Written and Illustrated by Juan Felipe Herrera

Jabberwalking – the art of writing, drawing, journaling, and walking all at the same time. It’s the way U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera gets creative and this book shares and illustrates his technique. Part instructive guide, part stream-of-consciousness, Herrera shows how scribbling bits of what you see and hear in everyday life can turn into poetry. He finds poetry in everything, everywhere, including cross-country plane rides and walks through his Fresno, CA neighborhood with his dog, Lotus. Sprinkled in between the pages of poems are excerpts from his Jabber Notebook. From these journal entries, we learn about his migrant parents who moved him around most of his childhood, and the poverty he endured. We learn about his grandfather’s “great escape” from Chihuahua, Mexico to the fields and farms of America. And we learn about the teachers who noticed and encouraged Herrera, building confidence in his writing. This quirky book on creativity is buzzing with energy. Nonsense words combine with hand-drawn doodles and big, bold text to illustrate how Jabberwalking works. While I think it might be confusing to young readers, it’s a great fit for older middle-grades and up, and especially fitting for high school libraries.

Review by Andrea LeBaron, Upland Terrace Media Center
Rating: ★★★✩✩ (3 stars)
Interest Level: 5th Grade – Adult

Written and Illustrated by Juan Felipe Herrera
Candlewick Press
137 pages
Release Date: March 13, 2018
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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