Hello, all! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
One of my gifts came early, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s a book called “B” by Sarah Kay, who’s a spoken-word poet. It’s a really small book; just one poem of hers. She performed “B” for TED Talks, so it’s one of her more well-known works, and that prompted her to release this illustrated book. I’ve posted Sarah Kay on my site before, so if you watched “Hiroshima” then you’re already a bit familiar with her.
Like I said, this is an interesting poetry book, because it’s just one poem spread out over lots of pages and illustrations. The effect is good, and really brings the written words to life the way Sarah Kay does when she performs them.
This is a great book to have around if you just like poetry, and it’s also an excellent book to read to children, especially daughters. The poem is all about what Sarah Kay will teach her “someday daughter” (as Andrea Gibson would say), and it’s unashamedly endearing and sweet. On top of that, there are some real lessons to be learned here, and it’s laid out in a style similar to Doctor Seuss and the like.
The illustrations are by a childhood friend of Kay’s, Sophia Janowitz, and they’re charming representations of the poem. There are rain boots, a painter’s brush, a sand dollar and a burning match, among other things. All are done simply, in black, and the overall effect does a lot for the poem.
It would make a great gift to a mother or daughter, or just a poetry lover. I asked for it, but if someone had bought it for me without me pointing them in that direction, I probably would have married that person on the spot (regardless of gender). See the performance here and buy the book here!
Here’s a sample of the poem:
If I should have a daughter,
Instead of Mom, she’s going to call me Point B.
Because that way she knows that no matter what happens,
At least she can always find her way to me.
And I’m going to paint the solar systems
on the backs of her hands,
so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say,
“Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”