Marimba! Animales A-Z
2007 Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year

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Gorilla from Marimba Foxes from Marimba
10th anniversary 2016

Marimba! Animales A-Z
Clarion Books, illustrated by Doug Cushman
Temporarily out of print in hardcover or paperback though copies are available through various sources.

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Look inside Marimba!

After the visitors have left the zoo and the animals have settled down for the night, a mischievous monkey starts a ting-tong rhythm on the marimba and slowly the animals awaken. Lions and llamas samba and cougars and coyotes conga as all the animals join in the fun to create a rollicking fiesta. Infused with Mexican American flavor, ¡MARIMBA! is a unique alphabet book that also introduces the concept of cognates--words in different languages that are similar. Young Spanish speakers will be delighted to find they are already familiar with twenty-six words in English, and English speakers with find they already know some Spanish. Author's note, pronunciation guide, rebus dictionary.

Highlighted Reviews
"With humor, zest, and a rhyming text sprinkled with easily understood Spanish words, this delightful ABC book uses the letters of the alphabet as a framework to feature animales in a night of singing, dancing feasting, and playing musical instruments … Cushman's playful illustrations, executed in pen, ink, and watercolor, with gouache and colored pencil, add to this alphabetical fiesta."—Book Links

"This infectiously cheerful alphabet book includes both Spanish and English animal names (the author deliberately chose examples that are easily recognizable in both languages) … Visual representations of each Spanish word accompany a helpful pronunciation guide.  This freshly presented concept book will please children and may tempt librarians to share it at storytime."—School Library Journal

"Mora has bridged two languages and two cultures in this delightful children's alphabet book. Using carefully crafted poetry and cognates, she skillfully weaves a story around the adventures of a marimba-playing monkey and its friends at the zoo...This is sure to be a good cross-cultural resource book and a great addition to any community and school library. From flamenco to hula, enchiladas to flan, peccaries to bobcats, Marimba is sure to fire up the imaginations of children and adults."—Multicultural Review

"[I]n this bilingual alphabet book we have long-trunked elefantes dancing the ting-tong tango with chimpanzees and raccoons doing the rumba with rinocerantes. This is a very joyful, celebratory book, brightly illustrated by Cushman."—Orlando Sentinental

" … a Spanish-flavored concoction that features a host of very liberated zoo animals. The core of the book is jazzy rhymes interspersed with musical-sounding Spanish words...Also an alphabet book, Marimba! contains a Spanish glossary...The alliteration adds plenty of zing to the antics...Real zoos have never been this lively, and its inhabitants are extraordinarily vigorous, even for wild animals. Where but in this book could a child see “Pandas juggle papayas"?—New Britain Herald Press

"It’s time for the sloths to salsa, the coyotes to conga, the hippopotami to hula in this rollicking story of a marimba-playing monkey that gets everyone on their feet to dance."—Ohioana Quarterly

"Mora's satisfying rhythmic text embraces food, dance and song into a fiesta that will excite any young child."—The News & Observer