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Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo
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Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  225 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
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!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Rayo
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 428)
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Melissa Berke
Reflection on ONE: Text to text, text to self, text to world connection with the book
This onomatopaeia in this book reminds me of Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles-Think of That by Leo Dillon. Instead of making noise with percussion like Tito Puente, Bojangles makes similar sounds with his feet.

Write six discussion questions using all six stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy

1. Knowledge: What kind of instrument does Tito Puente play?

2. Comprehension: Why did they call Tito Puente, "The Mambo King"

3. Applic
Jul 08, 2013 Maryam rated it it was amazing
If Rafael Lopez doesn't get at least a Caldecott Honor AND a Pura BelPre for this book, there's something wrong with the world of children's books. His illustrations are full of such color, energy, and imagination that you can SEE and FEEL Tito Puente's music on the vibrant pages of this bio-tribute. One of my favorite pictures is of Celia Cruz erupting from ocean waves as a flying mermaid -- above Tito, Santana and La Lupe. Monica Brown's text, aimed at young readers/listeners, focuses admirabl ...more
Jun 06, 2015 Jeimy rated it really liked it
The team behind My Name is Celia is back with an equally colorful biography on Tito Puente.
Anne Soderlund
Reflection Text to text – A music teacher who I love substituting for sometimes leaves plans to read books. She has a vast library of music related picture books. Some are biographical like this one, Andrea Davis Pinkney's Duke Ellington, for example. Others are just delightful songs in book form, like the many variations on There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback or Lucille Colandro. They may share information about an important musician or invite the reader to make music with ...more
Kaitlyn Steckbeck
Dec 13, 2014 Kaitlyn Steckbeck rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse
"Tito Puente, Mambo King" tell the true story, in both Spanish and English, of Tito Puente who loved music and dancing. Ever since he was a baby he was making music and moving his feet. He even won talent competitions when he was a child. When he was older he joined the Navy and afterwards he went to the Julliard School of Music. He dreamed of one day having his own band, and it came true! His band was called the Tito Puente Orchestra. He even made music with Celia Cruz (which Monica Brown wrote ...more
Cayla Caudillo
Oct 29, 2014 Cayla Caudillo rated it really liked it
Shelves: project-2
Kirkus Review
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 music
Brooke Snyder
Oct 29, 2014 Brooke Snyder rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
Summary: This book is written in both English and Spanish. This book depicts the life of a little boy who loves music and continues on with his dream as he becomes older. It is actually based on a true story of a man whose name is Titi Puente—who recorded 118 albums and won 5 Grammies. WOW!

Personal Response/Critical Response: This book is awesome. I love how this book has English on one page and Spanish on the other. It brings these two languages together. If you have Spanish speaking children o
Cecelie Betz
Cecelie Betz

Tito Puente Mambo King

The nonfiction story book Tito Puente Mamno King is a great book for multicultural lessons within the classroom. This is a bilingual book as well, but is all about a man names Tito Puente. Not only could this be used in a multicultural Spanish lesson, it can also be used when teaching in music class the different styles of music, jazz being one of them. Tito recorded 118 albums and won five Grammies. It speaks of the jazz artists present today and the foundatio
May 02, 2014 Araceli rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Text to Text: Based on the biography aspect of the text it reminded me of this biography on Duke Ellington I read when I was little, Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra, which I had completely forgotten about until I read this book. Although it is mean to slightly older audiences both go into the lives and music of famous musicians.

Text to Self: I made a huge connection with this book, my father LIVES for Mambo so I grew up listening to Tito Puente without even realizing it so wh
Megan Schmale
Apr 23, 2014 Megan Schmale rated it really liked it
Tito Puente

Text-to-self: This book explains and shows marvelous pictures of Tito Puente and his life that was filled with music. At a young age, he loved to make noise on whatever he could find. He participated in many talent shows and he dreamed of having his own band some time. He performed at restaurants, clubs, and parties. As a class, we could talk about determination and how much work it is to become successful at something. We would talk about Tito Puente’s life and all of the events and
Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo- Primary book #2

