Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: Rafael López
Age Range: 4 to 8
Book: Tito 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.