cover image Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty

Troy Andrews, illus. by Bryan Collier. Abrams, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1465-8

The streets of New Orleans are filled with music, and so is the house of Troy Andrews, who narrates the story of his growth into the musician known as Trombone Shorty. Troy dreams of having his own band, and when he finds a battered trombone, he knows he’s on his way: “It didn’t sound perfect, but finally with a real instrument in my hand, I was ready to play.” He brings it to a Bo Diddley concert, and Diddley brings him onstage. Andrews shares the culture of Tremé, his New Orleans neighborhood, punctuating his story’s high moments with the traditional greeting—“Where y’at?” Collier’s (My Country ’Tis of Thee) collaged illustrations give the story even more joyful power. He paints sound with sunbursts of color, the fragrance of gumbo with misty swirls, and Troy’s dreams about the future with bubbles that rise from his bed as he sleeps with his arm around his trombone. If a fairy tale were set in New Orleans, this is how it would read. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)