Learn about the creation of the unique American music called bluegrass through the story of Bill Monroe.
Bill Monroe loved many things: playing music, his big family, and his home in the bluegrass state of Kentucky. Even though his eyes were crossed and didn’t work right, Bill’s ears worked hard, picking out all sorts of sounds around his treasured home: rushing streams, wailing winds, and sundown jamborees with his family. Through heartache and hard times, Bill held on to these sounds that reminded him of home. Award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and illustrator Edwin Fotheringham beautifully capture the ups and downs of Bill Monroe’s musical journey, and how his deep Kentucky roots helped him create a unique form of American music–bluegrass. Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and Jerry Garcia all credit Bill Monroe with influencing their music.
“This picture book is both a biography of Bill Monroe and a history of bluegrass music, the genre he was instrumental in creating… (t)he book’s tone is nostalgic, with folksy narration… (a) tribute to an Americana icon and his musical legacy.” – Kirkus Reviews
“(I)nformation-packed (with) creative text…Fotheringham’s inventive, digital artwork strikes a playful note…A spirited picture book introducing the ‘Father of Bluegrass Music.’” — Booklist
“This picture book biography of Bill Monroe…richly recalls the hills and mountain streams of his Kentucky upbringing. The writing uses imagery and a voice that evokes the oral storytelling tradition to great effect. It’s not just that Rosenstock describes the rolling hills of Kentucky, it’s the way she uses language to lovingly speak of the land, its people, and the region using dialect and vocabulary that Monroe or any of his loved ones might if they were telling this story. The author adeptly and squarely aims this book at the intended audience by highlighting details young readers can connect with…The digital illustrations are vibrant with a retro feel…(and) complement the imagery of Monroe’s music. A highly recommended purchase.” – School Library Journal
“Rosenstock tells the story of bluegrass musician Bill Monroe, who found refuge from a sometimes painful childhood… (illustrator) Fotheringham’s high-energy digital art shows Monroe’s development from unhappy boy to confident performer with his band… as Monroe hits his musical stride, the spreads fill with inky blue, like a moonlit Kentucky night.” – Publishers Weekly