Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Savor the Word: How to Read A Book by Kwame Alexander

First find a tree--a Black Tupelo or Dawn Redwood will do. It's okay if you prefer a stoop--like Langston Hughes.

An author usually wants to tell you WHY you should read--preferably his or her own book-- preferably immediately.

But this author wants to tell you HOW to read a book.

And being a poet, by the way, he uses a METAPHOR!
Peel its gentle skin, like you would a clementine.

Dig your thumb into the bottom.
Squeeze every morsel
of each plump line
until the last
drop of magic drips....

The words inside a book are likened to the ripe, juicy sections of a citrus fruit, in Caldecott Medalist's Kwame Alexander's lyrical poem-book about the book, perhaps best read in a tree... or on the front steps... or perhaps in bed, as Alexanders suggests...with another metaphor.
Get cozy, between the covers...

Alexander exhorts his readers not to hurry, to take time to savor how the words go together, to think, imagine, get inside that waking dream that is a story, another time and place where you can inhabit for a while, be someone else, and live a different life before you come to...

Winner of the Caldecott Award for his top-selling middle school novel, The Crossover (The Crossover Series), and other noted works (read reviews here) Kwame Alexanader has become a strong advocate for reading and poetry, as he shows in his latest book, illustrated magically by the Caldecott-winning Melissa Sweet. To say artist Sweet uses mixed media for this book is an understatement, as she crafts her collages from found objects, including an old paint can lid, with watercolors and gouache paints and handmade papers and hand-printed text. This new book is clearly a work of love by author and illustrator in their latest, How to Read a Book. (Harper, 2019).

Says Kirkus Reviews, "A linguistic and visual feast."

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