Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems
Clarion, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke
re you tired of the same slant on reading prose and verse? If so, John Grandits has devised the perfect book for you!
Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems
twist and shout, turn in circles, squares, right-about, left-about, and all over the pages. That's right - you have to rotate the pages (even the cover) to read star Jessie's verses. (But you don't have to stand on your head - that is, unless you really want to!)
essie is an average fifteen-year old high school student. She has strong opinions, but is '
never boring nor predictable
', has blue lipstick, a new hairstyle, and talents ranging from playing volleyball and cello to designing her own clothes - she even pens poetry to her cat! Jessie makes her school and home life punchy and funny, via poems that are '
inventive, irreverent, irresistible, and full of surprises - just like Jessie!
' Titles range from
Bad Hair Day
How I Taught My Cat to Love Poetry
Poems Inspired by the Free Perfume Samples at Carson's
he first page sports a milk carton in blue, from
Stupor Farms 2% Awake
, including a Missing notice, asking '
Have you seen Jessie's brain?
' Stats on the carton are as follows: '
Last Seen: 2:45 this morning. Last Known Activity: Staying up all night instant-messaging Lisa. If you find this missing brain, contact Jessie immediately!
Talking to My Stupid Younger Brother
(now doesn't that sound like typical sibling-speak?) continues '
Is Like Swimming Upstream in a River to Nowhere
'. The interchange between sis and bro flows: '
'BURP' Robert! Say 'Excuse me.' What? Say 'Excuse me.' When you burp, you're supposed to say 'Excuse me'. Why? Because that's what you're supposed to do. Right. Like you always to everything you're supposed to do.
y favorite structure verse is
A Chart of My Emotional Day
, written on a graph, like the stock market going up or down. The chart ranges from
Shaving My Head and Running Away
- one moment please, reader, I have to adjust the page layout direction after each sentence. '
Woke up felling pretty good. Realized it was Saturday ... Lugged cello to the car and saw my neighbor Katrin. Swapped gossip. Cello lesson even worse than I expected. Bummed.
' I'll end the twisting for now, got a neck cramp!
randits allows many more upbeat, really funky thoughts to flow from Jessie's mind. Like
All My Important Thinking Gets Done in the Shower
(yup, you guessed it, the words travel like a bouncing ball!) Not to be missed is,
Grownups: Talking A+, Listening D
, or the elegance of
- picture it, sticking out of the rear pocket of your favorite jeans. '
It's a good idea to carry a poem in your pocket / in case of an emotional emergency. / Sometimes I carry around 'The Cremation of Sam McGee.' ... Some days I need a sonnet ... Yes, It's a good idea to carry a poem in your pocket. / It's a little snack for your soul.
' I wholeheartedly agree!
ohn Grandits' awards include
ALA Notable Book
, A Book Sense
Top Ten Poetry List
VOYA Poetry Pick
. Grandits' first book of
Technically, It's Not My Fault
, starring a boy named Robert '
in conflict with his older sister, Jessie
'. Sound familiar? As the author adds, '
'Blue Lipstick' gives Jessie a chance to tell her side of the story.
' Fair is fair! Grandits' book is deliciously delightful from cover-to-cover.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Teens books on our
or in our book