Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday 7.15.15 Biographies


I am excited to join Alyson Beecher and other friends in this weekly challenge.  Finding great nonfiction picture books isn't a challenge anymore, there are so many wonderful books to be read now!  The challenge is sharing them with as many people as possible so they can find this wealth of literature to share with our young readers.  Thanks to Aly for starting this weekly link-up and thanks to all who join in!  See all of the posts at kidlitfrenzy.

I've written about picture book biographies before, and I really am amazed at what continues to be written.  The style, the format, the story... they keep getting better and better, stronger and stronger.
Here's my new favorite:

Trombone Shorty
Trombone Shorty by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews
This story tells us about Trombone Short and how he grew up believing in his dream of music.  He didn't grow up wealthy, he worked for everything.  Troy and his friends made their own instruments in order to have a band.  But one day he found a broken down trombone.  It wasn't perfect, but it could make music.  And that is the heart of this story - the music.  
I think this book is so relevant because Troy Andrews is still making music today.  He has his own foundation to help music and the history of music continue in New Orleans.  The foundation has teamed with Tulane University to make sure students who are gifted in music are able to pursue their dreams.
The illustrations are done in watercolor and collage by Bryan Collier.  The illustrator's note explains some of the artistic interpretations in the illustrations that really add to the feeling of the story.
I hope to see some stickers on this book come January 2016!  Don't miss this one!

There has also been a resurgence of some longer biographies.  Scholastic and other publishers have found success in the Who Was/Is series, and other authors are catching on.  Whether in a series or stand alone, these books are worth having in an upper elementary classroom or library.

Kathleen Krull has come out with a new series "Women Who Broke the Rules".  These chapter book biographies take a look at some of the women who are considered "groundbreakers" in their professions.  The book is chronological and the chapter titles give the reader an idea of the chapter content.  There is an index included in the back, as well as lists of additional sources and websites. 
Some books in this series include:

Judy Blume (Women Who Broke the Rules)     Sonia Sotomayor (Women Who Broke the Rules)     Sacajawea (Women Who Broke the Rules)

What picture book biographies have you read lately?


  1. It is wonderful how much I've learned from PB biographies. I just requested Trombone Shorty, Michele, and will look for others. My favorite lately is the ee cummings bio. Have a good rest of the week!

  2. Trombone Shorty is one I really want to read! Aren't PB biographies the best?

  3. I want to read the Kathleen Krull books!! Especially after the great feature on Kid Lit Frenzy.
    Trombone Shorty looks great! Might be a good companion to Little Melba and her Big Trombone?

  4. I can't remember if I'd read Trombone Shorty but will just have to check it out again! I did enjoy Little Melba.

  5. I adore Trombone Shorty! Just read it last week at the bookstore and had to go home with it. Wonderful story and incredible illustrations. I haven't seen any of the Kathleen Krull books but will probably purchase the Judy Blume title at least before the school year starts. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably purchase all of them! PB biography is one of my favorite ways of learning about other people's lives.