Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

1 CD w/tr book. 30 min. Live Oak Media. Mar. 2018. $30.95. ISBN 9781430127895.
OrangeReviewStarGr 2–6—Juan Esquivel is no longer a household name, but in the 1950s and 1960s, his innovative lounge music was pervasive. As a child in Mexico, Esquivel began his musical career by playing piano and soon started matching sound to situations. He was a musical artist, using sound like paint, and he recorded many records in Mexico and in the United States. This audiobook version of the picture book biography is magical. Sound effects, mariachi band music, and unusual instruments perfectly blend to support Wood's text. Listeners are introduced to a theremin, a buzzimba, and an ondioline. Esquivel played with stereo sound and the CD includes original songs performed by Esquivel. Duncan Tonatiuh's distinctive illustrations inspired by the Mixtec codex capture Esquivel's humor and accessibility. The author's and illustrator's notes provide more detailed background information for older students.
VERDICT Paired with the print book and the online resources found at, this is a highly recommended addition to audiobook biography collections everywhere.

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