An excellent story about a man who remembers the community he came from and actively works to ensure its future success.

THE 5 O'CLOCK BAND

“Trombone Shorty” Andrews (with an authorial assist from Taylor) and illustrator Collier bring to life another compelling, true story of Andrews’ early life.

As a young boy, Shorty loved playing music with his friends so much that they created the eponymous band (so named because they practiced at 5:00 after finishing homework and chores). In this picture-book account, Troy becomes so caught up in playing his own music that he arrives late for the band’s performance and planned parade to discover that they left without him. Disappointed with himself, Troy wonders how he might ever become a bandleader after letting down his own band members. Crestfallen, he journeys through town, looking for his band. On his way, he encounters three New Orleans institutions—musician Tuba Tremé; Queen Lola, Creole chef; and a troupe of Mardi Gras Indians—who help him understand the ingredients for success. Collier’s characteristic collage illustrations effectively represent Troy’s emotional struggle for self-improvement, and the level of detail in the images portrays the liveliness of New Orleans well. Backmatter includes extensive notes from the author and illustrator and information about the Trombone Shorty Foundation, which exists to “preserve the rich musical culture of New Orleans.”

An excellent story about a man who remembers the community he came from and actively works to ensure its future success. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2836-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era.

I AM RUBY BRIDGES

The New Orleans school child who famously broke the color line in 1960 while surrounded by federal marshals describes the early days of her experience from a 6-year-old’s perspective.

Bridges told her tale to younger children in 2009’s Ruby Bridges Goes to School, but here the sensibility is more personal, and the sometimes-shocking historical photos have been replaced by uplifting painted scenes. “I didn’t find out what being ‘the first’ really meant until the day I arrived at this new school,” she writes. Unfrightened by the crowd of “screaming white people” that greets her at the school’s door (she thinks it’s like Mardi Gras) but surprised to find herself the only child in her classroom, and even the entire building, she gradually realizes the significance of her act as (in Smith’s illustration) she compares a small personal photo to the all-White class photos posted on a bulletin board and sees the difference. As she reflects on her new understanding, symbolic scenes first depict other dark-skinned children marching into classes in her wake to friendly greetings from lighter-skinned classmates (“School is just school,” she sensibly concludes, “and kids are just kids”) and finally an image of the bright-eyed icon posed next to a soaring bridge of reconciliation. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era. (author and illustrator notes, glossary) (Autobiographical picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75388-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more