Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st U.S. Poet Laureate. Learn more about him from our in-depth interview!

Books by This Author

Calling the Doves

Product Description: 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 singing songs and reciting poetry, and his father telling stories and calling the doves.

Cerca / Close

Drawing of a smiling girl in front of green hills with flowers.
Illustrated by: Blanca Gomez
Age Level: 3-6

Mi cuarto está cerca de la cocina. My bedroom is close to the kitchen.

As she walks from her kitchen through a daisy-filled yard to the house next door, a little girl notices things that are close to each other — just as the little boy she goes to visit is close to her.

Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box

Age Level: 14-16

"Yolanda's grasp on reality crumbles along with the World Trade Center after her beloved Uncle DJ is injured on September 11. Still coping with a tragic incident from her past in Iowa, Yolanda's fear after this new calamity is palpable through the poetry used as the vehicle to tell her story.

CrashBoomLove

Age Level: 16-18

Mexican-American poet Herrera wrote one of the first novels in verse for the teen audience. Sixteen-year old Cesar is the son of migrant workers, and he shares his coming-of-age experiences.

Downtown Boy

Age Level: 12-14

"In 1950s California, 10-year-old Juanito is tired of moving with his migrant-worker parents and staying in relatives' homes in San Francisco's Mission District. He aches for his often-absent father. Finally, Papi returns, and home becomes San Diego, where Juanito settles into a deeper sense of place and faces family secrets and hardship." — Booklist

Featherless/Desplumado

At his new school, everyone asks Tomasito why he is in a wheelchair. His father gives him a new pet to make him smile, but this bird is a little bit different too. Can Tomasito's featherless friend teach him that he doesn't have to stay on the sidelines — and that there's more than one way to fly? Related classroom activities available from Children's Book Press.

Grandma and Me at the Flea

Illustrated by: Anita De Lucio-Brock
Age Level: 6-9

Juan Felipe Herrera shares memories of the time he spent with his grandmother at the local flea market in this uplifting story. From the woman who sells hot chiles to the man who sells eagle belt-buckles, the flea market offers so many sights, sounds, and tastes to take in. What Juan begins to realize, though, is that the flea market is much more than a collection of tents and vendors — it is a community. Anita de Lucio-Brocks vibrant illustrations fill the pages with stunning color and detail. Bilingual text.

Laughing Out Loud, I Fly

Age Level: 12-14

Product Description: Juan Felipe Herrera writes in both Spanish and English about the joy and laughter and sometimes the confusion of growing up in an upside-down, jumbled-up world-between two cultures, two homes. Skillfully crafted, joyful, and fun, the poems are paired with whimsical black and white drawings by Karen Barbour.

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 9-12

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 by Raúl Colón 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.

Super Cilantro Girl/La Superniña del Cilantro

Illustrated by: Honorio Robleda Tapia
Age Level: 9-12
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

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.

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