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3.38  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  50 reviews
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 Jabberwalk? 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 Fe
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press
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3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not too long ago I taught a six-week summer creative writing course for teens. Now I’ve never taught creative writing before. Truth be told, I had no idea where to start. So, like any good librarian, I hit the books. My idea was to take a different book each week and use it as a creative writing guide for the kids. And since these were teens we were talking about, I mixed up the reading levels on the guides. As a result they took deep dives into The Creativity Project, Writing Radar, Spilling ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's difficult picking a rating for something where you enjoy the message and meaning of a work (don't hold back creatively, embrace your voice, embrace your weird), but you don't necessarily dig the way it's presented. That's where I'm at with Jabberwalking. I'm not a big fan of the weird crazy nonsense poetry here, but I appreciate the message and meaning.
Sarah Davis
Pretentious and inaccessible. Tedious and exhausting. This is why so many kids hate poetry.
Kayla Leitschuh
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you like poetry and nonsense words then you will love Jabberwalking. Part poetry, part instructional guide, all fun.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Jabber-Walking is written by Juan Felipe Herrera who is was the Poet Laureate of the United States in 2015-2017. This collection of poems includes information and tips on how to Jabber-Walk or in other words be a poet. Jabber-Walking contains poems that seem non sensical but turn into something more. This is a true Ode to creativity, imagination, and poetry. It highlights and encourages the messiness that comes with creativity and expression. Because of this I think it would be a great text to u ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I hope junior high students understood and found the process useful. It looked fun but I could not get into the swing of it. It has a delightful layout and talks about writing -- both good. It makes no mention of electronic media and I feel certain that was a deliberate action that took much determination.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lewis Carroll’s inspiration is undeniable in this book which is part story, part handbook, and packed with nonsensical words and phrases.
Oct 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: candlewick
Candlewick described this book at Herrera's advice to young poets. Great add-on for kids who got hooked through Kwame Alexander.
Mary Lee
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book makes you want to let go of conventions and fear and write, write, write! Woven in is his story, the story of growing up in a family of migrant farm workers who were also musicians and word lovers, and his amazement that he became US Poet Laureate.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is the perfect book to pair with Sydell Rosenberg's H is for Haiku, because what is jabberwalking other than writing, drawing, journaling and walking at the same time as you "burble" what you see around you: "Scribble what you see/Scribble what you hear/ Scribble out the electric Jabber worms crawling out of you head & eyes/Scribble what that dude skating is hollering/Scribble everything that goes on in the cafeteria/Scribble what all the teachers say in the halls... According to Herrer ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the first Mexican-American Poet Laureate of the United States comes this call to become a person who can write and walk at the same time. It’s a book that demands that you record your thoughts, messy and wild and raw. That you use documents to find words, that you draw ideas while on airplanes, that you walk a lot, think a lot, write a lot. That you embrace the voice that is inside you and create. Whatever that creation looks like in all of its “fuzzy, puffy, blue-cheesy, incandescent, brav ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
JABBERWALKING opens your eyes to a new way of creating poetry. The trick is to scribble all of your nonsense words down while walking fast. The can be completely random and beautiful at the same time. The author teaches that you shouldn't hold back and you never know what masterpiece you can create if you don't try.

The author wants you to use all of your senses while walking fast. Write what you here and write what you see. This book is the key to learn how to become a Jabber-Walking expert.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time finishing this one. I like the concept and think there are some good suggestions for the writing process in it. I also liked the author’s “notebook” portions where he shares a little bit about his & his family’s history in asides, and the few, brief, more structured poetry moments were good. HOWEVER, the “story” was very jarring & ridiculous, and he used the descriptors sweaty, puffy, and blue-cheesy so many times that I wanted to scream...or turn it into a drinking gam ...more
Leeza Robertson
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fun and quirky book on creativity and how to make something out of seemingly nothing. I really like this approach of taking the minds ramblings and polishing them into diamonds. Even though this is short and written in a fast-paced wacky kind of way, there are some really good lessons in the text about listening, expressing and refining one's ideas, thoughts and writing. I also think the idea of Jabberwalking would be fabulous when one is faced with writer's block as I can see how it ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What fun! I'm so glad my wide awake in the middle of the night brain chose this one from the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of the United States.
When you open this book you should expect to be taken by the hand and pulled quickly into a world of fast paced, write it as you think it, poetry. The coolest part, cooler than learning about Herrera throughout the book (which was pretty darn cool) is that he urges you to join in on the fun! As a teacher I felt the ideas literally buzzing around my head. How I
Carro Herdegen
May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language – G (0 swears, 0 “f”), Mature Content – G; Violence – G; Herrera talks directly to readers in this book of jabberwalking poems. As he talks with readers, Herrera also teaches his readers how to jabberwalk and write poems like he does. Hurry! You’ll get left behind if you can’t keep up.
