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Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
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Blowin' in the Wind

by Bob Dylan

Other authors: Jon J. Muth (Illustrator)

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I am undecided on this one. I think Jon Muth is amazing and his Zen books are some of my favorites. I appreciate his efforts with these classic lyrics, and I think he's done about a good a job as anyone could in illuminating them for a young audience. I especially liked the guitar motif as a nod to the folk singers who have sung this song.

But ultimately, I'm not sure this is the type of song that SHOULD be illustrated, as I think some of the power of the song over the years has been in how each singer or listener builds their own meaning of the words.
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
How many times
must a man look up
Before he can
see the sky?

The answer, my friend,
Is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is
blowin’ in the wind.

Bob Dylan’s iconic song, Blowin’ in the Wind, comprises the text for a beautiful children’s book by artist John J. Muth. Muth has taken the lyrics of Dylan’s song and matched verses to his paintings. All of the pages have a soft outdoor scene consisting of pale shades of blue, green, gray, and white. Each spread has at least one child holding either a red balloon or a red ball, while following a white paper airplane that continually soars through the air, always leading the children on their journey, never touching down.

One young boy with a red ball joins another child. Two children drifting down a river, with a red balloon, pick up the first two kids in the next spread, all still follow the white plane airplane. These kinds of scenes continue to the end of the book, until only the paper plane flies further and further away.

I was a young kid in 1963 when Bob Dylan hit big with his song Blowin’ in the Wind. I was not yet in kindergarten. Still, I remember this song from my older sisters playing it in our shared bedroom. I believe it turned into a political anthem at one point, possibly for the Vietnam War. In Jon J. Muth’s book, the song, transformed once more, takes four kids on a journey which ends vaguely, leaving the meaning totally up to each reader. It is a solemn journey, one shared in peace, harmony, and a caring for others.

The story has patience, friendship, cooperation, and a journey that encompasses all of this and probably a lot more. I think this is one of those rare books where each reader finds his own meaning on the pages. It can be any story you desire. Parents and children can have a different tale each day. Baby Boomer grandparents who grew up with this song, and have varied reasons for enjoying it, can use the book as a springboard for those moments they want to pass down a generation. If nothing more, Blowin’ in the Wind is a nice diversion, sort of like a walk in the park on a cool evening.

Blowin’ in the Wind is one book I would love to keep. It has a soothing quality in its pages that I noticed before anything else. Whether kids will like this one remains to be seen. I think parents will enjoy this book more, especially those who came of age during the 1960’s. I am exactly not sure what Jon J. Muth is trying to say, if he is trying to say anything, yet I enjoyed it. The pages are a nice diversion from the hectic pace of the day. In the end, the white airplane soars away; now accompanied by dozens of other white paper planes, each maybe carrying an answer, while Blowin’ in the Wind. Bob Dylan sings his iconic song from 1963 on an included CD.

Note: received book from the publisher, Sterling Children’s Books
Review from Kid Lit Reviews
http://kid-lit-reviews.com/2012/03/12/blowin-in-the-wind-by-bob-dylan/ ( )
  smmorris | Mar 16, 2012 |
words are grim for children
  melodyreads | Feb 15, 2012 |
It would probably make me cry to try to sing this in story time.
  fantasticstorytime | Dec 22, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bob Dylanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Muth, Jon J.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This is a picture book for kids (ISBN 1402780028 / 9781402780028) with the lyrics from "Blowin' in the Wind" and illustrations by Jon J. Muth. Please do not combine it with the score or other versions of just the song.
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Presents the familiar Dylan song, accompanied by illustrations.

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