Under the Mambo Moon

Last updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Author: Julia Durango
Illustrator: Fabricio Vanden Broeck
Date of Publication: 2011
ISBN: 157091723X
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2013

Synopsis: On summer nights Marisol helps out in Papi's music store. As customers come and go, they share memories of the Latin music and dance of their various homelands, expressed in a dazzling array of poetry. The diversity of Latin American music is brought to life in poems that swivel, sway, and sizzle with the rhythms of merengue, vallenatos, salsa, and samba. Back matter includes a map, author's note, and further information about the musical heritage of Latin America.

Note to readers:
•  The author's note in the back of the book provides a great explanation of Latin American music--explore the various kinds of music with your students!
•  The narrative of the story is broken up by several poems. Each customer who visits the music store is given his or her own poem.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Are any of you familiar with the types of music listed in the back of the book?
•  Do you dance? What do you like to dance to?
•  Have you ever been to a music store? If not, where do you get your music? What kinds of music do you listen to?

•  Peck- a light, quick kiss
•  Beeline- a direct, straight path
•  Wend-to proceed or go along
•  Heed- to pay attention

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What does Mrs. Garcia remember about her quincea๑era?
•  Why do people come to the store? Just for music, or for something more?
•  Have you ever played a record before?
•  Do you read poems? Have you studied poetry in school?

Craft ideas:
•  Write a poem on the back of the paper plate provided-- this is your very own "mambo moon" (you can decorate it however you like). Share your poem with the group!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!