¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines/El baile que atravesó la barrera de color by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Published by Candlewick

Amazon.com: ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines:  9781536206081: Robbins, Dean, Velasquez, Eric: Books
Amazon.com: ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines:  9781536206081: Robbins, Dean, Velasquez, Eric: Books

Summary:  In the 1940’s, young people danced in groups divided by race and ethnicity.  Millie danced to jazz in her Italian neighborhood, while Pedro danced to Latin songs in his Puerto Rican community.  But then a band called Machito and His Afro-Cubans started mixing things up, using jazz trumpets and saxophones with Latin maracas and congas to make what they called Latin jazz.  In 1948, New York City’s Palladium Ballroom broke the rules by opening its doors to everyone and hiring Machito to play for them.  It brought together Millie and Pedro, who danced a new dance called the mambo–and danced it so well that they became the best at the Palladium, the best in New York City, and finally, the best in the United States.  Includes an author’s note with more information on Machito, the Palladium, and the dancers mentioned in the text; also a list of resources.  40 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  The realistic oil painting illustrations and the brief text capture the movement and energy of the dancers, as well as the different groups that came together at the Palladium.  The back matter adds good informational value.

Cons:  No photos.

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