetry, but this little book was wonderful. I loved how beautiful the book was, the art and poems go so well together. The poems are all about the different aspects of books or their features. 32 quick pages (you could finish it in less than 5 min) but it is just so lovely. It is well worth checking out. :)
Alexander Jones
Beehive Nominee
Iamaby En
Such great poems for all book lovers! And the illustrations are gorgeous!

My favourite poems:

If A Tree Falls
Top Secret
Paper Sky
This is the Book
The End

"I am not so much The End as I am an invitation back to the beginning" is one of the lines from the poem, "The End", and indeed, after this poem, I wanted to flip through this beautiful book again!
Carol Royce Owen
A book filled with poems about nothing but books! What fun! It also has some great poems about parts of a book. Loved the poem Index, especially. I can see using this with kids, and not necessarily telling them who it's being written by - to see if they can guess. Another that I'm looking forward to performing is The Middle's Lament: A Poem for Three Voices.
My daughter and both said only a true book nerd could appreciate reading a book about a book. Several small poems about books, different parts of a book, and how books make us feel. Some poems were better than others but all were worth reading. This would be a great book for teachers or librarians to read 1 poem at a time before sitting down to read at story time.
As a child I loved reading poems that felt like they were written just for me - Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky were my favorites - and if "Book Speak" had been published 15 years ago, it would've been a favorite too! It features all different forms of poetry, each one about books, and the fanciful illustrations are lovely. Great for the classroom or at home!
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Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 100 books for kids and teens, including A LEAF CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2012), BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS (Clarion, 2011), and STAMPEDE! POEMS ABOUT THE WILD SIDE OF SCHOOL (Clarion, 2009). She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality.

Laura is a mentor for hire (Mento...more
More about Laura Purdie Salas...
A Leaf Can Be... (Millbrook Picture Books) Water Can Be... Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School Colors of Fall A Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems about Pets

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“And she is the reader
who browses the shelf
and looks for new worlds
but finds herself.”
“On a day like today,
there's no friend like a book.”
More quotes…