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¡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 Cesar Chavez (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 Lopez 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.--Zapata, Angie Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.