Children’s Book Review of Man Gave Names to All the Animals: Bob Dylan’s Humorous Song Exquisitely Captured in a Children’s Book
"Man Gave Names to All the Animals" is a children’s book which is derived from a humorous song with the same title by legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Illustrations by popular author-illustrator Jim Arnosky capture the song’s wit and whimsy.
Man Gave Names to All the Animals appeared as a children’s book, illustrated by Jim Arnosky and published by Sterling in 2010. The words are derived from its namesake, a song composed by legendary American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born May 24, 1941). The original song, “Man Gave Names to All the Animals”, first appeared on Slow Train Coming, Bob’s 19th studio album, which was released on August 20, 1979 by Columbia Records.
As a song, “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” has a tantalizing rhythm which heightens the narrative and descriptive effects of the song’s humorous lyrics. Characteristics of various animals are described with vivid imagery and an easygoing, hypnotic rhyme scheme. The light-hearted words flow with the vibrant music. Bob’s distinctive voice and the melody’s percussive emphasis convey the fun, wonder, and drama of properly naming the eager parade. A furry, howling growler becomes a bear. A milk-giving grass chewer is named a cow. A snorting, horned, herculean hauler and puller is known as a bull. A woolly, hoofed, grass-browsing denizen of steep mountainsides becomes a sheep. And then there is the unnamed creature, the one of glassy smoothness and grass slitherings, that sneakily disappears, last seen alongside a lakeside tree.
Three decades after the song’s composition, its memorable lyrics lent their allure to the print format of children’s book. Artist-naturalist-writer Jim Arnosky created lush illustrations which vividly convey the pristine, wondrous environment of the untamed natural world. More than 170 animals appear as a peaceable kingdom in Jim’s illustrations.
James Edward Arnosky, who is known by his friendly nickname of Jim, was born in New York City on September 1, 1946. He saw active duty with the U.S. Navy in the state of Maryland and abroad in the northwestern German seaport of Bremerhaven, and he served in the U.S. Naval Reserves for four years. Afterwards, Jim honed his artistic and writing skills as a keen observer of nature, especially after moving to Vermont in 1976 with his wife Deanna and their two daughters. In New England, they settled into an old farmhouse where they raised sheep for almost two decades. In addition to exploring the wonders of nature, Jim enjoys fishing, boating, and playing guitar.
Man Gave Names to All the Animals is not only a treasury of words and illustrations but also of music. Included with the book is a CD of Bob Dylan’s original recording. Thus, readers have the triple pleasure of reading silently or aloud, looking at spectacular images, and listening to Bob Dylan’s performance. Truly the care which has been taken in designing this special book, which is a tribute to an extraordinary musician, makes Man Gave Names to All the Animals an exceptionally desirable addition to every home library. This is a book which will be enjoyed by all ages.
Copyright: Friday, June 15, 2012, by Stessily.