Robbins’s snappy language and smoking turn of phrase brings the mambo and all its followers to life. Lázaro’s Spanish translation sizzles. . . . Velasquez’s illustrations send sparks flying off each full-bleed spread. . . . Fiery and rhythmic storytelling surges to the beat of the conga—a must-have selection for all ages.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Robbins’s prose is as musical as his subject. . . Velasquez’s characteristic, near-photorealistic illustrations, rendered in oil paint in a palette reflecting the time, add a dynamic fluidity to the historical atmosphere of this enlightening narrative nonfiction title.
Dynamic text goes hand in hand with vibrant, motion-filled illustrations to tell the story of the Latin sound that swept through New York and then the country in the 1940s and ’50s. . . . Exuberant, just like the dance.
In Robbins and Velasquez’s hands, this early challenge to segregation makes for a lively, compelling piece of history.
—The Horn Book
Robbins and illustrator Velasquez capture the mambo craze of the late 1940s and early 1950s, when New York’s Palladium Ballroom disregarded color lines and welcomed people of different races dancing together.
—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel