Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website.
by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews
Illustrated by Brian Collier
Published April 2015
Abrahms Books for Young Readers
40 Pages
In this autobiographical book, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews tells the story of how he became a musician. Growing up in New Orleans, Andrews was surrounded by music. Inspired by his grandmother, his brother and his city, Troy knew he wanted to make music from a very young age. He would make an instrument out of household objects until one day, as luck would have it, he found an old, used trombone and taught himself to play. He practiced tirelessly and even slept with his trombone sometimes. 

His mother took him to a Bo Diddley concert and he brought his trusty trombone with him. When Troy started to play along, Bo Diddley stopped the concert and invited "Trombone Shorty" to play a song for the huge crowd. Trombone Shorty started his own band of school boys after that and has not stopped since. 

I really loved this book. Andrews tells it in a distinctive voice that made me feel like I am walking through New Orleans listening to sweet jazz and smelling spicy gumbo. Brian Collier's illustrations are beyond excellent and bring this story to life with a combination of big close up pictures and collages that look music on the page. 

Trombone Shorty would be a fabulous book to share with kids in grades 2-5. 

Discussions and Activities 
Share the book trailer.
Share this video of Trombone Shorty at age 13 playing with Duke Ellington!
Discuss skills that improve with practice. 
Share a companion text such as Little Melba and Her Big Saxophone.


  1. Love hearing about this book, Gigi. I thought it was good, too.

  2. I think this was on Horn Book list of great nfpb's released this year so I'll be definitely be checking this out.

  3. I need to pick this one up! I love picture book biographies, especially those that also celebrate the transformative power of music, and encourage children to believe in their dreams.

  4. Thanks for including the videos! I loved this book too, I hope it wins something this winter!

  5. Trombone Shorty reminds us of two other books we read this summer - Bird and Diz and Little Melba and her Big Trombone. We can't wait to add this book to our collection of biographies.

  6. The links were so much fun!

  7. I saw Trombone Shorty perform this summer and he was amazing. I love this book and I can't wait to share it and some of Trombone Shorty's music with my students!