Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Juan Felipe Herrera- His Picture Books and Middle Grade/ Young Adults Novels

Felicidades to Juan Felipe Herrera y muchos aplausos. He is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. Our niños and jóvenes can also read and learn from his wonderful work.

Lee and Low had created a Author Study Toolkit. You can find it at

This is a list of his children's books and middle grade/ young adult novels

Calling the Doves / El canto de las palomas

Illustrated by Elly Simmons
Calling the Doves is poet Juan Felipe Herrera's story of his migrant farmworker childhood. In delightful and lyrical language, he recreates the joy of eating breakfast under the open sky, listening to Mexican songs in the little trailer house his father built, and celebrating with other families at a fiesta in the mountains. He remembers his mother’s songs and poetry, and his father's stories and his calling the doves. For Juan Felipe, the farmworker road was also the beginning of his personal road to becoming a writer.

Featherless/ Desplumado

Illustrated by Ernesto Cuevas
At his new school or on the soccer field, all everyone wants to know is why Tomasito is in a wheelchair. His Papi gives Tomasisto a new pet to make him smile, but this bird is a little bit different from the rest. Before long, this boy-bird team discovers that there's more than one way to fly-on or off the soccer field-and that those cheers Tomasito hears from the sidelines just might be for him. Goooooooooooal!

The Upside Down Boy / El niño de cabeza

Illustrated by Elizabeth Gómez
The Upside Down Boy is award-winning poet Juan Felipe Herrera's engaging memoir of the year his migrant family settled down so that he could go to school for the first time.
Juanito is bewildered by the new school, and he misses the warmth of country life. Everything he does feels upside down. He eats lunch when it's recess; he goes out to play when it's time for lunch; and his tongue feels like a rock when he tries to speak English. But a sensitive teacher and loving family help him to find his voice and make a place for himself in this new world through poetry, art, and music.

Grandma and Me at the Flea / Los Meros Meros Remateros

Illustrated by Anita De Lucio-Brock
Every Sunday Juanito helps his grandmother sell old clothes beneth the rainbow-colored tents at the remate, the flea market. There, Juanito and his friends romp from booth to booth, fulfilling Grandma's vision of the remate as a sharing community of friendly give-and-take.
Juanito gallops to the jewelry-man, who gives Juanito a copper bracelet and a watch for Grandma in exchange for her help sending money orders home to Mexico. Señora Vela gratefully accepts a bundle of Grandma's healing herbs in return for sacks of ruby red chiles. With every exchange Juanito learns firsthand what it means to be a true rematero - a fleamarketeer - and discovers that the value of community can never be measured in dollars.

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Illustrated by Raul Colón
This visually stunning book showcases twenty Hispanic and Latino American men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism, and athletics.  Gorgeous portraits complement sparkling biographies of Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Roberto Clemente, and many more. Complete with timelines and famous quotes, this tome is a magnificent homage to those who have shaped our nation.

Coralito's Bay

Illustrated by Lena Shiffman
 Coralito’s Bay is the story of a young boy’s imaginary underwater adventures through the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This dream-like journey in his father’s adapted flower truck shows young Coralito the natural wonders living in the sanctuary, and how important clean waters are to its inhabitants. Coralito learns that the ocean, like him, needs a clean and healthy environment. The book is in both Spanish and English.

Super Cilantro Girl/La Superniña del Cilantro

Illustrated by Honorio Robleda Tapia
What happens when a small girl suddenly starts turning green, as green as a cilantro leaf, and grows to be fifty feet tall? She becomes Super Cilantro Girl, and can overcome all obstacles, that’s what! Esmeralda Sinfronteras is the winning super-hero in this effervescent tale about a child who flies huge distances and scales tall walls in order to rescue her mom. Award-winning writer Juan Felipe Herrera taps into the wellsprings of his imagination to address and transform the concerns many first-generation children have about national borders and immigrant status. Honorio Robledo Tapia has created brilliant images and landscapes that will delight all children.

Downtown Boy

A novel in verse, this is the tale of a boy who grows up in California in the 1950s brings an exciting new talent to Scholastic Press.

Juanito Paloma, his mother Lucha, and his elderly father Felipe, are a tiny family who, after years of working in the fields of California's Central Valley, move to San Francisco's Latin Mission District to live with relatives. Juanito longs to be in one place, rather than "going, going, going," and pines for the love of his often-absent father. This family story of growing up Latino will resonate with readers of all backgrounds.

Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box

When the towers fall, New York City is blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda, the Cinnamon Girl, makes her manda, her promise, to gather as much of it as she can. Maybe returning the dust to Ground Zero can comfort all the voices. Maybe it can help Uncle DJ open his eyes again.
As tragedies from her past mix in the air of an unthinkable present, Yolanda searches for hope. Maybe it's buried somewhere in the silvery dust of Alphabet City.

CrashBoomLove: A Novel in Verse

In this novel in verse--unprecedented in Chicano literature--renowned poet Juan Felipe Herrera illuminates the soul of a generation. Drawn from his own life as well as a lifetime of dedication to young people, CrashBoomLove helps readers understand what it is to be a teen, a migrant worker, and a boy wanting to be a boy.

Sixteen-year-old César García is careening. His father, Papi César, has left the migrant circuit in California for his other wife and children in Denver. Sweet Mama Lucy tries to provide for her son with dichos and tales of her own misspent youth. But at Rambling West High School in Fowlerville, the sides are drawn: Hmongs vs. Chicanos vs. everybody vs. César, the new kid on the block.

Juan Felipe Herrera's Winding Path to Poetry

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