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Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo: Bilingual Spanish-English

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  497 ratings  ·  132 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 HarperCollins Espanol
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  497 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This brief biography of musician Tito Puente, told in both English and Spanish, would have been more enjoyable for me if it had come with a CD of his music or a web site where samples of his music could be heard. The text gets the reader enthused about him, but then doesn't let you carry on that enthusiasm by letting you listen to him. Interesting but also disappointing. ...more
Zoe's Human
I found this utterly delightful! I love Tito Puente. I found the story charming and loved the art style. I think the level is somewhere between picture book and easy-reader early chapter books.
Ben Truong
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo is a children's picture book written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rafael López. It is a biographical picture book of Tito Puente – the King of Latin Music.

Mid-September to Mid-October, at least in my part of the world is Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, which I plan to read one children's book, particularly a biography, which pertains to the subject everyday this month. Therefore, I thought that this book would be apropos for today.

Jul 08, 2013 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
Edward Sullivan
A lively, vibrant introduction to the musician.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The team behind My Name is Celia is back with an equally colorful biography on Tito Puente.
Vamos a Leer
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This lively book narrates the biography of renowned Puerto-Rican/New Yorker musician, Tito Puente, and the lasting impact that he has had on Hispanic-American heritage. Although Tito Puente was a beloved and iconic musician, he is not as well known outside of the Hispanic-American community.Tito Puente, Mambo King/ Rey del mambo is a bilingual picture book that is best for ages 4-7. It won the Pura Belpre Honor Book for illustration in 2014.

\Brown and López have collaborated before to write My N
Sydney Babb
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tito Puente Mambo King is an easy to read biography of the famous musician Tito Puente. Readers are captured through an amazing energetic writing style to match that of a Mambo dance. The biography is told in both English and then Spanish below on each page. Both the author and illustrator do an excellent job of instilling Hispanic heritage from page to page through vibrate colors and language. We are taken on a journey through the life of Tito Puente and the many different stepping-stones that ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
The illustrations in this book are bright and colorful, very eye catching. They added so much to the story. I liked this book, not as much for the text, but more for the illustrations. This story showed me how a boy from Spanish Harlem can fulfill his dreams like anyone else, only if you put your mind to it.

This book follows a boy named Tito Puente from a toddler to an adult. He loved to dace and bang spoons and forks on pots and pans. He was very loud when he played, so many people suggested h
Mara Rhodes
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I believe this story is a great bilingual children’s book that I would use in my classroom! When I first picked it up, the cover caught my attention because of the vibrant contrast of colors. I was curious what the other illustrations looked like inside and how the plotline of the story was going to play out. I was not disappointed. This biographical children’s book uses two-page illustrations that show the passion Tito shares for music and with the endless support of his family, it grew into so ...more
Emma Lerchen
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Non Fiction, Bilingual Picture Book, Diversity, Pura Belpre Honor
This is a bilingual picture book about musical legend, Tito Puente. The story goes over his life and how he used music to influence many generations of people worldwide.
Personal Response-
I enjoyed the story and how well and simple it was written. It's great that they used both English and Spanish on each page so that more people could read it.
The artist used acrylic paint and Liquitex on sanded wooden boards
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Tito Puente," by Monica Brown is a bilingual picture book about the life of Tito Puente. Beginning in his childhood, Tito Puente only wanted to play music, and this continued throughout his life. Brown gives readers an exciting story about Tito Puente's life, accompanied by Rafael López's bright, vibrant illustrations.

Before reading this book, I did not know about even half of Tito Puente's accomplishments, but I am excited to share it with my young readers. The illustrations, interesting text
Sep 08, 2014 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.

Jasmyn H
Oct 05, 2014 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 langu
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The book had great illustrations and it was nice to look at and enjoy while reading. The book was about a boy name Tito Puente and how he started his career with music. The book has Spanish in there for people that didn't read English. The book was very easy to easy and easy to follow along with and informing. The author did a great job at giving us an better understand who Tito was and how he got started. The book was descriptive as to how he lived his life and what he did. The book is good for ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In this bilingual picture book, Brown, Lopez, and Dominguez rhythmically share the life of Mambo King Tito Puente. Each double-page spread contains illustrations, with text in both English and Spanish featured on only one page. The illustrations are fluid, bright, and almost whimsical. The language is written basically enough for PreK children to understand yet complex enough to hold the interest of older elementary (if not middle) school readers. The occasional sound words, along with the color ...more
A bilingual (English/Spanish) biography of the man known as the "King of Mambo" and the "Godfather of Salsa." The author does a great job of showing readers how Puente was born to make music, that it was in his blood before he even had any idea what his attraction to rhythms meant.

