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Blue Grass Boy

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Here is the story of Bill Monroe, whose deep Kentucky roots helped him to create the unique American music called bluegrass.

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:
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Boyds Mills Press
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  68 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Stephanie Tournas
This appealing picture book biography traces the life of Bill Monroe, widely thought to be the father of Bluegrass music. From his country roots in Kentucky, to the big time in Nashville, readers get a feel for the times and Monroe's influences and challenges. I like that his visual handicap is reframed as almost an auditory superpower. The country music that morphed into bluegrass is set in the times successfully for those not familiar with it, and the exuberant and bright digital illustrations ...more
Cindy Dobrez
The storytelling, in the oral sense of the word, was fabulous: "Willie was the youngest, following his seven brothers and sisters like a runt pup squirming to fit in." I felt like I was sitting on a Kentucky porch listening to a story of Bill Monroe's life. I just wish someone had been playing a banjo next to me while I read it. ...more
King Haddock
I, a 28-year-old adult with no children, felt compelled to pick up this book because of my infatuation for bluegrass. I couldn't believe I saw a picture book about the Father of Bluegrass!

Obviously I am not the target demographic of this book, but I still felt it was a delight to go through. Thank you, Barb Rosenstock, and thank you, Edwin Fortheringham, for making this charming picture book a reality. I don't know how to say how much you delighted me.

I think kids will listen to the story, like
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The youngest of eight children, young Willie Monroe grew up in a family of musicians fiddling old time tunes together along with his Uncle Pen, who was a popular dance fiddler in the community. By the time Willie was 10-years-old his parents had passed away, and he moved in with his talented Uncle Pen. Another important influence for Willy's future music career was famous Arnold Shultz, the most well known traveling picker in the area. Arnold was an African American musician who played the blues ...more
This would be a 3.5 for me. I am excited to have a picture book for young readers about the man who is often credited as the father of bluegrass music. The lively digital illustrations and the engaging text highlight the struggles Bill Monroe from Kentucky faced during his formative years--his esotropia and the loss of his mother at an early age. But like so many, Bill found solace in the sounds of nature, playing music for the pure joy of it and doing manual labor to make a living. He was fortu ...more
Brenda Kahn
I did not know that one person is credited with creating blue grass music. But then, I learn the most interesting things from picture books. This one has a folksy appeal that invites the reader to settle right in and feel comfortable - but not too comfortable because there is some sadness here too. The illustrations are cartoonish but there's a richness to the color that elevates it. The backmatter includes black and white photos, extra information, a bibliography and source notes. ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Bright an bold illustrations, many with shades of blue, and an easy reading style, will appeal to the younger fan of bluegrass. The back matter will point the older student towards additional reading.
As usual, Rosenstock's text is lively and interesting, but I don't know if the descriptions of bluegrass and how the sound differed from other kids of music was entirely successful. Also, I wasn't a fan of the illustration style. ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bill Monroe's bluegrass music has a profound influence on American music. Barb Rosenstock writes an informative and sensitive picture of his life. The biographical note and bibliography at the end are very useful for further research. ...more
A solid biography of bluegrass musician Bill Monore, delightful cartoon-like illustrations
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
I’m a big fan of the author but this one just absolutely wasn’t for me.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because this person wants to find music, and then he finds this old banjo, but it's sad that he died. ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picture book biography about the life of Bill Monroe. Includes historical information about the blue grass singer.
Joey Gremillion
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love me some Bluegrass music. This is a fabulous fabulous book. I HIGHLY recommend to children of all ages.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Music lovers will feel like organizing a barn dance when they read this picture book biography of Bill Monroe. The author traces the birth of bluegrass music from Monroe's childhood in Kentucky to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Participating in a "sundown jamboree" with his family, Bill would hear jigs, hymns, and ballads. But he also listened to the sounds of nature and learned to play a mandolin. He refined his skills playing at hillside dances and picked up the rhythms of the blues. Everywh ...more
Shaye Miller
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a picture book biography of Bill Monroe. Bill grew up the youngest of eight children in the bluegrass state of Kentucky. His eyes were crossed which is why people believe that his ears worked so well with music. His mother died when he was just 10 years old and he found comfort in music after he found an old mandolin lying around. When he was 16, his father died too — that’s when he moved in with his Uncle Pen and began playing in regular performance gigs. Bill also met Arnold Shultz, sa ...more
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Jul 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
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