Book Review: Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo (Monica Brown / Rafael López


Author: Monica Brown 

Illustrator:  Rafael López

Age Range: 4 to 8

 BookTito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo 

Description: In bright, vivid colors and words to match the well-beloved Latin music legend, Brown and López tell the story of Puente's childhood and eventual decision to become a musician.  In this retelling, it's not so much a decision as it is a calling -- "Before he could walk, Tito was making music.  He banged spoons and forks on pots and pans, windowsills and cans."  It's not a terribly detailed biography, but there are some nice biographical touches (Tito's first band? "Los Happy Boys").  Displaying the text in both English and Spanish is a nice touch, and López's illustrations are vibrant.  (Watch a book trailer here.)  Recommended for fans of Puente and Latin music, or anyone seeking to expand their family's or classroom's musical knowledge beyond what is often in book form limited to rock and classical music.