Parents' Guide to

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Engaging, inspiring bio of jazz great has superb art.

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It's easy to see why Little Melba and Her Big Trombone won a 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award. Frank Morrison's vivid, evocative paintings use a brown and burnt-orange palette. Closeups and long shots capture Melba's emotions as well as her physical style of playing by throwing her whole body into the notes. They also provide a colorful backdrop for each era, from her aunties dancing in the '20s to the Depression-plagued '30s to the Big Band '40s and cool jazz '50s.

Katheryn Russell-Brown's storytelling is crisp and engaging as it mixes relatable moments and emotions with biographical information that should inspire but not overwhelm young readers.

Book Details

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