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BookSpeak!: Poems about Books

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  466 ratings  ·  115 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 SilversteinWhere the Sidewalk Ends by Shel SilversteinHip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki GiovanniWords, Wit, and Wonder by Nancy Loewen
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1st out of 32 books — 11 voters
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(showing 1-30 of 1,178)
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Beth Sniffs Books
[3.5 stars]The target age range of 4 – 8 years of age for this book confuses me a bit. BOOKSPEAK! seems more like the perfect gift to give to a librarian, writer, or language arts teacher — or a child older than age 8. But what do I know? I don’t have any kids. The majority of the poems were quite clever and sweet — loved the one about the index! The illustrations are outstanding — there is just so much to look at but yet the pages aren’t too busy.

all my reviews can be found at www.isniffbooks.w
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
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.
For children who already adore books, this is a brilliant introduction to poetry. Bisaillon’s whimsical illustrations are the perfect complement to Salas’ embodied poems. For children who are still unsure if books can really be that fun, Bookspeak! is a wonderful way to draw them in. Words soar across the page like “inky black birds,” an unloved book mourns its loneliness, a bookplate is a “paper love tattoo,” and a characters plead for their stories to continue. Throughout each poem, one theme ...more
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
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
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
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
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.
Karen Dransfield
I am currently working on a poetry project for teaching young children. This is one of the books I picked up at the library. The book is full of poems about books. Each short poem picks a topic and talks about it. Parts of a book, how a book comes together, the art work in the book, indexes, how books sit on a shelf, all sorts of things to do with books. Beautiful art work with each poem. I plan to share a couple of the poems to my poetry class.
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
Lindsey Dowler
This book has different poems about books. There are poems about the parts of a book (index, characters, cover) as well as poems about who the people are who create books (writer, editor, designer, etc.) I was not expecting these type of poems in this story, but I was pleasantly surprised!
Great mixed media poetry book for introducing different types of books and different things you would find in a book. A variety of poem types from acrostic to several stanzas. Nicely illustrated with collages and painting. This would be a great mentor text for writing poetry or for writing about parts of a story.

Use this book to talk about the different parts of a book, or different types of writing. Open a unit on character study with "A Character Pleads for His Life", or do a three part readi
Open that book and read all about it right here! from a character pleading for his life to secrets, to the index! Love the art work! by Josee Bisaillon! Great book for elementary teachers and librarians to read during National Poetry Month, or any other month!
Michele Knott
A collection of poems about books written by Laura Purdie Salas. How can you do wrong? Love the poems and their descriptions of reading and books. My favorite line was from the poem "Book Plate", describing the book plate as "a paper love tattoo." Beautiful!
Brienz Wilkening
This book was full of different poems about books. I myself am not a huge poetry fan but I really liked this book because it showed different ways to create poems and I think that it would be a very good book to introduce kids to poetry.
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
This is a delightful book full of poems about books and reading. My particular favorites were the poems about The End and the Index. The illustrations are also well done.
Andi Ricche
What an amazing book! The poems are wonderful - and the illustrations so clever!
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
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
Claudine Yanting
A 3.5* for me. A few poems made me smile and I did enjoy the collage artwork.
"A bookplate is a paper love tattoo to show that I belong to you."
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!
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Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 120 books for kids and teens, including WATER CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2014), A LEAF CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2012), and BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS (Clarion, 2011). 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 (, a cupcake an
More about Laura Purdie Salas...
A Leaf Can Be... Water Can Be... A Rock Can Be . . . Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School Colors of Fall

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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…