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Author: Herrera, Juan Felipe
Illustrator: Castillo,Lauren
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year Published: 2019
ISBN: 9780763690526
Grades: Grade 2, K-6


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Have you ever imagined who you might be when you grow up?
In this biographical poetic picture book,  Juan Felipe Herrera grows up as a migrant farmworker’s child, living a simple but happy life. Using a repeated prose pattern, If I …imagine, the poet/author tells about what his life was like from farmyard to village to a city, where he attends school, learns English, and discovers poetry and music as forms of art and expression until he became the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2015 – 2017, as an adult.  This simple retelling of an immigrant’s rise from simple life to that of a distinguished poet/author captures the hopes and dreams of migrant parents and children alike.   One must just begin by imagining a different life. The simple, large illustrations which are done in pen and foam monoprints, adds to the dreamlike story of the author’s life.
Suitable for grades 2-6, especially for immigrants and English as a Second Language students, who will be encouraged to imagine what their life can be in the future.  Recommended for: Character Education: Hope;  a study of famous people and their biographies; and is an example of poetic prose.

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