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Mama Does the Mambo

by Katherine Leiner
Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

Published by Hyperion, 2001
32 pages
ISBN: 0-7868-0646-X

Ages 5 - 8

Sofia misses a lot of things since Papa died, and sometimes she misses her Mama's dancing most of all. Mama loved to dance with Papa, swaying to a slow, soft song or stepping and spinning to a pulsing beat. A year after Papa's death, the neighbors tell Sofia that it's time for Mama to find a partner who can dance the mambo with her at Carnival. Eduardo is willing, and Mama seems to like him, but "Eduardo's feet seem put on backwards." No matter how much they practice, he can't dance. But Mama isn't worried. She knows just who her Carnival partner will be in this lyrical, uplifting picture book about moving on from grief. The Cuban setting is enriched by the Spanish language woven into the text, and by Cuban native Edel Rodriguez's full-color artwork, which was created with pastel, gouache, spray paint, and woodblock ink prints. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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