Trombone Shorty

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Trombone Shorty Book Poster Image
Fun, upbeat story of a boy, a trombone, and jazz.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Gives readers a nice glimpse into the musical styles of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the life of jazz great Trombone Shorty.

Positive Messages

The story is about family support and encouragement and shows the value of being dedicated to your passion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

From his older brother to Bo Diddly, positive role models help Trombone Shorty achieve his dream of becoming a musician. Trombone Shorty himself is a positive role model who works hard to be successful.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know thatt Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews won the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award. This picture-book autobiography follows the rise of a young trombone player in New Orleans and describes the support and encouragement he receives from friends and family.

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What's the story?

Troy is constantly surrounded by music. His father and brother are musicians, and Troy wants to be one, too. He even starts his own band with friends from his neighborhood. Troy comes one step closer to his dream of being a musician when he finds an old trombone. He earns the nickname Trombone Shorty and shares the stage with a famous jazz musician -- and that's only the beginning.

Is it any good?

This book is a lyrical, toe-tapping, playful, and adventurous look into the early life of musician Troy Andrews. With delightful illustrations and fun, musical prose, TROMBONE SHORTY not only shows the rise of a living jazz legend but also gives a glimpse into the life and soul of New Orleans. Andrews does a wonderful job of taking readers inside his childhood and making them feel like friends listening in on a story. Parents will love this book as an intro to musical styles, and children will like seeing another kid who's passionate about music.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why practice is important. Troy practices his trombone every day and listens to great musicians. How does that help him achieve success as he gets older?

  • What's special about the art in this book? How is it different from what you've seen in other picture books?

  • Troy starts off playing jazz but later mixes in all kinds of music, including rock. What's your favorite kind of music? What other types of music have you listened to?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and African-American stories

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