Thursday, September 23, 2010

Man Gave Names to All the Animals by Bob Dylan, illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Man Gave Names to All the Animals by Bob Dylan
Illustrated by Jim Arnosky
Copyright 2010
Sterling Children's Books - Ages 4-8
32 pages; Includes a CD of the original Bob Dylan recording
I've chosen to post an unusually large cover image of this book because it's so gorgeous you need to see it in as much detail as possible. Man Gave Names to All the Animals is absolutely stunning, vibrant, beautiful . . . think of any other adjective that has to do with eye-popping color and you've got the gist. Illustrator Jim Arnosky requested permission from Bob Dylan to use the lyrics to his song "Man Gave Names to All the Animals", from the album Slow Train Coming, and illustrate them to create a children's book. The result is 32 pages of rhyming fun, including a copy of the catchy original song on CD.

I no longer have small children and my cats aren't into dancing (except when they're boxing each other or chasing ribbons), but my husband and I played the CD and we were rocking. We both agreed that our kids would have absolutely loved both the song and the book. You can't beat the combination of bright colors, rhyme and music. Here's a sample page spread, without the words:

Art used with permission from Man Gave Names to All the Animals, (c) 2010 by Jim Arnosky, Sterling Children's Books.

The cover image at the top of this review is what you see on the book jacket, but if you take the jacket off this glorious, hardcover book, underneath is a cover just as pretty but totally different. On the front is a close-up of a tiger and the back shows butterflies floating from one corner to another. I'm one of those people who take off book jackets to keep them pristine, so I always appreciate it when the cover beneath is also nice to look at.

The bottom line: A perfect combination of words, rhythm and illustrations; and, you can't lose with a CD of Dylan's playful tune to jazz up the reading with children. Highly recommended.

In other news: Look!!! Kitties at peace!

Not long after I snapped this photo, Fiona rolled onto her back and Isabel scooted over and chomped on Fiona's ear. Izzy got a little tap on the head for bad behavior, which promptly sent her into an urgent bath ritual, followed by another stretch of good behavior, with her head even closer to Fi's. Awwww. So cute. And also . . . Wahoo!!!

Just walked in, this week:

Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens by Jennifer Schaertl (I have a crappy little kitchen)

Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper (cat book!)

Desiree by Anne Marie Selinko (a Sourcebooks rerelease of one of my all-time favorite books!)

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

All but Desiree were from Paperback Swap. And, just so you know, plenty of books are going out the door, too. I'm not sure we've hit balance, yet, but I'm trying.

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I'm going to buy this for a friend of mine - she's a huge Bob Dylan fan!

  2. Kathy,

    Only a real booklover would buy a children's book for a friend because of the CD! That's awesome. I'm sure she'll love it! :)

  3. Not to make Fiona feel jealous, but Izzy is such a beautiful cat! I've always liked white cats with tabby patches on the head and tail- they're so pretty. Glad to see they're becoming friends.

  4. Jeane,

    I won't tell Fiona. ;) Izzy is definitely lovely. Our girls aren't quite buddies, yet, but every day we see a little improvement and considering it's been less than a month I think they're going to eventually be friends. It's exciting to see them relaxing near each other!!

  5. I really liked Steve Kluger's basesball book, which still astounds me.

    That Bob Dylan book looks like a must have.

    Kitties! Getting along! Briefly! Awesome! Also! Exclamation points!

  6. That book does look gorgeous, and like a lot of fun. And awww finally some peace! Very cute :)

  7. Carrie,

    Same here. I was shocked how much I loved that baseball book by Kluger. I laughed, I cried, I bought an extra copy for a friend.

    The Bob Dylan book is awesome. I must admit I have a weakness for gorgeous animal books.

    LOL You and your exclamation points. So . . . that was yesterday that the kitties coexisted in a modicum of peace. Today: all-out war. I finally gave up and put Isabel in time-out because she was provoking Fi. She whined and flung herself at the utility-room door but I ignored her and fed Fiona, then let her out after Fi had eaten (just to give poor Fi a break). She was somewhat contrite and apparently a big hungry from her exertion. Cats. Such fun.


    It's a beautiful book. As you can see from my comment to Carrie, the peace didn't last. Eventually, though, Izzy wore herself flat. I had to check to see if she was breathing, she was so flattened. She has now refilled her tank and is raring to go. :)

    Does this comment mean you made it home safely? Guess what? We're supposed to get cool air on Monday!!!! Wahoo! The high is allegedly going to be only 79. Nearly party time!

  8. Loved Homer's Odyssey!!!


  9. Melissa!!

    I know!! I can't wait to read it. But, Dewey's Nine Lives is ahead of it in line. More cat stories!! LOL

  10. I too have a crappy little kitchen, so little that having two people in it is awkward. Sounds like an interesting cookbook!

  11. Christy,

    Same here. My husband does most of the cooking, simply because I can't stand the kitchen. If I try to fuss around and clean while he's cooking, he kicks me out. It's definitely a one-person kitchen. Hubby flipped through the book and said it looked "really good". He is very, very picky about cookbooks, so that's extremely positive. I'm excited about it. :)


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