Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel by G. Neri and illustrated by David Litchfield. [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 9780763681746
Hardcover $17.99 ~ Approx. 10"x12"
Candlewick Press
My thoughts: This children's picture book biography of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (i.e. Simon & Garfunkel) was an interesting read. Things I learned .....

Paul and Artie are contemporaries of mine. Well, I might be three or four years older, but basically we're contemporaries who grew up with the music and societal mores of the 1950's. By the time these two began to make waves (though they had splashed around quite a bit prior) in the music world, I was engulfed in the busy "mommy" world of raising children and not really into the "music scene" of the time

It was a busy and bewildering time on the world-scene and particularly on the American stage of change and politics. During this period we saw the assignation of President J.F.Kennedy and his brother Attorney General of the US Robert Kennedy. We also saw the raw and ugly and fierce and determined world of racial change and uprising. Then another assignation - Martin Luther King, Jr. It was also a time of drastic challenges to the way things were done, the political scene, the war in Vietnam, and a general challenge of the establishment.

So the 1960's birthed much change in America and part of that change was the music.

Paul and Artie (and I) grew up during the early days of Rock and Roll. This was not heavy metal music of the 1980's and 1990's but  it was different. But Paul and Artie gave to Rock and Roll a folksy tone. Their harmonies were beautiful. Their music and the words expressed deep seated emotions of grief (Kennedy's assignation) and other areas.

This children's book takes us back to Paul and Artie's beginning as young Jewish boys growing up in the New York area. They meet, become friends, and later discover their ability to blend their talents creatively. Their journey was fraught with starts and stops, ups and downs, joys and disappointments.

But their journey made them a legend in the music world. And during my busy time as a young mother scurrying to and fro with my children, I played the radio. I didn't know who I was listening to but I remember "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Sound of Silence," and who knows what else of their recordings....

Folks who enjoyed the music of Simon and Garfunkel during their young adult years will relish this childred's book and will want to share it with children they know to let them learn how two boys meet, became friends, and went on to become succesful musicians.

About the book: From childhood friendship to brief teenage stardom, from early failures to musical greatness — the incredible story of how Simon & Garfunkel became a cherished voice of their generation.

Long before they became one of the most beloved and successful duos of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were just two kids growing up in Queens, New York — best friends who met in a sixth-grade production of Alice in Wonderland and bonded over girls, baseball, and rock ’n’ roll. As teens, they practiced singing into a tape recorder, building harmonies that blended their now-famous voices until they sounded just right. They wrote songs together, pursued big-time music producers, and dreamed of becoming stars, never imagining how far their music would take them. Against a backdrop of street-corner doo-wop gangs, the electrifying beginnings of rock ’n’ roll, and the rise of the counterculture folk music scene, G. Neri and David Litchfield chronicle the path that led two young boys from Queens to teenage stardom and back to obscurity, before finding their own true voices and captivating the world with their talent. Back matter includes an afterword, a discography, a bibliography, and a fascinating list of song influences.
Collage of illustrations captured from the Twitter account of Greg Neri (@g_neri) and used solely to represent the book on this blog review.

2 Winners each receive 1 copy
Begins May 3
Ends May 24 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only.
NO P.O. Boxes, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.


  1. "1) Are you familiar with the music of Simon & Garfunkel?" Yes! I love it!

    "2) If so, do you have a favorite of their songs?" I love so many of their songs, but let's say "Scarborough Fair."

    "(1) One other book you would like to have for your own." "Norse Myths."

    "(2) One book you would like reviewed here on Chat With Vera." "Copy Cat."

  2. I love Simon and Garfunkel Music.
    My favorite song of theirs is "Bridge Over Troubled Water".

  3. Yes, my concert band has even played a medley of their music. My favorite is Mrs. Robinson.

  4. I would love to own the Orphan Band of Springdale. I would love to read your review of The Stars at Oktober Bend.

  5. I am familiar with Simon & Garfunkel's music. Among my favs are Here's to You Mrs. Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water and many others. When I was younger; I visited Greenwich Village in New York and I'm pretty sure I saw them just walking. I was to afraid to say anything. A missed opportunity I've regretted for years.

  6. I do like Simon and Garfunkel. I especially like The Sound of Silence.

  7. I want to have I Want My Hat Back. I would like to see One Duck Stuck A Mucky Ducky Counting Book reviewed here.

  8. I have heard of Simon & Garfunkle and I do like them. I like their song Sounds Of Silence.

  9. I would like you to review Walk and See: Colors.
    I would like to get the book Ciao, Baby! In the Park.

  10. Such talent, such beauty in their music. I think my favorite Siimon & Garfukle is Sounds of Silence...Bridge Over Troubled Waters...Mrs. Robinson...ok, I will stop now. :-)

  11. 1) A Stone for Sascha
    2) Raymie Nightingale

  12. Yes, I'm familiar with them. My favorite song by them is Mrs. Robinson

  13. 1) One other book you would like to have for your own....My Name Is Victoria

    (2) One book you would like reviewed here on Chat With Vera....Walk and See: Colors

  14. yes, & I loved Mrs. Robinson & Sounds of Silence

  15. I grew up on Paul Simon! He is hands-down my favorite artist of all time. I love that he paved his own path in music and was successful with it because he is such an amazing musician. My favorite song is The Obvious Child but my favorite complete album is Graceland. I am so excited about this book!

  16. I grew up on their music! My favorite song is the Sound of Silence!

  17. I would give this to my littles if I won!

  18. Superb article. Include more articles about this topic. Thank you for sharing. Thank you again.


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