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Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo (Pura Belpre Honor Books - Illustration Honor) Hardcover – March 5, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“¡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

Review

“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)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Pura Belpre Honor Books - Illustration Honor
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Rayo; Bilingual edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227837
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book tells the story of Tito Puente in a simple, and fun way! My 4 yr. old loves this book, and especially loves the "¡tum, tica, tac, tic, tum tic, tom, tom!" It makes my son want to play his drums right after we read it together! It's catchy, and the wording is simple enough to learn new Spanish words! :) I was looking for cultural books of Latin role models to add to our home library (for my son), and this is an excellent acquisition! Highly recommend this book, a big plus is that it's in both Spanish and English. :)
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Format: Hardcover
This is a true story about Tito Puente, whom was at the center of the Latin jazz explosion. He was so good that he was considered, "King of the Mambo." I am very big on reading books to children that teach a lesson, and this one does. It teaches children to do what they love and to follow thier dreams. But it's not just about that, it's also about how his parents supported what he loved to do, which was play music. Tito Puente loved music more than anything and even before he could walk was banging spoons and forks wherever he could. His parents, nurturing what he loved to do, got him music lessons as a child and he grew from there. And the story is told in a fun and upbeat way. The story is told in both English and Spanish.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book that is rich in both illustration and text. The lively illustrations echo the energy that Tito Puente brought to his performances. My second grade students have loved listening to his music while we read the text together. He was such a charismatic performer and this book really highlights that. The text is fun and also reflects the sounds of his music. We have had a wonderful time getting to know the Mambo King during our library lessons.
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Format: Hardcover
Brown was presented with the challenge of summarizing Tito Puente’s life and music career in a picture book, and with the collaboration of Rafael López and his lovely illustrations, she succeeded wonderfully. What makes this picture book stand out is how beautifully words (English and Spanish) and images resonate with Tito’s sounds. The illustrations here are so vivid that you can almost see movements and listen to the sounds that are evoked. Brown and López effectively capture the beat and feeling of Tito Puente’s music throughout every page.

The book starts with an image of a boy and girl peeking through a curtain, as if we are about to start a show. This is where we are welcomed to Tito’s story from his childhood in El Barrio to his Grammy award-winning years. López’s colorful and vibrant images, along with Brown’s words and onomatopoeia, show us how music was constantly present in Tito’s life. These same images and words also construct a fond view of Latino life and music in NYC during Tito’s life.

Brown and López give us a very entertaining book that also manages to educate us about Tito’s life and the importance of music education. It is important to remember that Tito Puente was a product of music education and a supporter of music programs in schools. He even successfully worked toward the creation of the Tito Puente Educational Foundation that offers scholarships to children interested in learning music. This is an issue that is relevant when arts and music programs are constantly facing budget cuts.
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