Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Review: Please Bury Me in the Library

Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis. Illustrated by Kyle
M. Stone. Harcourt, 2005 (0-15-216387-5) $16.00

"Are You a Book Person?

A good book is a kind
Of person with a mind
Of her own,
Who lives alone,
Standing on a shelf
By herself.
She has a spine,
A heart, a soul,
And a goal--
To capture, to amuse,
To light a fire
(You're the fuse),
Or else, joyfully,
Just to be.
From beginning
To end,
Need a friend?"

Naturally I'm a sucker for books about words and libraries, but this uneven collection of poems didn't do much for me until I hit the poem above and became the fuse. I love the image, the wordplay, and the way it reads aloud so easily, the scansion making each line pour out in a graceful rhythm. In fact, the entire book is much more enjoyable read aloud than silently (just as it should be, with poetry.) The
pictures, by a debut illustrator, are an oddly succesful mix of comic lines and rich textures; I like their moody, dark colors and imaginative derivations from the text. (4-8)