1. “Tum Tica! Tac Tic! Tum Tic! Ladies and gentle men, boys and girls clap your hands for Tito Puente….The Mambo King plays and sways as people dance the mambo, the rumba, and the cha-cha!” (read aloud from book) When you heard the rhythm said at the beginning, did that remind you of any class you are taking here or did it bring back any memories of you and your family at a party? I know all of you are in some type of music class
Jun 19, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
Tito Puente, Mambo King by Monica Brown Illustrated by Rafael López

Reflection: (text to self) Continuing with my multicultural Hispanic theme, I feel that this book is a winner! Monica Brown gives young readers the outline of Tito Puente’s life. She writes in both English and Spanish, which is nice for readers of either language. Brown is able to not only give details of Puente’s life, but to also help readers “hear” the “ritmo” or rhythm of his music. She does this through her words, woven with
Feb 09, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
This bilingual Pura Belpre award-winning book is a mini biography about Tito Puente. He was a famous musician of mambo and cha-cha. This very informative picture book guides the readers from Tito Puente as a baby to being an old but famous and recognized musician. It talks about how he loved to make music since he was little with pots and pans and, how he learned to play the saxophone during World War II with the navy.
The main theme of this picture book is music and, Latin American culture.
Dec 09, 2015 Elena rated it really liked it
We scream for the Mambo King! Tito Puente, Mambo King/ Rey del Mambo, is written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rafael López. Tito Puente, tells the story of a young boy named Tito and how his love for music made him famous.

Tito Puente grew up in Spanish Harlem in New York City. Tito's passion for music started as a young child, when he would play with pots and pans. As he became older, he started a small band called the "Los Happy Boys" or "The Happy Boys". He would perform at local parties
Oct 01, 2014 Rll52014_mollyharris rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
This book tells the story of Tito Puente, known for being the "King of the Mambo" and the "Godfather of Salsa". It tells the story of his love for making music and dancing from the time he was a boy growing up in Spanish Harlem, his time in the Navy and at Julliard, to the culmination of his dream of leading his own big band--the Tito Puente Orchestra. (He later went on to record over 100 albums and won five Grammy awards). The text on each page appears in both Spanish and English and the story ...more
Madison Jones
Nov 19, 2014 Madison Jones rated it liked it
In this vibrant bilingual picture book biography of musician Tito Puente, readers will dance along to the beat of this mambo king's life. Award-winning author-illustrator duo Monica Brown and Rafael Lopez bring the remarkable story of this talented legend to 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 story of a boy whose pass ...more
Brittan Haynes
Tito Puente, Mambo King is about a Tit who loves music and dancing. He would bang on everything and dance to everything too. This book I am relating it to another book. The book I am relating it to is When the Beat Was Born. Text-to-text is when you can relate similarities to each book and also find some differences among the two books. I am relating this book to When the Beat was Born because in Tito Puente, Mambo King, Tito learned to play different instruments and he wanted to be in a band an ...more
Cindy Sa
Nov 19, 2014 Cindy Sa rated it it was amazing
Tito Puente is a good musician in this world, there are many interesting things happened into his life. When his was baby, he made the music by the spoons and forks. He was also good at dancing that there are more and more people will be enjoy the dance and music.
The paintings of this book are very vivid, readers can understand the meaning of each paper easily. There is a picture about the old Tito, it is very similar than the real Tito in the picture.
In this book, it introduce Tito's achievem
Jasmyn H
Oct 06, 2014 Jasmyn H rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Brown, M., & Lopez, R. (2013). Tito Puente, Mambo King = Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo.

