¡A Bailar! Let's Dance!by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Christina Ann Rodriguez
That afternoon, they put on their best dresses and dancing shoes, and old Don Jos� says they
�A bailar! There's music in the park today�let's dance!" Marita and her mother are finishing their Saturday chores and anticipating Papi's salsa concert in the park that night, so Mami makes the broom her dance partner to show her daughter how to dance to the music.
That afternoon, they put on their best dresses and dancing shoes, and old Don Jos� says they look like"dos lindas flores." He follows them slowly,"his cane tapping out a salsa beat on the sidewalk." The music floats in and out of the barrio's alleys, calling listeners to move, move, move. Soon Marita and her mother are leading a parade of neighbors and friends dancing and singing their way to the concert.
Judith Ortiz Cofer's lyrical text combining English and Spanish is complemented by Christina Ann Rodriguez's vibrant images of the neighborhood's unique characters reveling in the beat of the music. Families will delight in reading together this warm, energetic look at one community's enjoyment of the sights and sounds of salsa music.
Excitement builds for a little girl and her Mami as they dance through the streets of their barrio to hear Papi play salsa on his trombone.
Mami sings the names of the Spanish instruments: the claves, bongos, cowbell, maracas, timbales and güiro as she taps out the "rhythm that makes us... / that makes us dance." With red dresses on, they head for the park and along the way pass an assortment of neighbors and local folk working and sitting and directing traffic. Some wave to them or give them flowers for their hair or join the procession to the park, where Papi's band is performing. He sings out an invitation to all: "¡A bailar, amigos! Let's dance, friends!" Cofer, the author of well-respected novels for teens, has turned her hand to her first picture book in a pairing with a debut artist. The text is in English, with Spanish translations for the refrains. The results, all well-intentioned, are disappointing. The writing is repetitious without rhythm, while the full-page oil illustrations depict characters in awkward poses with faces that seem to be grimacing rather than smiling. No specific nationality or background for the family is given.
An earnest effort that unfortunately falls short. (Picture book. 3-6)
- Arte Publico Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
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