Let’s Salsa / Bailemos salsa
In this energetic bilingual picture book, a young girl learns to dance salsa and be an activist in her community.
by Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Illustrated by Robert Casilla
Spanish Translation by Natalia Rosales-Yeomans
Publication Date: November 30, 2013
Imprint: Piñata Books
Estella can’t help but giggle when she sees her neighbors, Doña Rosa and Doña Maria, shaking their hips while dancing and sweating at an exercise class at the community recreation center. A few days later, when her mother complains about gaining weight, Estella encourages her to join the class.
Every day after school, Estella enjoys watching the women dance to the rhythmic music. And she’s especially thrilled when the instructor invites her to join them in dancing salsa. “Salsa? That’s what it’s called? I thought salsa was to eat with chips!”
But one day, kids are banned from the class, and Estella is forced to go to a boring crafts class instead. She’d much rather be dancing! So when Estella learns that women had to fight to gain the right to vote, she decides she’ll petition for kids’ rights to enjoy salsa dance classes at the community center!
In this bilingual picture book for children ages 5-9, a young girl learns that dancing is good for fun and fitness, and that even kids can change the way things are done.
“The text appears in both English and Spanish, and soft watercolors capture Estela’s excitement about doing new things…Estela’s enthusiasm carries the day.”—Booklist
“Artist Robert Casilla captures the lively spirit and nuances of this enjoyable tale and its characters with his engaging illustrations.”—Today’s Catholic
“Parents and children will be energized by this lesson on leading a healthy lifestyle and actively participating in the community. Robert Casilla’s fantastically realistic illustrations are dynamic, and the bilingual narrative for Spanish speakers to enjoy the story as well.”—ForeWord Reviews
“[Robert] Casilla’s realistic drawings of young Estela, including the full-of-life one on the cover, mesh wonderfully with Ruiz-Flores’ words. Estela’s story may inspire readers to undertake some community action of their own.”—Latina Lista
“Among many others, this book includes a message to readers about how they can change not only their own lives, but also the lives of their family members, and their community at large.”—Mamiverse
“This bilingual Spanish/English book addresses an important issue – exercise – in a fun way. Robert Casilla’s muted realistic illustrations show people from many ethnic backgrounds, with a variety of body types. Estela is a feisty character, and the story is timely. It is optimistic, with a positive message.”—Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children’s Media
“Teachers have asked me many times for books about young people making a difference in the world so this will be another I can hand them. It’s definitely a book that has a distinct message about healthy habits and making a difference.”—Reading Through Life
LUPE RUIZ-FLORES is the author of six bilingual picture books: Lupita’s First Dance / El primer baile de Lupita (2013), Let’s Salsa / Bailemos salsa (2013), Alicia’s Fruity Drinks / Las aguas frescas de Alicia (2012), The Battle of the Snow Cones / La Guerra de las raspas (2010), The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador (2007) and Lupita’s Papalote / El papalote de Lupita (2002). She has also written children’s narrative passages for Harcourt Educational Measurement Center. Some of her poetry has been published in Voices Along the River, the San Antonio Express-News, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. She received a Master of Arts in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1994. She was an engineering technician with the Department of Defense until her retirement in 1999. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is currently working on a middle-grade novel. She resides in San Antonio, Texas.
Learn more at lupruiz-flores.com.
ROBERT CASILLA was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to parents from Puerto Rico. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has illustrated many multicultural children’s books, including The Little Painter of Sabana Grande, Jalapeño Bagels, The Legend of Mexicatl and First Day in Grapes. He has also illustrated a number of biographies, including ones about Martin Luther King, Jr.; John F. Kennedy; Eleanor Roosevelt; Rosa Parks; Jackie Robinson; Jesse Owens and Simon Bolivar.
Learn more at robertcasilla.com.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Books
ATOS English: 3.7
ATOS Spanish: 3.5
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 163967