Is it just me, or are there a lot of picture book biographies of musicians this year? Here are a few books to share with those kids coming home with their first band instruments:
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier. Published by Harry N. Abrams.Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews tells how he started his musical career as a young child in New Orleans. He and his friends made their own instruments from castoffs, and he got his big break when he started playing along at a jazz festival. Beautifully illustrated by Caldecott medalist Collier.
Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King by Bonnie Christensen. Published by Henry Holt and Company.Can’t help falling in love with the story of how a poor boy from Mississippi became the king of rock and roll.
Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Published by Holiday House.
The inspiring story of the all-female, almost all African-American jazz band that traveled around the United States and Europe in the 1940’s. Breaking racial and gender boundaries, the group was a true sisterhood of talented musicians.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Published by HMH Books for Young Readers.
Another barrier-breaking musician, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, became a drummer in Cuba when girls and women weren’t allowed to play drums. More than one blogger has picked this book as a potential Caldecott winner.
Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Published by Henry Holt and Company.
Once upon a time, there were four boys growing up in postwar Liverpool named John, Paul, George, and Richard. This book looks at the stories of those four, and how they intersected and eventually connected to become the Beatles.