Review! When Paul Met Artie by G. Neri

When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel
Written by G. Neri
Illustrated by David Litchfield
48 pages – ages 6+
Published by Candlewick Press on March 20, 2018

Synopsis from Publisher- “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.”

What I Thought- This picture book biography is quite compelling – telling the story of the beginning of Simon & Garfunkel in delectable free-verse. The poems are titled after songs they wrote, and show their humble beginnings in Queens, New York, their one-hit wonder as teenagers, all the way to their creation of the single that made them stars.

The illustrations are simply breathtaking, with a whimsy that only makes them more so. They capture the essence of Simon and Garfunkel’s music.

 Neri is a fabulous poet, having done this legendary duo justice, and Litchfield’s illustrations complement everything that Neri puts forth. There is some bibliographic information and discography found at the back of the book as well. The book is appropriate for a wide variety of ages (child to adult). I think 6+ years old is around a good age to pick up the book, so as to understand the content better and read independently. It is also a beautiful read aloud. I highly recommend this book!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Categories: Age 6-9

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5 replies

  1. Being a HUGE Simon and Garfunkel fan, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book. Great review, Erik!

  2. Might even be perfect for me… oh the memories 😉

  3. This does seem like an amazing book (even if I prefer Disturbed’s version of “Sounds of Silence”). 😉

  4. I am a Simon & Garfunkel fan and can’t wait to read this story. Great review!

  5. Just read this review in September. Missing your presence, Erik! If you like G. Neri’ s Simon and Garfunkel book for young (and old) readers, you will love his MG++ book “Tru and Nelle,” the historical fiction novel of Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee. Neri can write well in many genre. Great review, Erik.

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