Man Gave Names to All The Animals by Bob Dylan!

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If you read the title and were wondering if this author was named after the legendary singer you would be incorrect. That is because the author IS the legendary singer Bob Dylan… sort of. There is a note to the reader on the first page of the book from the illustrator describing how he was influenced by Bob Dylan’s song “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” and drew a marvelous picture book from it.

The actual words in the story are quite repetitive and very simple, as on every other page a chorus of sorts is stated:
“Man gave names to all the animals
In the beginning, in the beginning,
Man gave names to all the animals,
In the beginning, long time ago.”

Between these choruses there are cute descriptions of animals and how they got their names from humans. While the writing may not be revolutionary, since it was originally a song it flows well and is fun.

The real treats in this picture book come from the incredible illustrations. Rather than just showing the animals that Bob Dylan is describing, illustrator Tim Arnosky, crafts beautiful landscapes with tons of animals all around. It is easy to overlook certain animals because there are just so many. In all, there are over 170 animals depicted in the book.

However Arnosky’s attention to detail really stands out and his use of acrylic paint really brings the animals to life. The illustrations are fascinating, elegant, and original and are really what make this children’s book special. I think all of you would greatly enjoy it and it even comes with a copy of the original Bob Dylan recording of the song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dan Prager

Bonus: Link to Jason Mraz’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man Gave Names to All the Animals:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btFkj51vNls

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