Acrylic illustrations are vibrant and provide a solid visual representative of Puente's music genre.

A brief biography follows the story and a simple rumba beat is included for readers to practice.

The only thing that
Courtney Torrent
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
First of all, I loved the coloring and illustrations throughout the story! They were incredible. This story is a great biography about Tito Puente, and I can picture students enjoying the story. I wish there was a little bit more detail about his life though. I think this story would be a great connection with music class. If this story could be read and then the students could hear some of his music, try some of the instruments mentioned in the story, try some of the dances, and hear some of th ...more
Maggie Sideris
Jun 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: biography
Title: Tito Puente: The King of Mambo
Grade Level: Kindergarten-Third Grade
Summary: This book was about Tito Puente. Tito had played music since he was very young, by banging on pots and pans. He went to Julliard to study music, after WWII. His dream was to one-day lead a band, and that is just what he did.
Review: This was a very cute book. I loved how it had the words in English and in Spanish. The illustrator used a great variety of colors in the illustrations.
In Class Uses: 1. This book could
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This English/Spanish picture book serves as a short introduction to the life and music of Tito Puente, the Mambo King.
From his days as a young child, Ernestito loved to bang on things, and this turned into a lifelong career as a percussionist. He studied at Juilliard, recorded over 100 albums during his career, composed, led bands, and helped to popularize various styles of Latin music and dance.
That's quite a legacy, and an inspiration to every little kid who wanted to make music on the kitchen
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a great story book. This book gives the history of Legendary Percussionist Tito Puente. I loved the fact that this book was in English & Spanish; being very respectful to the subject's Latin Heritage. It is also a fun way for children to read Spanish alongside the English translation & vice versa.
The book is beautifully illustration and the colors are absolutely vivid. The story is really well-written and fascinating. Adults who are not familiar with Mr. Puente will also learn a lot.
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 1st-3rd grade
The text was okay. It seems to gloss over Tito Puente's life -- granted this is a picture book but at times more info would have been nice (e.g., how old was Tito when he won his first Stars of the Future contest? exactly what Grammy awards did he win and why was it special?). Different phrasing or word choices would have helped at times--really, the music of his band Los Happy Boys made people happy? It's the artwork that make this book. The warm colors pop, and flowing shapes pull you along th ...more
The Reading Countess
Apr 13, 2014 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
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music-for-kids
I have a soft spot for Latino music, especially salsa. I love Tito and I think this book is a great introduction to Spanish Harlem and the rise of the Latin Jazz Explosion. My children liked this book. It had colorful illustrations and is written in English and Spanish. There was a rhythm beat throughout the book and the last page provides the musical notes to a very basic rumba beat. I love books that touch on more than one subject. Here we have history, music, reading, and language. "Oye Como ...more
Alyssa Adams
Tito has been a performer since before he could walk. Not only does he play the drum, but he likes to dance! As he grows up he continues his music and eventually wins a grammy. He wrote 118 albums and finally had his life long dream fulfilled: to lead the band!
This story is written in both Spanish and English; a perfect book for a diverse classroom.
The illustrator uses a unique form of media. He uses acrylic paint that comes in recycled salsa jars from Mexico along with Liquitex on distressed, h
Hannah Poor
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would be great for an ELL student who is learning to read English but still needs the support of their native language. It is bilingual, and it explains a portion of this culture to curious minds. It also includes engaging, colorful illustrations and a short song at the end of the book to reinforce the overall theme of Tito Puente. Therefore, this book could be used for an interdisciplinary lesson that incorporates literature and music.

Author: Monica Bown
Title: Tito Puente
Macie Estes
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tito Puente is a captivating story about the life of Tito Puente, a famous musician known for being the "King of the Mambo" and the "Godfather of Salsa". A bilingual book, this story is an excellent choice for cross-curriculum in the classroom, with its emphasis on music, history, language, and diversity. Its rich vocabulary in both English and Spanish, and its colorful illustrations, make it valuable as well. The bilingual biography and rumba music notes at the end of the book can serve as exte ...more
This picture book biography of Tito Puente includes text in Spanish and English. It initially focuses on his life as a child and then goes into the major steps that lead him to his big music career. The artwork is gorgeous and has a flowiness to it that does a great job of showing movement. While this is definitely a book for older storybook participants I think the rhythmic sound affects could keep little ones entertained enough to use this for a family story time.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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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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