Finding the Music / En pos de la música

By Jennifer Torres
by Renato Alarcão

Hardcover: out of stock

Paperback: $12.95


When Reyna accidentally breaks Abuelito’s vihuela—a small guitar-like instrument—she ventures out into the neighborhood determined to find someone who can help her repair it.

No one can fix the vihuela, but along the way Reyna gathers stories and mementos of Abuelito and his music. Still determined, Reyna visits the music store, where the owner gives her a recording of Abuelito’s music and promises that they can fix the vihuela together. Reyna realizes how much she’s learned about Abuelito, his influence in the community, and the power of his music. She returns to her family’s restaurant to share Abuelito’s gifts with Mama and is happier still finally to hear the sweet sounds of Abuelito’s music for herself.

With lively illustrations by Renato Alarcão, the tradition of mariachi music comes to life in this bilingual story. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Finding the Music is a heartwarming tale of family, community, and the music that brings them all together.

Check out educator lesson plan and activities for Finding the Music, a title featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collections. To find other free activities that inspire young readers as well as learn more about Reading Is Fundamental, visit us at

About the Creators

Thumb_jennifer_torres_small Jennifer Torres - Author

is a first time picture book author and freelance journalist. She grew up listening to mariachi music, and as a reporter, she met mariachi musicians who were responsible for popularizing the genre in California. Torres was inspired to write Finding the Music, for which she won Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, by her own neighborhood and the tradition of neighbors coming together to support one another. She lives in Stockton, California, with her husband and their two children.

Thumb_renato_alarcao_small Renato Alarcão

born in Rio de Janeiro, is an illustrator and a visual arts teacher. He studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has illustrated many children’s books both in the United States and Brazil. Alarcão was inspired to become an illustrator by the amazing illustrated covers on his brother’s record album collection. He lives in Niterói, Brazil, with his wife and their two sons.