cover image Under the Mambo Moon

Under the Mambo Moon

Julia Durango, illus. by Fabricio VandenBroeck. Charlesbridge, $12.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-57091-723-3

In understated verse, a girl named Marisol explores the role that music plays in her Latino community, introducing the people who visit her father's music store ("Papi says you can/ read people's souls/ by the music/ they listen to"). Grainy grayscale scenes inside the store alternate with kinetic acrylic and colored-pencil tableaus, placed opposite the visitors' monologues. Mr. and Mrs. Mayer strike a sinuous tango pose ("our legs/ swivel and/ turn like/ an electric/ taffy pull"), while Liliana, with "thin shoulders slumped/ under the weight of a full backpack," comes alive when salsa dancing with Rub%C3%A9n: "my troubles leave me/ like a flock of twitchy birds/ flying south for the season." A vivid mingling of poetry, narrative, and art. Ages 8%E2%80%9311. (July)