Great Illustrated Books

Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems

By John Grandits

Clarion Books, 2007
Pages : 48
Suggested Ages: 10 and Up
ISBN: 9780618851324

First there was the uproariously kinetic book, Technically It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems narrated by Robert, who, in 28 concrete or shape poems, spends a fair amount of time complaining about his annoying big sister, Jessie. Now it's Jessie's turn to snipe. She's in ninth grade, so she has lots more to agonize over: bad hair days, pep rallies, liking Elton Simpson, and, of course, her jerky little brother, Robert. Emotions erupt in her collection of 33 concrete poems, beginning with the title poem which is written around the perimeter of the front cover. They meander and cascade across each page in a swirl of assorted blue and black fonts. There's "A Chart of My Emotional Day," which she diagrams for a math assignment; "Volleyball Practice," with sentences that bounce back and forth on the page; and “My Absolutely Bad Cranky Day," a simply glorious alphabet and timeline combined. Have fun singing “The H-U-P Song,” where Jessie and her little cousin Natalie rewrite “The Alphabet Song.” You’ll never recite the ABC’s in quite the same way. How John Grandits, a man, has gotten under the skin of a ninth grader with such resonance, honesty, and humor, I can't fathom, but if you were ever a ninth grade girl, you'll marvel. And if you weren't, you'll learn a lot.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Grandits, John. Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems. Clarion, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0618503612

Janeczko, Paul B. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms. Candlewick, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0763606626

Janeczko, Paul B. A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems. Candlewick, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0763623760

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Amulet, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0810993136

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Amulet, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0810994737

Lewis, J. Patrick. Doodle Dandies: Poems that Take Shape. Atheneum, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0689848896

Stevenson, James. Popcorn. Greenwillow, 1998. (And others in the Corn series.) ISBN-13: 978-0688152611

Critics have said

This irreverent, witty collection should resonate with a wide audience.
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