Nonfiction Monday: When Bob Met Woody


Today I bring you the new book by Gary Golio, When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan. I recently had an email from him about the new book and an invitation to participate in the upcoming blog tour.  The book will be released in a couple of weeks.  Once again, Golio chooses a person who informed me muscially as a teen.

Are you ever curious about the young lives of influential people?  What was it about childhood or teenage years that added to the fabric of their life?  In Gary Golio’s new book, readers will discover how a young Bob Zimmerman chose a path of folk songs becoming Bob Dylan, a singer-songwriter icon extraordinaire of the 21st century.

His tale begins in May 1941 when Bob was born in the city of Duluth, not as Golio states, “Bob floated into this world on waves of sound.” He sang at an early age.  His family moved to a small mining town in Minnesota and at age 10, Bob decided to piano and guitar.  The young boy’s mind was a sponge for the ideas that became poems and short stories.  As a teen, he listened to all kinds of music from Muddy Waters to Hank Williams and everything in between. The music informed his playing but not everyone was impressed.  He was called crazy and his band got kicked off the stage for being too loud at a school talent show.

Bob Zimmerman began college as expected of him by his parents.  In Minneapolis, he found Dinktown, the local coffeehouse scene and spent most of his time there.  It was here that he told everyone he was Bob Dylan, after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas.  Soon he became introduced to the songs of Woody Guthrie and his path changed forever.

“Woody made each word count. He painted with word.”-Bob Dylan. 
Woody was his master teacher, Bob read his book, Bound for Glory and learned all the songs Woody had written.  In fact, Bob wanted to be so much like Woody, that he recreated his life story as an orphan and run-away.

Bob’s talent grew.  He had to figure out how to make his dreams come alive.  Then he heard that Woody was ill and in a New York City hospital.  He dropped everything and hitchhiked to his hospital bed and sang for him.  It was a defining moment in young Bob Dylan’s life.

Golio has once again given readers insight on how to make big dreams happen through perseverance to follow your dreams. The text has a that folksong rhythm much as his previous book(reviewed earlier this year), Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow had a rock and roll rhythm. 

Marc Burckhardt’s  illustrations bring the text to life through their texture and simplicity.  It reminds me of folk art and were painted with acrylics and oil paper mounted on board. 

This is one of my new favorites for 2011 nonfiction picture books.  I am sure we will see it on the CYBILS nominating list later this year. 

Come back on Tuesday, May 24, when I interview Gary Golio as part of his blog tour about the young Bob Dylan.

Nonficiton Monday is hosted today by Writing Nonfiction for Children.  And be sure to read through the poems by students on my blog for 30 Days =30 Students.

Happy Reading.