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Be/Hold: A Friendship Book

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In Be/Hold: A Friendship Book visual artist, poet, and musician Shira Erlichman opens with the line, "Sweetheart, sometimes when I'm feeling blue I put my ear to the wind & listen for you," building a one-of-a-kind story of friendship from her love of compound words (i.e. toothbrush, windbreaker, behold) in a book that uplifts, encourages, and honors the people we care abo In Be/Hold: A Friendship Book visual artist, poet, and musician Shira Erlichman opens with the line, "Sweetheart, sometimes when I'm feeling blue I put my ear to the wind & listen for you," building a one-of-a-kind story of friendship from her love of compound words (i.e. toothbrush, windbreaker, behold) in a book that uplifts, encourages, and honors the people we care about most.


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In Be/Hold: A Friendship Book visual artist, poet, and musician Shira Erlichman opens with the line, "Sweetheart, sometimes when I'm feeling blue I put my ear to the wind & listen for you," building a one-of-a-kind story of friendship from her love of compound words (i.e. toothbrush, windbreaker, behold) in a book that uplifts, encourages, and honors the people we care abo In Be/Hold: A Friendship Book visual artist, poet, and musician Shira Erlichman opens with the line, "Sweetheart, sometimes when I'm feeling blue I put my ear to the wind & listen for you," building a one-of-a-kind story of friendship from her love of compound words (i.e. toothbrush, windbreaker, behold) in a book that uplifts, encourages, and honors the people we care about most.

30 review for Be/Hold: A Friendship Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    This book fills my heart with joy! Erlichman advises her readers to make up their own compound words. Here’s mine. GROOVYDAPPLED

  2. 4 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    This book is almost unbearably pretentious. As a book for adults, it's fine. They'll get it (maybe). But expecting kids to sit through roughly double the number of pages of a standard picture book, listen to the word salad, and gaze at the unappealing illustrations... well, it's a bit much to ask. I appreciate that the author loves compound words. Unfortunately, telling kids to make up what is essentially their own language when they're just learning language is a recipe for problems. (And I wish This book is almost unbearably pretentious. As a book for adults, it's fine. They'll get it (maybe). But expecting kids to sit through roughly double the number of pages of a standard picture book, listen to the word salad, and gaze at the unappealing illustrations... well, it's a bit much to ask. I appreciate that the author loves compound words. Unfortunately, telling kids to make up what is essentially their own language when they're just learning language is a recipe for problems. (And I wish the author had done a little more research about her favourite word. Its origins have little to do with the "deep" meaning she thinks they do.) There are so many lines that have me scratching my head. Some of the compound words make a sort of weird sense (if you understand their building blocks). Others are just... weird: Your voice is a nightjar, spilling. What does that even mean? Or how about this: So why not invite someone into your neighbourhood? That someone could be a slowpoke, a daddy longlegs, or a sunset. Even a downpour, a nightmare, or an ice cream's melt. Basically, this obliterates the meaning of the word "someone" and could potentially confuse those just learning the language. To make matters worse, there are a couple of pages at the back that invite kids to make up their own compound words. This makes it seem more like a non-fiction title. (Books like this reinforce the attitude that learning the rules of language is unimportant. Really, though, you should understand the rules before you go and break them.) So, in essence, this book really misses the mark... at least for its intended audience. Adults might enjoy this... but I can't see this being a favourite of any kid. I have a feeling that, if I'd encountered this book as a child, I would've skimmed it and put it right back on the shelf. To be perfectly honest, I'd probably do the same thing now, if I weren't reading it for review. Thank you to NetGalley and Penny Candy Books for providing a digital ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Stephens

    I was so grateful to grab this book at AWP. It’s everything I would expect from Erlichmann, which is continually a source of brilliant writing and simple, joyful compassion. It’s a great book for kids, but I have a suspicion the adults in the house will prefer it. The style is perhaps more sophisticated and less contrast-heavy than many children’s books, and not every kid will react to it. Fans of the Triangle/Square/Circle series should buy this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    Like with every poetry book it is a hit or miss, this one miss. I do think that this might be a good way to introduce children to poetry, with easy and short poem, but other than that... not much to it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    André Habet

    what a lovely book. Erlichman's whimsy with language makes her especially effective at this kids' book celebrating compound words, and the relationships and wonder that emerge through them. what a lovely book. Erlichman's whimsy with language makes her especially effective at this kids' book celebrating compound words, and the relationships and wonder that emerge through them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gaby

