When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan

Overview

"Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song..."

When Bob finished, Woody's face lit up like the sun.

Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota.

This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his ...

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Overview

"Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song..."

When Bob finished, Woody's face lit up like the sun.

Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota.

This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his mining town to pursue his love of music in New York City. There, he meets his folk music hero and future mentor, Woody Guthrie, changing his life forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
How do you explain Bob Dylan to a generation raised on Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber? With lyrical, plainspoken writing that echoes folk music itself, Golio (Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow) portrays the young Dylan as a teenager driven by both his music ("He'd fall asleep with the guitar in his lap, and he'd even forget to bathe or brush his teeth") and his sense of alienation ("Teased for being Jewish, for being different, Bob kept his angry feelings locked inside"). Dylan's determination to find a "bigger, brighter world" and his belief that Guthrie and his music are "the North Star" gives the narrative momentum that propels the story to its final pages, where an ailing Guthrie gives the young troubadour his blessing. Burckhardt's (Daddy Loves His Little Girl) crackle-texture, generously scaled acrylics mix stirring portraiture with murallike iconography (a Guthrie LP rises like a sun from the rolling Minnesota hills). Although this book is probably best enjoyed in the presence of a grown-up Dylan fan, children should come away understanding that not every performer needs spectacle to make an indelible impression. Ages 8–12. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Golio (Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, 2010) produces another sensitively written, meticulously researched picture biography, this time capturing the intense ambition of the young Bob Dylan. Born Robert Zimmerman in Minnesota in 1941, Bob's coming of age as a small-town Jewish boy trod the converging paths of the folk, blues and rock scenes. Bob challenged authority by listening to and playing music that bucked his family's and community's status quo. The chance to meet his hospital-ridden hero, Woody Guthrie, forms the text's dramatic hook: Bob hitch-hiked east to connect with his hero and his own complex musical destiny. Golio acknowledges Dylan's penchant for self-invention without disparaging it; his high-road approach lends the narrative a distinct kind-heartedness. (In a thoughtful note, the author articulates his approach to teasing out what "rang true" from contradictory research on Dylan and his peers.) Burckhardt's accomplished acrylics combine a warm, Americana-soaked palette with heroic compositions: In one spread, a Woody Guthrie record rises like a sun. Quotations sprinkled throughout the text are scrupulously annotated. Well done. (afterword, sources & resources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Sean Wilentz
Golio says he aimed to write "a story that told the truth," and insofar as the truth can be told about Dylan, he has succeeded…He charmingly delivers the boy behind the ragamuffin troubadour, doing justice to young Zimmerman's jumbled early musical interests…
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316112994
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 931,893
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

This is Gary Golio's second picture book. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley with his wife, author Susanna Reich, a cat, and a fire-bellied toad.

Marc Burckhardt was born in Germany, but grew up as a proud Texan. He graduated from Baylor University and now teaches illustration at Texas State University. He lives in Austin, TX.

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