Monday, April 18, 2011

Songs of the Book: I Am the Book, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Who's rich?
The boy who has a book he hasn't read yet.
The girl with a tower by her bed....
Her life starts everywhere.

April is Poetry Month, and notable editor Lee Bennett Hopkins, the dean of children's poetry publishing, has selected thirteen modern poems which celebrate the adventure and fun of reading. Artist Diego Herrera gets in on the fun with bright acrylic illustratons which personify the familar form of book as a pirate ship, a whale's tail, a treasure chest of riches, as poets explore the reading experience from a child's point of view.

This book is the best! I woke up this morning to read it before I got dressed. This book is so cool! It's the first thing I grabbed after school.

The just-published I Am the Book (Holiday House, 2011) features familiar authors such as Jane Yolen, who's imagination vivifies the reading experience as "Words/Nudge each other/like bumper cars/at the fair"....while Kristine O'Donnell celebrates the quiet side when she says "If you have a book...this great new book to read/Who needs a window seat?" Bennett's appendix offers thumbnail biographies of each of his poets and his selections offer plenty of instructive examples of poetic language--alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile and metaphor--and all of them offer vivid word pictures to delight the mind in the way that only a book can.

This book is just right. I'm reading it by flashlight deep into the night.

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