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[Nonfiction Wednesday] Finding One’s Voice By Meeting One’s Musical Inspiration: A Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie Story

"When Bob Met Woody: The Story Of The Young Bob Dylan" by Gary Golio and Illustrated by Marc Burckhardt.

Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2018 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.

We have just recently launched our reading theme two days back, and we are featuring stories that deal with performers, artists, sculptors, musicians, architects, high creatives. What better way to launch our reading theme than with Bob Dylan himself, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

When Bob Met Woody: The Story Of Young Bob Dylan

Written by Gary Golio Illustrated by Marc Burckhardt
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers (2011)
ISBN-10: 0316112992 (ISBN13: 9780316112994)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I have featured the poetry in the music of singer-rebel Bob Dylan in the picturebooks Blowin’ In The Wind illustrated by Jon J Muth, and Forever Young illustrated by Paul Rogers.

This picturebook, however, tells the narrative of Bob Dylan from when he was born in the city of Duluth in May 1941, growing up in Minnesota, teaching himself how to play both the piano and the guitar – up to the time he met Woody Guthrie when he was nineteen years old.

What I especially liked in this story is how Bob Dylan’s many musical influences was mentioned: from Muddy Waters, BB King, Hank Williams, Lead Belly, Elvis Presley, Odetta – to the poetry of Dylan Thomas, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Dylan struck me as a restless soul who was too stubborn to do what was expected of him by his family at the time: either become a miner or run his father’s business. He was a dreamer, a poet, a fierce being who was driven to create music that meant something. However, it was Woody Guthrie’s songs that resonated with him, most of all.

I shall leave it to you all to discover how the two musical icons met. It is a testament to Dylan’s clarity of vision and purpose, his tenacity, and his unswerving certainty that he is meant to do what he is doing: make music. To honour Dylan, I am featuring Woody Guthrie at 100, live at the Kennedy Center five years ago – the very same musician who inspired Dylan as a young man. Enjoy!

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Finding One’s Voice By Meeting One’s Musical Inspiration: A Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie Story

  1. lindabaie

    Thanks for the book, but even more, thanks for the video. It’s wonderful to see, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. annettepimentel

    I enjoyed this! If you haven’t seen it yet, you should also look for Gary Golio’s book Forbidden Fruit. Very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

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