Learning about Juan Felipe Herrera and His New Book Imagine

Disclosure: Candlewick Press sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am participating in Multicultral Kid Blog's Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop. I am going to share a new picture book by Juan Felipe Herrera called Imagine. It is illustrated by Lauren Castillo. When I read the book, I wanted to know more about the man who wrote it and I soon learned he is an interesting man to learn about and I thought I would share about Juan Felipe Herrera with you.

JuanFelipeHerrera UCDC
Juan Felipe Herrera at the Washington Center of the University of California on 
April 27, 2017 By Danvera [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Juan Felipe Herrera

  1. In 2015 he was named U.S. poet laureate. He was the first Mexican American to hold this position. He held it for two years (2015-2017).
  2. In 2012 he was named California’s poet laureate.
  3. He has written poetry as well as short stories, young adult novels and children’s literature. He has over 30 books published. He is also a preformist and an activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.
  4. Born on December 27, 1948, in Fowler, California. He is the son of migrant farmers. According to a Washington Post article, he learned to love poetry as a child by singing about the Mexican Revolution with his mother.
  5.  He graduated from San Diego High School in 1967 and was one of the first Chicanos to receive the Educational Opportunity Program scholarship to attend UCLA.
  6. He is a leading voice on the Mexican American and indigenous experience. His own formal Chicano trek to Mexican Indian villages from the rain forest of Chiapas to the mountains of Nayarit greatly changed him as an artist.
  7. He is father of five children and lives in Fresno, California with his partner, Margarita Robles. She is also a poet and performance artist. He also has grandchildren, but I have not found how many or any details besides a mention of grandchildren. 

Now you may be wondering why I became so interested in learning about the author. The book itself shares with the reader small moments in a child's life ans asks the reader to imagine. It starts with moments that can be anyone's, but then it becomes obvious that this child is not a white American living in a suburb or big city. The child is part of a migrant family. The child eventually lands in a big city and goes to school not knowing English. Juan Felipe Herrera takes the reader on his own adventure about learning English, writing poetry and becoming the U.S. Poet Laureate and beyond. Then he challenges the reader to imagine what he or she can do. It is powerful!!

This book shares a look into the life of Juan Felipe Ferrera as well as into a migrant farmer's child's life. It is a world I personally do not know but can imagine based on the pieces he shared. The book is recommended for kindergarten through grade 4. The words are relatively simple but the meaning can be expanded on with discussion. I found the book fascinating and hope you will check it out. 

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2018 | Multicultural Kid Blogs
We are so excited for our seventh annual Hispanic Heritage Month series! Now through October 15, you'll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage! Find even more ideas on our Latin America Pinterest board:
September 26 All Done Monkey
September 27 Crafty Moms Share
October 3 LadydeeLG
October 5 Mama Tortuga
Don't miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017