¡A Bailar! Let's Dance!

¡A Bailar! Let's Dance!

by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Christina Ann Rodriguez
     
 
�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

Overview

�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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
You can't help but tap your feet as you read this book. The words make a beat throughout the book and by the time you reach the end you just want to dance. Marita's dad and his salsa band are performing in the park tonight and as she and her mom make their way through the town friends follow along. Reminiscent of a Gloria Estefan song you can feel the rhythm as you read along. Though fun and upbeat it's hardly the story to read when you want to calm the little ones for bed at night. But if you are in the mood for an upbeat fun time that requires no thought whatsoever, this is the book. The illustrations are as lively as the rhythm that urges you to move and the Spanish is so well woven into the story that bilingual readers don't even notice the shift from one language to the other. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4—Cofer has crafted a delightful story, capturing the heart of the Latino community as it interweaves dance and life. A girl is excited to hear Papi play salsa music in the park. She and her mother don red dresses, dance through the streets, and collect friends and neighbors on their way. Realistic, full-color oil illustrations utilize captivating combinations of purples, reds, and pastels, portraying a barrio where people know and care about one another. A policeman stops traffic for the dancing neighbors to cross the street. An elderly vendor selling from a truck bed gives a rose to the girl. A yellow border with red speckles, square spirals, and roses frames the text and smaller illustrations. Musical staffs, notes, and clefs snake through the pages. The predominantly English presentation repeats a small block of Spanish/English text on each page. Overall, the illustrations are quite striking, but the perspectives are off at times. Although the text implies otherwise, the crowd doesn't dance but only listens to the music. However, the strength of the story overshadows the inconsistent details in the art.—Cristi Jenkins, Fort Vancouver Regional Library System, WA
Kirkus Reviews

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558856981
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
10/28/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,225,449
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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