Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cybils, Bookspeak and Laura Purdie Salas

The Cybils awards are being announced today and I’m happy to join the chorus celebrating the poetry winner...

BookSpeak! By Laura Purdie Salas


The CYBILS are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary awards and I was lucky enough to serve on the second round of judges that selected the winner.

Congratulations to all the Cyblis Poetry Finalists:
In the Sea by David Elliott
Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen
Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry compiled by J. Patrick Lewis
UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs

Here’s our “official” review of BookSpeak!

If a book remains unopened

and no reader turns its page,

does it still embrace a story

or trap words inside a cage?



BookSpeak! celebrates all things books. One of our judges stated that it shows kids "how to look at a common object with new eyes." Another said, "I love the many 'voices' she created within the book world." A third judge noted, "when read aloud, I feel these poems have heaps of personality--and utility, too." 



Laura Purdie Salas, explores reading, writing, stories, and book components in a wide variety of poetic forms, styles, and imaginative voices. From the lyrical "Skywriting" to the clever personification of “Index,” the poems flow from beginning to end, providing helpful models that young writers may enjoy exploring and imitating.

Josee' Bisaillon's use of collage, digital montage, and drawings completes the whole package. Complemented by a distinctive use of typeface and energetic and expressive illustrations, BookSpeak! is a book of book poems that readers of all ages will return to again and again.


This book has been such a hit with my students—who are teachers (and I think will be with kids of all ages). One student created a digital trailer for the book available here. (Thank you, Kendra Duckworth!)

I also loved Laura’s previous poetry collection, Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School! (Clarion. 2009) and reviewed it here.

And Laura also created a wonderful set of 10 poetry picture books tied to the content areas and produced by Capstone publishing:
1.    Lettuce Introduce You: Poems About Food
2.    Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems About Pets
3.    Chatter, Sing, Roar, Buzz: Poems About the Rain Forest
4.    Always Got My Fee: Poems About Transportation
5.    Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall
6.    Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems About Weather
7.    Tiny Creams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States
8.    And Then There Were Eight: Poems About Space
9.    Flashy, Clashy, and Oh-So-Splashy: Poems About Color
10.    Do Buses Eat Kids? Poems About School


In the spirit of full disclosure, I should also like to add that Laura has contributed poems to The Poetry Friday Anthology (both for K-5 and for the new book for 6-8) and we have so enjoyed working with her. Good thing we grabbed her BEFORE she got hugely famous! 

Finally, be sure to check out Laura’s blog, Writing the World for Kids, full of helpful teaching and writing tips and her website, of course.


Thanks to our noble chair, Jone MacCulloch and my fellow committee members, Diane Mayr, Renee LaTulippe, Ed DeCaria, and Linda Baie. What fun we had talking/writing about poetry in depth!



Image credit: LauraSalas.com

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.

9 comments:

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Wonderful news! Congratulations to Laura and to all of the finalists. And thank you to you and the whole committee. Thank you, too, for this great list. I'm saving it! Happy Valentine's Day! xo, a.

laurasalas said...

Thank you so much, Sylvia! I can't quite believe it--I had a specific, different book totally pegged as the Winner. And they're all fabulous books. I am so honored that BookSpeak was chosen. And honored, as well, to get to participate in some of your projects, which are always top-notch. Thank you for celebrating!

laurasalas said...

P.S. Thanks, Amy!

Diane Mayr said...

Congratulations, Laura! Your book inspired great discussion amongst the committee members!

Linda at teacherdance said...

I'm so happy for you and for this book, Laura. Congratulations! Sylvia, thanks for the all this today!

Jone said...

Sylvia, thanks for being on the team. I appreciated your thoughts.

Mary Lee said...

Good job on the final pick!

I hope we gave you a tricky time with our finalists!!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Late to the congratulatory party over here, but I did feature a bit of Laura's wonderful work on my own post Friday. So happy for you, Laura, and grateful to all the judges who had no easy task - and who definitely picked a winner!

Charles Waters said...

So well deserved. And she's as nice as she is talented!