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Annotation: A former United States Poet Laureate shares secrets about viewing the world from a poet's perspective, explaining how "jabberwalking" poets draw inspiration from everything they experience to express themselves in creative ways.
Catalog Number: #155825
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 137 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-536-20140-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-536-20140-6
Dewey: 808.1
LCCN: 2018935020
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Poet laureate Herrera conveys his enthusiasm for composing verse in this energetic how-to guide. In 15 brief chapters, he encourages brainstorming (i.e., "Jabberwalking") and then quickly scribbling ideas on paper; reviewing for words and phrases that make sense; constructing poems with attention to shape, type size, and font; publishing; and, hopefully, achieving acclaim. Most of the text is conveyed in lively free verse glish, with a generous sprinkling of Spanish at brims with references to contemporary life: "And if / you are Jabberwalking, that is, moving your blue-cheesy body / across the knobby, bumpy, bean-frijol planet, you too will possess an / honest-to-most-goodness, long, long / Jabber / Poem burble!" Including several biographical vignettes (some recalling encouragement from his mother) and frequent line-drawn cartoons, this book may be the best opportunity most of us will ever have to experiencing a Herrera presentation. And although the casual preteen browser may be left confused, in the hands of a gifted educator, this book has the potential to inspire and encourage young writers.
Kirkus Reviews
In the spirit of Alice's madcap adventure down the rabbit hole, this stream-of-consciousness, metafictive exploration of the poetic process dips in and out of imagined reality as easily as the Cheshire Cat winks in and out of sight. Herrera, a former United States Poet Laureate, launches with an exhortation to "Slide on your Jabber Booots!" Taking writing pad in hand, "You have to move fast!" if "Your burbles are going to become a / Seismic & Crazy Epic Poem!" Herrera's rules for Jabberwalking-poets-in-waiting are simple: 1) "You do not have to know where you are going! / Or what you are saying!" 2) "move!" 3) "SCRIBBLE your burbles, your words of things…Jabber!" In this topsy-turvy vision, the brain is really a burrito that spews cosmos-changing revelations to anyone paying attention. "After four hours of nonstop Jabberwriting… / YOU! In four hours—will have an… / ALMOST-BOOK!" The challenge is to interpret the resulting scribbled "burbles," but fear not, the challenge isn't really a challenge because no one is expected to "understand" or "decipher." A Jabberwalker's sole directive is to create something that's not a "typical poem!" Between looking for the narrator's dog, Lotus, flying to the Library of Congress, landing on the word planet Pluto, and meeting a couple of Jabberbloggers, Jabberwalkers everywhere will have hopped, flown, and leapt through shape-changing exultations that have freed their "Mind-Brains." In the right hands, all the wacky assignments and Herrera's autobiographical "Jabber Notebook" entries will ultimately spawn incandescent thinkers who will leap to the "flamey / Stars!"—or so Herrera hopes.An uncommon DIY for exuberant rule breakers. (Nonfiction. 12-16)
Publishers Weekly
Using the made-up words of Carroll-s -Jabberwocky- as a jumping-off point, former U.S. poet laureate Herrera shows children how riotous verbal exuberance births poetry: -whatever pours out of your bubbly burrito head down to your paper pad thing or liquid screen.- He-s full of bold techniques for releasing the poems inside his readers (-Scribble what you see/ Scribble what you hear/ Scribble out the electric Jabber worms crawling out of your head & eyes-), and his own free verse zigs, zags, and leaps, punc­tuated with scribbled drawings, playful grammar and spelling, and detours into interplanetary surrealism (-It-s me! Zandunga García! From Bunion Junction!-). Along the way, he remembers his farm-worker parents, speaks of being a poet of color in the U.S., and declares that what matters most is -to make all life so beautiful your heart becomes a diamond galaxy.- Most of all, he wants readers to understand that they can be writers, right now: -Let-s go! ¡Vámanos! Slide on your Jabber Booots!- Poetry manuals can make students roll their eyes, but this one may open their hearts. Ages 10-up. Agent: Kendra Marcus, Bookstop Literary. (Mar.)

Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (2/1/18)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

Juan Felipe Herrera, the first Mexican-American Poet Laureate in the USA, is sharing secrets: how to turn your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry.

Can you walk and talk at the same time? How about Jabber Walk? Can you write and draw and walk and journal all at the same time? If not, you’re in luck: exuberant, blue-cheesy cilantro man Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, is here to teach you everything he knows about being a real-life, bonified, jabberwalking poet! Jabberwalkers write and speak for themselves and others no matter where their feet may take them — to jabberwalk is to be a poet on the move. And there’s no stopping once you’re a Jabberwalker, writing fast, fast, fast, scribble-poem-burbles-on-the-run. Scribble what you see! Scribble what you hear! It’s all out there — vámonos!

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