Parents' Guide to

The 5 O'Clock Band

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Trombone Shorty tale is joyous love letter to New Orleans.

The 5 O'Clock Band Poster Image

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This joyous love letter to New Orleans feels like a surprise trip and a very happy jazz concert rolled into one, and readers can nearly hear the bright brass band parading to Jackson Square. The 5 O’Clock Band is written by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews himself, along with co-author Bill Taylor, and illustrated by the incomparable Bryan Collier. The team's unbeatable. While it's unclear who wrote what -- did Trombone Shorty provide the New Orleans color and biographical detail, and Bill Taylor the picture book know-how? However they divvied it, it works. Kids will relate to the story since it focuses on young "Shorty" as he leads his friends in a local brass band, and will have fun meeting the adult characters who bring out the special spice of one of our most distinct and colorful cities. "Where y’at?" In the Quarter!

Collier's art is staggeringly gorgeous. It's shot through with light and bright color, studded with textural collage elements, and celebrates the character of the city as well as the characters who people it. His faces -- such beautiful faces! -- keep us rapt and riveted. In this book, all the elements combine to create a lovely celebration of the rich musical and cultural heritage of New Orleans.

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