Imagine — 17 Comments

  1. This book is great! I loved the illustrations. The poem is simple, and inspiring. I agree with many in that it would be fun to use as a read aloud. The repetition of the word “imagine” makes it interactive, and kids could share what they imagine about their lives. This is one I definitely want to add to our collection and use in future programs.

  2. I am always looking for new poetry for kids and this is perfect. I love the themes of possibilities and hopes and dreams and accomplishments. I will use this in my poetry units. The mentioning of the poetry and music connection is of great value to my lessons. Imagination is one of our greatest gifts that we need to continue to share with our students. LOVE IT!

  3. Impressive pictures and poetry. Doing great things against all odds….believing in yourself, dreaming big and persevering through tough times. Character study and motivational lessons. I would use this as a read aloud, maybe art/artist study. 5/5 stars

  4. I liked the story told within the poem or rap. I think I would read the story, share the information on the author, and read it again.
    The second read through students could close their eyes and imagine. I would use this book for fifth graders going on to middle school – imagine what you will be able to do! All students will be able to relate to the text, especially our new comers to this country, and hopefully be inspired.
    5/5 stars

  5. I definitely enjoyed this book and can think of a few different ways to use this in my first grade classroom. One way would be to use this as part of our timeline unit, since this book is a lovely example of a general timeline of Herrera’s life. I would also use this as a mentor text in a poetry lesson. I will admit that, like another camper stated, I had to read the book twice to get where the word “imagine” was going. I might also use this as a mentor text illustrating the need to reread some texts in order to get the full meaning, or how the meaning of text changes with repeated readings.

    The pairing of the text and illustrations is perfect. I would love to have this book in my collection. 4/5

  6. Whomever it was at Candlewick who decided to pair these words with illustrations by Lauren Castillo should get a promotion. Talk about a dynamite combination.
    There’s so much to like about this book, but one of the big ideas I would hope students would come away with would be that no matter where or how we start our lives, we can imagine ourselves doing great things. I think a great writing prompt after reading this would be to encourage students to imagine themselves as a grown up…what will they be doing? And then could they choose a few of their own experiences so far in their life that they could turn into the first few stanzas of their own “imagine” poem? Here are two of mine:
    If I tagged along behind
    my older sister
    never quite catching up

    If I applied
    to travel around the world
    learning my way across many countries

  7. The pairing of this lovely poem and beautiful artwork is so powerful. I found it to be a beautiful story of hope and possibility. It would be wonderful to share this book with young readers to promote growth mindset.
    Rate 5/5 stars.

  8. Again this is a book that I have mixed emotions about. I like the message it is portraying, but I feel like you would need to pre-load a lot of background information to your students before you begin the read aloud. I didn’t really get the word “image” at the bottom of each page until I got to the very last page when it said “imagine what you could do”. If I were to use this as a read aloud in my classroom, I might use it as a perfect mentor text to illustrate the need to ask questions while reading and the need to re-read books over again to really understand what they are saying. For that reason alone, I think I would add this book to my mentor text collection because it is powerful, but could also be a short quick read that can be done twice in the same day while still giving students lots of opportunities to discuss it.

  9. The more I think about this book and the poem, the more I enjoy it. I love the message of how regardless of who you see yourself as now, you can take what you have and use it to create something extraordinary — the power is in your own imagination. Juan Felipe’s childhood and life leading up to being the Poet Laureate wasn’t without hardship, as nobody’s life is. To get to a certain point, you have to start from somewhere and that path isn’t going to be without a few bumps, forks in the road, or even dead ends. Imagine what you can do with those experiences, and how they will help you.

    As a classroom teacher, I would use this book as a way to talk about introduce and talk about what it means to imagine. I think when many of us think about imagining, things that are fantastic or far-fetched come to mind. But imagining too is taking things that we are already familiar with or experiences that we’ve had and using them as inspiration for something new, however realistic or fantastic that may be. I would love to use this book to inspire students to see that they can use their own backgrounds and experiences to create something potentially unexpected in themselves.

    Overall rating: 5/5 stars

  10. This book was one of my favorites! The story is perfect for a read a long and the illustrations picture the words so well. His life story is an incredible journey. I immediately saw it fit in with my Minds Up unit that I use at the beginning of the school year. Giving students the opportunity to express their thoughts in art or writing would really enrich the unit.

  11. This is a unique concept in a book. The illustrations were beautiful and I liked how they showed the boy growing up. I could see having the students do their own “If…..imagine” statements. I would have liked an “Author’s Note” at the end with more information about JUan Felipe Herrera and a photograph of him as a child and another grown up.

  12. I loved this book. It’s told in such a beautiful way and the illustrations are charming as well.
    I could see this book being used for storytime or in the classroom for a read aloud. I’m not sure how I might use it as part of a curriculum, except for maybe as an option when studying people who have made important contributions to society. Or it would also be a good example of a non-traditional autobiography. It’s just an all around great book for pleasure reading as well.
    5/5 stars

  13. I like the concept of this book, but not sure if my 2nd graders would really understand what was going on in the story. It would take a lot of explaining and rereading to help them understand the meaning behind the book. I give this book a 3/5.

  14. Although this book had breathtaking color and illustrations I was not thrilled with it. The story felt stilted and left me with questions. The reading did not flow well for me. I had to read the summary to understand that it was a migrant worker growing up. I wouldn’t read it aloud but I am sure my students would love the pictures. 5/10

  15. The repetition of “If I…” and “imagine” make this a fabulous read aloud. This is a book that only grows more powerful as you read each page. Many of my newcomers could identify with the 2 page spread of not knowing how to read or speak in English and then one day being able to use those words to “write a magnificent story!” It would be a wonderful book to share with our students in AVID who are asked “Who might you be? Imagine…” I would begin with the back cover and share about the author’s own experiences before reading the book. I would definitely ask students to join in saying aloud the word “imagine.” Following the reading, I would ask the students to make ink flow like tiny rivers across soft paper with a gooey and sticky ink pen! Rate 4/5 stars.

  16. I really enjoyed this book. The first thing that caught my attention was the word imagine at the end of every page. I would use this book and have kids lay down on the floor with eyes closed and imagin e what they see at the end of every page. I really enjoyed the book more as I continued to read and realized it was the boys life story. Very touching.
    Rating 5/5 stars

  17. I loved this book! Watching the boy grow to a man was really meaningful. I can just picture a class on every page when you get to the word, imagine… saying it in unison. I would use this book as a read a loud, stopping on each page and asking how students would feel in that situation. I would also talk with students about all the things in their lives that are small, but how strong all those things can make us.
    The illustrations were very well done and added so much to this story.
    I rate this book 5/5 stars