My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I believe it is time that we give picture books the props, as in the proper recognition they deserve for their ability to walk us through teachable moments through story. They have a unique way of making a variety of topics and subject matter accessible to everyone. They quickly silence any sighs you might hear from students who think you are about to read them “a baby book.” I often refer to picture books as works of art because they are creative pieces crafted with care through word and picture for us to enjoy.
The award-winning picture book, Trombone Shorty, can certainly be counted as a work of art. I am a fan of the Caldecott winning illustrator/artist Bryan Collier. I admire his talent and really enjoy his unique ink, watercolor, and collage techniques in any book he illustrates. The images in this book are a delight to take in. They speak of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews passion, his heart, and his perseverance in pursuit of his dreams. The image below is one of my favorite’s. It filled me with pride to see these young kings.
Trombone Shorty is a story about music. How Troy’s world was surrounded by it. In the streets of his neighborhood and in his home. “Any time of day or night, you could hear music floating in the air.” How he’d listen to all of those different styles and sounds, fusing them together to create his own “musical gumbo.” It is a story that invites you on Troy’s journey as he acquires his first trombone, gets to play for Bo Diddley, and forms his own band. The very end of the book includes an author’s note, as he pays tribute to New Orleans and its musical influence in his life. It is here where the reader gets to enjoy photos from Troy’s childhood. Seriously, that trombone was nearly twice his size! There is also an illustrator’s note by which we are treated to some insight about Bryan Collier’s creative process for this book.
It was a joy to read this book and to have been introduced to such a talented musician, I am now a fan of his music as a result. When I read this with my students, we spent some time exploring some of his music on his website. Check it out when you have a chance here.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews | http://www.tromboneshorty.com/
Bryan Collier | http://www.bryancollier.com/
Abram Books for Young Readers
An imprint of Abrams