Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems
by John GranditsSyndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780618568604]
School Library Journal
Starred Review. Gr 5–9—Grandits crafts his collections with the needs of poetry-phobic readers in mind. It isn't even necessary to crack the book, since the first poem, "Blue Lipstick," is cleverly placed on the front cover, surrounding a reflective mirror. This selection introduces readers to Jessie, who impulsively purchases blue lipstick, but later, regretfully decides to give it "the kiss-off." Jessie is big sister to Robert, who was featured in Grandits's Technically, It's Not My Fault (Clarion, 2004). As he did in that terrific collection, the author uses artful arrangements of text on the page, along with 54 different typefaces, to bring his images and ideas to life. Jessie's a typical ninth grader who spends much of her time squabbling with her brother; doesn't always see eye-to-eye with her parents; and is preoccupied with clothes, makeup, and dealing with bad-hair days. She confides early on that life is simpler when you build a wall around yourself, as "You've got to be careful who you make friends with." Jessie writes poems to her cat, believes in guardian angels, and though she's quick to form strong opinions, she's smart enough to revise them, too. In the end, she's still got her wall, but she realizes "now I've got more company." This irreverent, witty collection should resonate with a wide audience.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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