Tito Puente, Mambo King = Rey del Mambo: A Bilingual Picture Book: Mambo King; Rey del Mambo
Tito Puente, Mambo King = Rey del Mambo: A Bilingual Picture Book: Mambo King; Rey del Mambo
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Annotation: A celebration of the life and music of the man known as the "King of the Mambo" and the "Godfather of Salsa" covers his boyhood in New York and his years as a musician and bandleader, and highlights the pleasure he gave listeners.
Catalog Number: #5330590
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Lopez, Rafael,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-122783-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-122783-7
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2012025493
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA 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.
Horn Book
A bilingual picture book charts the life of Tito Puente with all the exuberance of the drummer and bandleader's irresistible music. Vibrant imagery hums right off the page, full of high-contrast color and energetic composition, and decorated with swirling, starry embellishments. The treatment is not especially deep and is decidedly positive: Tito's life reads like a sequence of successes.
Kirkus Reviews
Brown and López, who previously teamed for the award-winning My Name Is Celia (2004), collaborate anew in this energetic bilingual tribute to the salsa drummer and band leader extraordinaire. Brown's narrative, simply phrased and peppered with exclamation points, takes her preschool and primary audience from Tito's toddlerhood, banging "spoons and forks on pots and pans," through childhood loves: drum lessons, dancing and stickball on the streets of Harlem. Bouncing through the musician's adulthood, Brown highlights early gigs, a Navy stint (where he learned to play sax) and regular shows at the Palladium in New York City. Puente's dream of heading his own band comes true in a single page turn (though López's depiction of the now white-haired drummer does attest to time's passage). A percussive refrain, fun to read and hear, pops up as part of the Spanish text but resonates in either language: "¡Tum Tica! / ¡Tac Tic! / ¡Tum Tic! / ¡Tom Tom!" López's pictures, layered acrylics on prepared wooden boards, convey salsa's rhythmic exuberance via a riotous palette that includes electric orange, chocolate brown, pale teal, and touches of pink and purple. Multihued swirls and plumes emanate from Tito's timbales and drumsticks; Celia Cruz (a frequent collaborator) soars in a costume whose fuchsia feathers seem to morph from the sea green waves below. A vibrant, reverent celebration of the godfather of salsa. (biographical note; brief musical notation for rumba beat included in the text) (Bilingual picture book/biography. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
As Brown explains, Tito Puente (1923-2000) made music his entire life, from banging -spoons and forks on pots and pans, windowsills and cans,- to learning the saxophone while serving in the Navy during WWII, studying at Juilliard, and leading the big band that carried his name. Brown-s bilingual text echoes the rhythms of salsa, mambo, and jazz (-The claves smacked clackity clackity clack clack-), yet feels somewhat subdued next to Lopez-s sizzling acrylics, which have a weathered, mural-like quality but are anything but flat. Ages 4-8. Agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (Mar.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2&12; Brown has written a series of picture-book biographies of Latino poets and musicians that have set the standard for what a biography for young readers should be. She has taken the lives of Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Gabriel Garc&7;a Marquez, and Celia Cruz and created a special type of poetry of her own, with lyrical texts that capture the essence of who these artists were. This newest title is no different. Puente's first band was called Los Happy Boys, and, like his music, reading this book aloud can't fail to put a smile on one's face. It's particularly exciting that Rafael L&3;pez, the illustrator of Brown's biography of Celia Cruz, has returned for this portrait of another Latin musician. From the cover that shows a grinning Puente gleefully beating on drums with what look like four arms, the joy that he took in music-making can hardly be contained on the page. Activity Ideas: Of course the only thing lacking is the music itself, so I suggest using Tito Puente as the basis for a Latin-music-themed storytime. Since the book is bilingual, it lends itself to the technique of using two readers&12;one to read in English, and the other in Spanish. Then play some Mambo music, preferably by Puente himself, and let everyone dance. If you know the mambo, the rumba, or the cha-cha, you could even teach some basic steps. (A basic rumba rhythm is included on the back page of the book.) Brown mentions that Puente was making music before he could walk, banging on spoons and forks, and pots and pans. Bring some utensils and see how your storytime crowd can make music. Since Puente notably recorded with Celia Cruz, you could pair this with Brown's My Name Is Celia (Luna Rising, 2004 )for a celebration of Latin rhythms. If you use an iPod for your storytime music, there is an "iTunes Essentials" playlist of Puente's music that you could purchase that includes a track with Cruz singing a number entitled "Celia y Tito."
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/13)
Horn Book (8/1/13)
Kirkus Reviews
Pura Belpre Honor
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (1/1/13)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 398
Reading Level: 2.7
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 156973 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q60174
Lexile: AD620L

In this vibrant bilingual picture book biography of musician Tito Puente, readers will dance along to the beat of this mambo king's life. Tito Puente loved banging pots and pans as a child, but what he really dreamed of was having his own band one day. From Spanish Harlem to the Grammy Awards—and all the beats in between—this is the true life story of a boy whose passion for music turned him into the "King of Mambo."

Award-winning author-illustrator duo Monica Brown and Rafael López bring the remarkable story of this talented legend to life in this Pura Belpré Honor Book. Supports the Common Core State Standards.

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