A Bailar!/ Let's Dance! by Judith Ortiz Cofer

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"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. "Listen to the claves, the bongos, and the cowbells. Listen to the maracas, the timbales, and the giro, they will tell you how to move your shoulders, your hips, your feet." They dance faster and faster, so fast that they fall down on the floor laughing.

That afternoon, they put on their best dresses and dancing shoes, and old Don Jose 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. And at the park, Papi plays notes on his trombone that are a secret between him and Marita: te veo, te ve-o, te ve-o. I see you, I see you, I see you!

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--viejitos, fruit sellers, boys on skateboards and even babies--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.

About Judith Ortiz Cofer

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Critically acclaimed and widely published poet, novelist, and essayist Judith Ortiz Cofer knows that "words have the power to transform you and give you the power to shape your life. The minute you open your mouth, you have introduced yourself." Writing extensively about the experience of being Puerto Rican and her identity as a woman and writer in the U.S., she is a lauded Regents and Franklin Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Georgia where she teaches literature and creative writing. OSCAR ORTIZ is an accomplished Puerto Rican artist. "The Poet Upstairs " is his first picture book.
Published October 31, 2011 by Pinata Books. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

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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.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of A Bailar!/ Let's Dance!

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