Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: B

Originally written in 2007, “B” is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by Sophia Janowitz, “B” is finally available in this whimsical, magical book. This book is the perfect gift for every mother and every daughter. Short, touching and lovingly illustrated, it is a family tradition waiting for you to start.

B is a very usual book. As mentioned above it can't be classified as any one thing. It's part picture book, part poem, and part life wisdom. It's written from the point of view of a future mother speaking to her future daughter but also from that of a daughter looking back on the advise give by her own mother.

Going into this after hearing that B had first been presented as a spoken poem gave me certain expectations. I was expecting more fluidity and a lot of rhyming words, so when I started reading and didn't find that I faltered unsure if I wanted to keep reading. Then I reached this passage, which changed everything.

You're just smelling for smoke
so you can follow the trail
back to a burning house,
so you can find the boy
who lost everything in the fire
to see if you can save him.

Or else -

find the boy
who lit the fire
in the first place,
to see if you
can change him.

The words are beautiful, but for me the real poetry lies in the images those words create.

Even though it's illustrated this is not a gentle rhyming book I would choose to read to a young child. So, I don't believe the every mother and every daughter plug. However, this is a book that I would highly recommend to mother (possible favoring recent empty nesters) and girls who are "coming of age."


1 comment:

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