Sunday, January 5, 2014

John Grandits and his Blue Lipstick Poetry

Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems
By John Grandits
A Book Review by Ginger Dawn Harman

While waiting for our local library book club meeting to begin, I was completely distracted by my friend Linda. She was laughing hysterically, and immediately pulled me over toward her direction to look at Blue Lipstick by John Grandits. Instantaneously, we were both given, “the look” by the librarian for our laughing outburst.

John Grandits is a poet, typographer, art director, designer, & writer. He’s written cartoons, articles, humor pieces, fiction and nonfiction for children and adults.

John Grandits has penned a fantastic collection of original poems written from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl named Jessie. Jessie shares her point of view of life, school, and family. The lack of poems for teens to appreciate is exactly what John Grandits targets his audience with in Blue Lipstick. However, many adults will be able to relate to the poetry collection especially if you have a teenager at home.

The whimsical appeal of the art and twisting of the text invites the reader to become a participant of each poem. This is a brilliant idea that John Grandits has incorporated with his illustrations because the reader is actively involved.

Moreover, as one reads you become more aware of the emotions and tone. For example the color choice in “Bad Hair day” exemplifies the internal and external conflict as Jessie’s new hair color choice tests her relationship with Lisa. Furthermore, this poem demonstrates resolution with Lisa and the tender comforting wisdom from Jessie’s mother.

"The poems were all really clever. Students could really relate to what Jessie is going through at her school."
Kristen from Goodreads.

Personally I don't think it's fair to review each individual poem because poetry is something so intensely subjective that it just wouldn't do them justice. I didn't think any of the poems were bad in Blue Lipstick but I enjoyed some more than others.

John Grandits at age 5

My favorites were, The Wall, Mondrian, Advanced English, and A Chart of My Emotional Day. The creativity of the author was impressive and one could easily finish this book in one afternoon.

from Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems

I was particularly impressed with the placement of the poems. This is what I feel made Blue Lipstick flow so easily and could be used within a classroom setting.

John Grandits is associated with a number of juvenile publishing ventures including Cricket, Muse, and Click magazines, Crown Books for Children and Random House

The poems are all written in unique shapes and designs that reflect the content of the writing. I recommend Blue Lipstick by John Grandits.


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