The poems and narrative told through those poems are very disjointed and confusing. I didn’t understand what was going on in the first couple of chapters, then I thought I understood what was going on, and
Paulina Peace
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A new take on poetry! This book is underrated, and it deserves to have more attention. I have never heard of "jabberwalking," but the concept itself sounds really interesting and unique. It is a quick read, but it definitely gives you something new to try out. I know I will definitely try this in my free time since I am a poet myself. I mean, getting a workout AND writing some sweet poetry? Sounds like a dream come true. It never hurts to try something new.
Terri Faulkner
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Study the intentional explosion of bright cover-art color, with the whimsical addition of a man walking a dog. Add in what you already know of Lewis Carroll's nonsensical poem Jabberwocky. Stay out of the deep end of the Meanings ocean, and instead, let the lyrical text give you a fresh insight simply into writing poetry. Read the pages aloud! As with most poetry, these words and their rhythm should be heard rather than read silently. This, this is fun.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although I was tempted to put the book down out of confusion in the beginning, I began to through enjoy the feel of the journey contained in Jabberwalking. An added bonus, this book got me to look up and learn about the position of Poet Laureate along with several other curious facts. A simply delightful light reading sharing the spark of design to be creative and exploratory in new art forms.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-nonfic, poetry
This has roots and wings and taxis and blue cheese and the Library of Congress. I'm not sure what it is or how to categorize it, but I like it and couldn't put it down. Brilliant, weird, inspirational and meant to be read ALOUD to and by poets ages 9-14. But definitely not for everybody. In a good way.
Barbara White
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jabberwalking is a great book. We always want students to journal, write, write, and write even more. This book embodies that philosophy, and we can learn how to do it by reading Jabberwalking.
Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for a copy of Jabberwalking. I'll be purchasing multiple copies for my classroom.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Highly engaging, fun, clever, and inspirational "guide" to writing poetry. The book encourages a creative, messy, and open state of mind to get kids to free up their writing process. I will recommend this book to everyone (adults too) who enjoys writing (and especially those who don't enjoy writing) so they too can create "burbles of verbal contortions."
Leonard Kim
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Felt akin to Jason Reynolds. I think Herrera is a more accomplished writer than Reynolds, but that actually makes the negative aspects of this kind of writing worse. Except for the one actual, finished poem on pages 72-75, this is no way to model writing, encouraging inclinations of would-be writers that should probably be discouraged.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Makes me think Herrera and Lynda Barry should hang out-- or do a panel presentation on creativity-- or maybe they already know each other? In any case, check out her book "Syllabus" for more great stuff on the creative process!
Heydi Smith
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skip-it
This could have been amazing. I wanted it to be amazing. I loved the cover and the summary of the book. I loved the intention and how badly Juan wants kids to get excited about poetry.

This; this though is not good. It's confusing and disjointed. It makes one hope it will be over soon.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
weird and wonderful, beautiful and bizarre. I've never read anything quite like it, but I'm glad I did. steam of consciousness/ class in creative writing. a lovely find at the library & plus I love the cover art.
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Herrera wrote this book to inspire children to write and doodle while walking around in order to channel their inner poet selves. It is goofy and fun to read, and could inspire children to try writing poetry and playing with language.
Michael Rank
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, poetry
For kids who need an introduction to nonsense verse and not being afraid to write down whatever thoughts drip from their brain, this book is a great start. As a bonus, it reads in such a way that it fills you with a buzzing energy you can't deny.
Sofia Lykes
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Such a fun idea for poetry! I loved his different catch phrases like blue-cheesy or hurry! Hurry! The whole premise is walking and writing at the same time. I would love to do this as a poetry unit with children. Great cover art too!
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, poetry
Poet laureate has written a book about how to create a poem while writing and walking It's very artsy and creative. There are some doodles. It's short and snappy (mostly). There are some longer reflective passages. I think it's very niche audience. Definitely not in my personal wheelhouse.
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Juan Felipe Herrera is the only son of Lucha Quintana and Felipe Emilio Herrera; the three were campesinos living from crop to crop on the roads of the San Joaquín Valley, Southern California and the Salinas Valley. Herrera's experiences as the child of migrant farmers have strongly shaped his work, such as the children's book Calling the Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats award in 1997. He is a ...more
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