When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana


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Winner of a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor and a Robert F. Sibert Honor!

Celebrate music icon Carlos Santana in this vibrant, rhythmic picture book from the author of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters.

Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el violín. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing—a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music.

Carlos tried el clarinete and el violín, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he’d grown up with in Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Connection

* “Vibrant, beautifully colorful folk art illustrations complement the story of Santana's life. . . .This outstanding biography for early elementary readers is a compelling story of persistence in pursuing goals.

Starred Review Booklist

* “Exhilarating language. . . . Mahin’s words match well with Ramirez’s intense, beautifully colored folk art, a mosaic of brown faces, young and old. The pictures demand second, even third looks . . . A biography fitting of the man’s music.

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2018-06-25
From the three-way scrimmage among his great-aunt, his father, and his mother for the right to name him—his mother won—to his growth as a musician, Carlos yearns to hear the song of angels.Instrument after instrument fails to resonate within his heart until the chords of a guitar stand his arm hairs on end. "An angel's breath?" But not even his beloved guitar can drown out the English-speaking bullies in San Francisco schools, so he runs away and returns to Tijuana. His family, however disagrees. They'd left Mexico for a better life, and they will not let Carlos stay behind. Bit by bit, the city's diverse cultural harmonies become one: "the soul of the blues,…the brains of jazz,…the energy of rock and roll…the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music you'd grown up with." The Santana Blues Band plays through Carlos' homesickness, plays through Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, plays through Vietnam's destruction and America's unrest, until, in front of 400,000 people in Woodstock, the angels finally sing—not to but within Carlos. Ramírez's double-page-spread acrylic-and-enamel-marker images evoke the vibrant electric energy of Huichol yarn art. The years denoting milestones in Carlos' story subtly blend into the multicolored pages. Mahin's second-person lyrical narrative unites the disparate elements that ultimately became Santana. A musical journey perfectly aimed at young readers' excitement to know what they will be. (author's note, bibliography, discography) (Picture book/biography. 6-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534404137
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 376,150
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews