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Esquivel!: Space-Age S...
Susan Wood
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Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist (CD)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  114 reviews
In the sixteenth and perhaps the most crucial story in this exhilarating series, Sammy Keyes is about to uncover the most personal mystery of her life: who is her Dad? In the wild ride to and around Las Vegas, Sammy tracks down her Diva mom who is secretly planning to marry her boyfriends father, who is also the father of Sammys nemesis Heather. Throw in a few Elvis impers ...more
Audio CD
Published March 30th 2018 by Live Oak Media (NY) (first published September 6th 2016)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  356 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Although Susan Wood's text of this picturebook biography is not the most inspiring (it's not bad at all but it's not exceptional either), it was really interesting to learn about Esquivel!, a Mexican musical innovator and the father of space-age bachelor-pad lounge music popular in 1950s and 1960s, and to listen to his music afterwards. The author's note and resources at the end of the book were especially useful for that.

Also, although Duncan Tonatiuh's art style inspired by ancient Mexican art
Michele Knott
I highly recommend listening to music by Esquivel while reading this book. His music had such an interesting sound and I think it helped enhance the reading experience.
Edward Sullivan
Great introduction to the uniquely gifted musician and pioneering sound artist. Energetically told with wonderfully imaginative illustrations by Duncan Tonatiuh.
Michaela VanOeveren

To me, knowledge is all about connecting different pieces of information together to form a web that can uphold your arguments and beliefs. Therefore, connecting new knowledge or texts to outside things is very, very important.
Text-to-self connection: this is similar to the “that’s me” activity that we did at the beginning of class -- there’s a miniature hand raising and celebration of that recognition every time we see ourselves in literature. It occurs when the student or
Fantastic. The students were so excited to listen to some of Esquivel's music.
Read for Librarian Book Group

Never has the use of an exclamation point in a book title been more appropriate.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist is about the musical career of Juan Garcia Esquivel. The story starts of when Juan was six years old living in Mexico. The book explains how he took to the piano and enjoyed playing it. He had no formal training or didn’t even take classes. He would take different small jobs that would allow him to play his music. People started to take notice of how he “composed/made” music differently than others. He would vision what something would sound like and really use e ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: info-bios
Esquivel tells the story of a young boy and his passion for music. Juan grew up in Mexico he was exposed to Mariachi music and he loved exploring with different sounds and creating his own beats and music. As Juan gets older new opportunities open for him and his love for music. I really like that through out the whole book we see word illustrations of the music sounds. However, I did not enjoy the illustrations they weren't appealing or eye-catching. This book did encourage me to listen to musi ...more
I know everyone loves them, but I just can't get into Tonatiuh's illustrations. This is an interesting book, but I'm not sure it's going to circ all that much.
Yoo Kyung Sung
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is always exciting to add another "famous people" in muticultural contexts. Cesar Chevaz has been nearly only Mexican icon known in the mainstream of the U.S. Juan Garcia Esquivel is a music artist who influenced Mexico TV and popping fields. The story is written with dynamical and rich language arts perspectives. Duncan Tonatiuh's illustration is as charming as usual!
2017 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor
Like many youngsters, I've long been intrigued by innovators who think differently and view the world and its many delights in their own unique ways. This picture book biography offers readers a glimpse into the imagination of musician Juan Garcia Esquivel whose many accomplishments at an early age are quite impressive and foretold a bright future in music. Having learned how to play the piano at the age of six and becoming an orchestra leader at seventeen, this prodigy wasn't content to play mu ...more
Morgan Drake
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This picture book started following out a young boy named Juan. Him and his family lived in the city of Tampico, Mexico. At the age of six Juan was super curious about music. His family had a piano, but it was a piano that already knew what keys to play. Juan changed his piano so he could come up with the notes and he started playing all day and all night. At the age of 10, Juan was playing piano all the time and was totally captivated my music. After this Juan’s family moved to Mexico City. Jua ...more
Cynthia Castaneda
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-11-20
Summary: This book is a non-fiction story about Juan Garcia Esquivel. Esquivel! (with an exclamation point) was born in Mexico and fell in love with music. He began exploring and getting familiar with music since the age of 6. He eventually became so popular in the music industry that he came to the US and was able to share his unique music with a bigger audience.
Evaluation: Duncan has become one of my favorite authors and illustrators. In this book, he is only the illustrator. I love how he bri
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
This is an exciting biography of an innovative musician. In addition to the textual narrative that leads us eagerly through his musical career and technological-and-aural discoveries, the illustrative use of sound-related text punctuates the story with excitement. Tonatiuh's Mixtec codex-inspired illustrations are a fabulous pairing that complements the story's futuristic bent, combining traditional caricature with modern figurature and electronically-enhanced collaging from textures and photos. ...more
Ashleigh Best
"Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist" is a book about the life of Esquivel! and how he grew to be famous for his music. Juan Esquivel lived in Mexico for much of his life. He never had any formal education on music, but could always be found at a piano. Due to his lack of education, Juan was unable to read notes. Instead, he based his music on sounds. This is what would eventually make his music so famous and intriguing.

