Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Frank Morrison

“From as far back as her memory would go, Melba loved the sounds of music.... read more

“From as far back as her memory would go, Melba loved the sounds of music. Blues, jazz, and gospel rhythms danced in her head.” An energetic, entertaining picture book introduces self-taught jazz trombonist and composer Melba Liston. In childhood, “notes stirred and rhythms bubbled all through Melba’s home.” As an adult, Melba “composed and arranged music, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs. And when Melba played the trombone, her bold notes and one-of-a-kind sound mesmerized the crowd.” Exceptional and unafraid to be herself, Melba more than held her own among other greats of jazz whose names are better known. A two-page afterword further informs this inspired picture book that touches on the sexism and racism Melba faced while showcasing her extraordinary talent. A variety of intriguing perspectives distinguish Frank Morrison’s movement-filled illustrations that accompany Katheryn Russell-Brown’s spirited narrative. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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