Tito Puente, Mambo King /Rey Del Mambo
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.
Title: Tito Puente: Mambo King/Rey del Mambo
Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: Rafael Lopez
Publisher: Rayo / HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: March, 2013
Genre/Format: Biography/Bilingual Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, clap your hands for Tito Puente... The Mambo King plays and sways ans people dance the mambo, the rumba, and the cha-cha!
Damas y señores, niños y niñas, aplaudan a Tito Puente ... El Rey del Mambo toca su música y se balancea mientras la audiencia baila el mambo, la rumba y el chachachá!
What Jen Thinks: Reading this book had me wanting to dance and move and go look up more information about Tito Puente. The rhythm and lyricality of the text seemed to bring Tito Puente to life. It's as if Tito Puente just wants to dance right out of the book. I love how Monica Brown captures what seems to have been the essence of Tito Puente. I love her book Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People and felt a similar feeling when I read it. While both men are different, she is able to bring their personalities alive through the text she writes. I believe this is the best kind of non-fiction; non-fiction that is so well written that it compels you to do more reading, be it non-fiction or fiction.
As more and more non-fiction biographical picture books are written, teachers have more of an opportunity to examine what choices an author makes to bring their subject to life. I absolutely love how great this book will be as a mentor text when paired with other non-fiction biographical picture books. Students can look at how authors portray different people and their different personalities. Description and word choice is very intentional in order to write a piece with tone and mood to match. I can especially see how this would be used with older readers. They could write about a person they know and then could do research on a famous person and gather facts and evidence to help them decipher what tone or mood would match the person they are writing about. I can see how they could use multimedia sources in their research as they study the person they are writing about.
What Kellee Thinks: This year I am teaching a Developmental Language Arts class for incoming ESOL students who, when they enter my school, have been in the United States for less than a year or score low English proficiency on the CELLA test when they enter. I knew this class would be a challenge as I do not know any other language, but I also knew (and now know) that this class was going to very rewarding. With teaching a different group of students than I've ever had before, my thinking when searching for books to use in their class has changed and I am always looking for books that they'll connect to and books that celebrate world cultures. This book is perfect for my class! It'd be a way to build class community because many of my students come from Hispanic countries and they can share the music/dances with my non-Hispanic students. It also gives them the ability to share their language with me and the rest of the class. Finally, since it is such a well done biography, it gives them all an opportunity to learn about a fascinating young man.
Read Together: Grades K - 12
Read Alone: Grades K - 12
Read With: Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio, Twelve Rounds of Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles E. Smith, Jr., Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown
Snatch of Text:
"Before he could walk, Tito was making
music. He banged spoons and forks on
pots and pans, windowsills and cans.
Aun antes de caminar, Tito ya hacia
musica. Usaba cucharas y tenedores
para golpear ollas y sartenes,
alfeizares y latas.
Tom Tom!"Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections
Writing Strategies to Practice: Tone, Mood, Descriptive, Word Choice, Rhythm, Onomatopoeia
Writing Prompts: Write about a person you know and what they are passionate about. Pay attention to word choice so that your writing has the same energy as the person you are describing.
Topics Covered: Music, Passions, Movement, Dancing, Integration - Arts
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