In a classroom, this book can most definitely be used in a music class. There
Esquivel is a picture book about the life of Juan Esquivel. Esquivel is a musician from Mexico, who at an early age develops a passion for the sounds and explores the different beats of instruments. As he gets older he creates sounds to match the imaginary situation. His unique way of blending beats then crossed boarders into the United States, where he began experimenting with new sounds and beats. I really enjoyed how throughout the book Wood uses onomatopoeia to describe the beats and sounds ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2017 Pura Belpre Honor Book for Illustration

Themes: Music/Exploration/Adventure/Stereo/Stereophonics

This is too long for storytime.

"Juan Garcia Esquivel was only six when he started playing piano. He was only seventeen when he became orchestra leader for a popular comedy show at a radio station. Soon he was a musical innovator and a pioneer in stereophonic sound. Esquivel created music by experimenting with tone, tempo, instruments, and voices in ways nobody had before. He was the sensational cr
Maxine Fife
I really enjoyed this book. It was really cool to see how the author described the sounds each instrument made and the sounds some of the singers in the book made. I also really loved the colorful illustrations on the pages where Juan thought in color about his music. I think this book would be great for a classroom where there is a child who may have a passion for music and also may be a different ethnicity than the other students in his classroom. Juan used his roots to guide his music and tha ...more
When reading this book I found that it was quite enjoyable. I loved the illustrations and the meaning behind them. This book is great for kids who may like learning about music and artists. And it is great since it is a person in our history who made a change to the music scene in the 1950s-1960s. This children's book is educational and you learn about Esquivel! I also feel like it is a great book since I do not think a lot of people will know who he is and what impact he made with his music. I ...more
Madison Crawford
Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist was written by Susan Wood and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. This story is a biography about Juan García Esquivel and his passion for music. It starts out with his enjoyment for the mariachi bands in Tampico, Mexico. The illustrations of this story go right along with the life of Juan García Esquivel. This is a good book to read to students when learning about famous musicians. Overall this was a great biography and children would enjoy reading it.
Fascinating life story, a self-taught Mexican musician who led a radio comedy orchestra at age 17, and experimented with musical sound, eventually led to American record contract. He used the then-new technique of stereo, had singers singing sounds instead of words, and came up with all kinds of unique compositions. He reinvented traditional Mexican music in new ways, using unusual instruments and tempos.
Cheriee Weichel
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up and read this book because Duncan Tonatiuh is the illustrator. Then I became fascinated by the subject matter, Juan Garcia Esquivel, a brilliant, self taught, pianist, and orchestra leader. When I first started reading I was reminded of the work by Celso Machado, a local jazz musician, who creates music from whatever is at hand. I appreciated the notes from the author and illustrator at the end. After finishing the book I went to Spotify and started listening. Just WOW!
For those kids who love unique non-fiction books, Esquivel: Space-age Sound Artist by Susan Wood might be just the ticket for something new to explore. Esquivel was a musician from Mexico who pushed the boundaries of what music is and incorporated many new sounds and instruments into his compositions. Illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh's stylized drawings set the mood for this jump back in time to the 1950's and 1960's. For ages 5 - 10.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By itself, as a nonfiction about a now relatively unknown musician, this book is very interesting. For those studying music or Latino artists, this would be a good starting point. There is some use of alliteration to help students understand the use of sound. However, I think this book would be much more effective with samples of Esquivel's (Esquivel!'s?) music to bring it to life.
I normally wouldn't be interested in this subject, but I love Duncan Tonatiuh's illustration style so I gave it a try. It turned out to be an interesting look at composer Esquivel! before he was known as only Esquivel!. :)
This is a fun book! Tonatiuh works to mimic the exciting soundplay of Esquivel's music with brightly colored illustrations that include lots of sound effects and unusual movement around the page. Without having heard a single song, readers get the idea that this music is upbeat and kind of wild. Esquivel was a real protege and he has an interesting story.
Listening to the narration of this book on CD, with Esquivel!'s music in the background is fabulous! The author & illustrator did a good job describing some of the exotic instruments he used, but still, merely reading the text doesn't convey the beauty of his music. It must be listened to while absorbing the illustrations at the same time! Ages 6-10.
Tahlor Kimble
I didn't really enjoy this story very much at all because I didn't think it was all that interesting or inspiring at all. Another thing that didn't really wow me about this book was the illustrations. I thought they were very dull and could of been better. The story wasn't horrible but it was definitely not the best I've ever read. Probably wouldn't recommend this story to anyone.
Esquivel! Now I need to go and listen to his music! I love the illustrations in this book, they made me laugh out loud with joy! Composing music in the style of Esquivel! would be a lot of fun with a group of kids.
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