    Loved this! Shira is wonderful and so is this book! I love the use of compound words & how the concept of friendship is infused in the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    April Gray

    This is a sweet little book and I enjoyed it, but I can see that it won't be for everyone. First, it's marketed as being for children, but I don't know that kids would really get it, or enjoy it- it feels more like an adult feel-good book to me. The text is kinda free verse-word salad-wait did I smoke something? hippie stuff, riffing on compound words and having fun with language, and I'm cool with that; if you're cool with that too, you'll enjoy this book. In the afterword, the author elucidate This is a sweet little book and I enjoyed it, but I can see that it won't be for everyone. First, it's marketed as being for children, but I don't know that kids would really get it, or enjoy it- it feels more like an adult feel-good book to me. The text is kinda free verse-word salad-wait did I smoke something? hippie stuff, riffing on compound words and having fun with language, and I'm cool with that; if you're cool with that too, you'll enjoy this book. In the afterword, the author elucidates her love of compound words, calling them the smallest poems in the English language, and I really dug that. There are a couple of pages at the end where the reader is encouraged to make their own compound words, with a list of words to take apart and put back together. All in all, a fun book, more for the child inside the adult than for kids in my opinion. #BeHold #NetGalley

  8. 4 out of 5

    January Gray

    Kids will not care for this book. As an adult, I didn't care for this book. It really came across as hoity toity. The format would not hold a child's interest. Kids will not care for this book. As an adult, I didn't care for this book. It really came across as hoity toity. The format would not hold a child's interest.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    For someone who's feeling low, for others who want a lift and inspiration to write, this book is all of that! Shira Erlichman creates poetry for someone looking for a lift up, a twosome, a friendship! "Sweetheart, sometimes/when I'm feeling blue/I put my ear to the wind/and listen for you." begins the quest. In my eyes, the simple doodles entertain, show emotion, and make one smile as Shira writes the joyful words she wants us readers to see. If you noticed the compound words I used earlier, I For someone who's feeling low, for others who want a lift and inspiration to write, this book is all of that! Shira Erlichman creates poetry for someone looking for a lift up, a twosome, a friendship! "Sweetheart, sometimes/when I'm feeling blue/I put my ear to the wind/and listen for you." begins the quest. In my eyes, the simple doodles entertain, show emotion, and make one smile as Shira writes the joyful words she wants us readers to see. If you noticed the compound words I used earlier, I was trying to introduce you to this clever text that underlies the message, make a friendship. One of my favorite poems is "Life's no cakewalk. It's Got its flaws./But I'll bring the milkshake/if you bring the straws." There is a special Afterword from Shira and a page to create one's own compound words. What a delightful book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pinky

    This is a very sweet book about friendship told through the magic of compound words. The author likes to make up compound words (I like to make up words, too!). She describes compound words as little odes, the smallest poems in the English language. Compounds are rule breakers and friendship makers. My favorite lines: “I hear you sing a honeysong, your voice full of bumblebees” and “Life is a seesaw. Sometimes you’re up high, sometimes you’re down low.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Winfrey

    This book would be a lively companion to teachers teaching compound words (the author explains her love of these words in detail in the back with an invitation to play). A story for the poetic, the free-spirits, the dreamers.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Greenfield

    This is a book for all ages. I finished the book with a heartdance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hannah B

    Remarkably beautiful and sweet! Such a celebration of language and love.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam Brodnax

    what a beautiful way of talking about friendship by just using compound words

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    a v sweet gift from a friend. reading it felt like receiving a hug (necessary atm). :') a v sweet gift from a friend. reading it felt like receiving a hug (necessary atm). :')

  16. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Parker

    I had never considered that behold was a compound word. I love learning!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amber Webb

    Be/Hold was a beautiful, intriguing book. I enjoyed the illustrations immensely, but am not sure young children will truly grasp them. The way the words flowed across the page made you feel as those you were part of the book. Incredibly wonderful!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zachary

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Jackson Berry

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bean

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jamieanna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Royal

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ananya Garg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Howard

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristin MB

  28. 4 out of 5

    megan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Veliz Books

  30. 4 out of 5

    S August

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