Under the Mambo Moon
Grades 3-6
Thursday, November 24, 2011
by: Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Section: Children's Book Reviews

Fall/Winter 2011

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo is an Assistant & Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor School of Library & Information Studies University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in Communication and Information Studies from the University of Alabama and holds a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama.

“Hearts fly home when the music’s Just Right,” or at least they do in the music store owned by Marisol’s Papi. Situated in the heart of a barrio, the hopping music store is frequented by Latinos from all across Latin America who visit the store to  “buy dreams and memories.” As each neighbor ranging from a preschool teacher to a college student to a professor to a doctor arrives at the store, they share a little of their past and describe the type of Latin American music they prefer. Durango’s verse includes a variety of poetic styles, which range in quality, and provides snippets of historical and factual information about either a specific type of music or its origins. VandenBroeck’s illustrations feature both black-and-white and full-color images that extend the narrative to a younger audience. An author’s note, map of Latin America, and superficial information about Latin American music styles are provided. While the book’s topic is promising, it doesn’t quite succeed in conveying the music and rhythms of Latin Americans, though it is successful in providing positive representations of diverse Latinos in community leadership roles. Highly Recommended


Under the Mambo Moon. Julia Durango. Illus. by Fabricio VandenBroeck. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2011. Unpaged. $12.95 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1-57091-723-3. Grades 3-6. English with some Spanish.

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