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Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo (Pura Belpre Honor Books - Illustration Honor) Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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“¡Tum Tica! ¡Tum Tica! The dancers twirled, the lights swirled, and the mambo went on and on.” Like so many of Brown’s biographies, such as Waiting for the Biblioburro (2011) and Side by Side/Lado a lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/La historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez (2009), Tito’s story introduces readers to a vibrant Latino figure. As a baby, Puente made music with pots and pans, and he later grew up to fulfill his dreams as a musician and beloved bandleader. Award-winning illustrator López brings Tito’s story to life in vibrant acrylic salsa reds and oranges, which are splashed behind every shake of Tito’s hips and wink of his eyes. The swirling, whirling compositions add to the text’s rhythmic beat. To continue the rumba after Tito’s story has ended, the last page of the book offers a simple melody to play on its own or alongside the book. An author’s note (in both English and Spanish) sheds more light on Puente’s life. Grades K-3. --Angie Zapata
“My father was an inspiration to many generations of Latin music fans worldwide. This book is a testament to that. Now his name and likeness will reach a brand new group of young fans who will discover his genius and talent.” (Tito Puente Jr.)
“Brown and Lopez collaborate in this energetic bilingual tribute to salsa drummer and band leader extraordinaire. Lopez’s pictures convey salsa’s rhythmic exuberance via a riotous palette. A vibrant, reverent celebration of the godfather of salsa.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“...Irresistable...The vibrant imagery hums right off the page, full of high-contrast color and energetic composition, and decorated with swirling, starry embellishments. (Horn Book Magazine)
Brown’s bilingual text echoes the rhythms of salsa, mambo, and jazz . Lopez’s sizzling acrylics are anything but flat. (Publishers Weekly)
Like so many of Brown’s biographies, Tito’s story introduces readers to a vibrant Latino figure. Award-winning illustrator López brings Tito’s story to life in vibrant acrylic salsa reds and oranges, which are splashed behind every shake of Tito’s hips and wink of his eyes. (ALA Booklist)