Pura Belpre Winner


This book is a biography of Tito Puente, the mambo king. It starts with his childhood and moves through adulthood. The author mentions Puente's many accomplishments such as the number of Grammy's he has won. I liked this book because the illustrations were very colorful and fun. I also liked that this book was written in both English and Spanish. Because the book is written in both l
Nov 19, 2014 Clarissa rated it it was amazing
Tito Puente, Mambo King by Monica Brown is a beautiful story of Tito Puente's life. Even as a baby Tito showed great musical promise. With the support of his family his love for music was fostered until it grew into something that would affect the world. This biographical picture book of Tito Puente uses vibrant, larger-than-life, illustrations to show the passion that Tito applies to his love of music. The two-page illustrations are the focus of the story, the words are seamlessly interspersed ...more
Pam Davis
May 03, 2014 Pam Davis rated it really liked it
Although this is a children’s book it is a biography of Tito Puente. He grew up to become a famous Latino-American recording artist. This is an adorable story of little Tito making music since the day he was born.
The way Tito loved music since the day he was born makes me think that my Dad was probably that way also. He sang in an a cappella group in college and continued to sing throughout his life when the chance arose.
This makes me think this was a perfect time for me to read this as Cinco d
Sep 08, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: educ-422
"Tito Puente" is a bilingual book (English and Spanish) based on the real life of Ernest Anthony Puente Jr. The book follows Tito on his journey to become a musician from Spanish Harlem to earning the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the vibrant illustrations. They made the text come alive and helped you envision the music, along with the setting. I just wish there were more details about his life in general or a detailed snapshot into one single event.

Feb 12, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I was concerned by the four armed Tito on the cover of this picture book biography. But don't let that stop you. This is a lovely and joyous book. Monica Brown's story of Puente's life is told in both English and Spanish as a straightforward narrative, not staying at one point in time for too long and with a nice gloss- I'm sure he did more than just learn how to play the saxophone in a World War II Navy stint, but I suppose that's not really the point of the book.

It is the illu
The Reading Countess
Apr 13, 2014 The Reading Countess rated it really liked it
Author Monica Brown visited my school following the Texas Library Association's annual conference in my hometown on Friday. She kept our active kids highly engaged with the active participation she required from them as well as by telling them her quiet sound ("Ch-ch-ch-ch"). As she read her book, Tito Puente, the English and Spanish words jumped off the page thanks to the vibrant artwork. I especially loved how she told the kids that no matter where they came from, that they would be able to ac ...more
Edward Sullivan
A lively, vibrant introduction to the musician.
Reviewed at:

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 ev
Alex Baugh
Apr 12, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
Tito Puente was a great musician and a real New York City fixture. And now, Monica Brown has written a colorful picture book about him and his music for young readers, and the best part is that it is bilingual so that it is accessible to both English and Spanish readers - children and their parents, since this is a wonderful read-aloud book.

Monica Brown is no stranger to writing bilingual biographies of important and influential Latinos. She has written My Name is Celia: the Life of Celia Cruz,
Christine Turner

Meet Tito Puente, the King of Mambo. Tum Tica! From musical prodigy on the streets of Harlem to five-time Grammy Award winner, Tito's life was full of rhythm. Drums and claves, saxophones and tambourines were all part of the fun. Tac Tic! Monica Brown and Rafael López, the award-winning creators of the Pura Belpré Honor Book my name is celia/me llamo celia, team up once again for another spectacular collaboration in this upbeat tribute to a musical legend. Tum Tic! Tom Tom! Conoce a Tito Puente,
Sep 12, 2014 Corin rated it really liked it
Shelves: edsl-520
Genre: Pura Belpre Honor Award
Clap your hands at tap your toes to the rat-a-tat-tat of Tito Puente. This beautifully illustrated picture book displays text in both English and Spanish as the life of Tito Puente unfolds from banging pots and pans to the Grammy Awards.
Themes: Music, beat, rhythm, biography
Ways to use the book: This would make for fun and vibrant read-aloud from a music teacher. Reading could be followed up with Tito's Puente's music and a few dance steps.
One of the best picture books I've ever read. There are many picture books that appeal to adults, but it takes a gifted author to create a book that impresses adults while appealing to young readers as well. Tito Puente's short bio is beautiful, colorful, postive, bright, informative, and engaging! Entirely bilingual and full of charming onomatopoeias, Brown strikes a chord with readers. Puente would be proud.
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Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of awardwinning bilingual books for children, including My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz (Luna Rising), a recipient of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and a Pura Belpré Honor. Her second picture book, My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me llamo Gabriela: La vida de Gabriela Mistral (Luna Ris ...more
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