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Floating on Mama’s Song/ Flotando en la canción de mamá

Region: Latin America, Cuba

Author: Laura Lacámara 

Original Language: Bilingual: Spanish-English

Translator: Laura Lacámara 

Illustrator: Yuyi Morales 

Genre: Magic realism

Descriptors: families; happiness; joy; mothers and daughters; music; songs; women  

Age: 2-10 years old


Programming: STEM Sink or Float Activity (Link) 


Laura Lacámara’s story Floating on Mama’s Song is a testament to the power music has on happiness. When Anita turns seven, her life is upended when her mother’s songs start to make people and animals float in the air. Afraid someone will get hurt, or neighbors will begin gossiping, grandma begs Anita’s mother to stop singing. In an attempt to keep everyone safe, Anita’s mother gives up her love of singing. The house grows quiet, the cows stop producing milk, the goats aren’t sleeping, and no one is happy. Still, mama refuses to sing. Anita consults a currandera, a healer woman, who says that mama’s spirit is sick. Later, Anita, grandma, and mama look through old photos. It is revealed that grandma also loved to sing until her daughter turned seven and people began to float. Afraid of what people would say about her, grandma decided to stop singing too. Without singing, her heart grew bitter. Grandma told mama that she wanted her to continue singing and not to end up like her. The three ladies end the story by singing and floating together in bliss. The illustrations in this book are whimsical and dreamy. The color palette contains soft pastels and they fit the story well. The words are simple and there are typically only a couple of sentences on each page making this a great story for younger children. The Spanish and English translations are side by side, which works well for children or people learning a new language. Children of all ages would enjoy this story, as it is a great read aloud or solo read depending on the reading capabilities of the child. The book is available in print and as an eBook. Finally, the overarching message of the story is that music brings joy to people’s lives and adds a little rhythm to their step

More About This Book

Reviewed: print book by Katherine Tegen Books (2010). 30 p.

Reviewed by: Raquel Martinez 

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