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How to read a book
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A stunning new picture book from Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet! This New York Times bestselling duo has teamed up for the first time to bring you How to Read a Book, a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading.

Find a tree--a

black tupelo or

dawn redwood will do--and

plant yourself.

(It's okay if you prefer a stoop, like Langston Hughes.)

With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander's evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet's lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.

How to Read a Book has received three starred reviews!

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2--Award-winning poet Alexander compares reading a book to peeling the gentle skin of a clementine, digging in to its juiciness, enjoying it "piece by piece, part by part," until you can "watch a novel world unfurl right before your eyes." And who better to illustrate this delicious poem than Caldecott Honoree Sweet. The artwork is done in watercolor, gouache, mixed media, handmade and vintage papers, found objects including old book covers, and a paint can lid. Not a splash of color, a piece of paper, or a line is out of place. Starting with the initial collage that incorporates the building blocks of reading (the letters A to Z) and the lines from a poem by Nikki Giovanni that careful readers will have to pay attention to see, the tone is set. "So get/real cozy/between/the covers/And let your/fingers wonder/as they wander…" for there is much to relish in this poem and its exuberant images. "Squeeze/every morsel/of each plump line/until the last/drop of magic/drips from the infinite sky." The book includes a note from both the poet and the artist. VERDICT A beautiful book not to be rushed through, but to be enjoyed morsel by tasty morsel.--Lucia Acosta, Children's Literature Specialist, Princeton, NJ
Booklist Review
Come, let your fingers wonder as they wander through this engaging and mesmerizing ode to reading. Beginning with the captivating front endpapers that contain a poem and letters of the alphabet, this title is a treat to ears and eyes with its lyrical language and visual metaphors. Newbery medalist Alexander instructs the reader on how to best go about devouring a book, likening it to peeling a piece of fruit and savoring its goodness. First, pick a comfortable place to sit, open a book, and open your mind to all that volume has to offer. Caldecott Honor Book illustrator Sweet's intricate collage art uses an array of materials, including text and images from Bambi, old book covers, watercolors, and gouache paintings. Popping pink, orange, yellow, and purple leap from the artwork, creating an energy and optimism that will keep readers glued to the pages. Books take on the shape of a bookmobile, a guitar, a record player, and a toaster that spews forth letters spelling Once upon a Time. One gatefold and a die-cut page continue to enthrall and expand enthusiasm. The author admonishes readers: Don't rush though: Your eyes need time to taste. Your soul needs room to bloom. Endnotes by the author and illustrator describe how they came to create this delightful and appealing instruction manual.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Newbery medalist Alexander is popular across genres, and Caldecott Honoree Sweet's illustratrions enhance any project; together, they make an irresistible (and multi-award-winning) team--Maryann Owen Copyright 2019 Booklist
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