It's Monday and I'm sharing a poetry book. I can't wait for Poetry Friday to roll around this week because I'm going to read this new book today in class and I want you to know about it as soon as possible. A new year naturally fosters reflection and thoughts about goals. I'm going to read imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera because I want my students to be inspired to think about what they can do now and how that might lead to something different and then that might lead to big actions.
This is not only a poetry book, it's a biography of sorts. We met the author Juan as a child picking chamomile flowers whispering to their fuzzy faces. Readers follow Juan as he does other he grows and does daily living activities. I so enjoyed the careful language used to describe and share these daily living activities; hopping chickens, hungry birds, and evening forest are just a few examples. As Juan grows, we learn about his travels to a new country and learning a new language in a new school. This journey is portrayed with facts and I was surprised how much the warm toned illustrations helped my heart feel empathy. Lauren Castillo's combination of pen and foam mono print adds more than just color to the beautiful text.
This book naturally lends itself to being an interactive read aloud. Each page ends with imagine...a simple way to cause the reader to stop and reflect. The very last page encourages the reader even further, "imagine what you could do." I see some potential here for jotting some thoughts in our writer's notebooks.
I'd like to thank Candlewick Press for this review copy and addition to our classroom library.