I Am the Book

compliled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

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This is a book about books, presented as an anthology of poems. Imagine a youngster discovering through the poems what a book can be. The poems are written at a second grade level. The vocabulary is simple and the poetry is not complex either.

I Am A Book — the title of the book, is also the title of one of the poems. “I’ll be your friend,” the poem tells the reader. “I’ll plant in you a spring seedling….i am the book/ You are needing.” What a wonderful image — a book as a friend.

Jill Corcoran’s poem, “Pirates,” turns the reader into a pirate swashbuckling through the pages of a book. The poet of “What Was That” finds that the excitement of reading leaves her with “A breathless thought/ Inside my head.” Read Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem and you will agree that “Anyone befriended again and again/ By a well loved book” is rich.

Such an embarrassment of riches. The poems can be read aloud by an adult, but the ease of comprehension makes it a good book for the reader to explore poetry by herself. Karen Winnick’s poem leads with this thought:

Early in the morning
dog, book and me
spend quiet moments
just we three.

Just the reader and the book of poems. The illustration to that poem is a large book thick enough to house the dog and the reader between the pages. The bold, colorful illustrations throughout wonderfully complement the text.

The selection ends with a goodbye to the book:

Closing the cover
I sigh–
Goodbye friend.
A keeper of a book.

  • I Am the BookTitle: I Am The Book (Anthology)
  • Author: Poems selected by Lee Bennet Hopkins
  • Illustrator: Yayo
  • Publisher: Holiday House New York (2011)
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Hardcover: 32 Pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-8234-2119-0
  • Genre: Fiction Poetry

One comment

  1. Don nelson says:

    Such a wonderful idea “realized at last” for a book for young children. Kudos to the author – illustrator and all the contributors.

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