Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel” as Want to Read:
When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Candlewick Press

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When Paul Met Artie, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When Paul Met Artie

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  230 ratings  ·  67 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel
David Schaafsma
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A picture book I guess for grandparents to educate their grandkids about this iconic folk duo. G Neri writes the story with lots of words arranged in columns with song titles for different sections. More information than one usually gets in a picture book, so the stories overwhelm David Litchfield's sweet drawings a bit, but I knew the story, and liked hearing it, so I forgive him.

Three of my favorite of their songs, that I listened to as I read, but there are so, so many:

"Kathy's Song":

This book took my breath away. It isn't one of those picture books you can read in 5 minutes. Give yourself a good half hour to just soak it all in. This will be one of those books that will be a hard sell to kids since most likely don't know who Simon & Garfunkel are, so it will likely need to be hand sold to those sensitive, quiet readers who love music and poetry. Don't neglect those readers. They are waiting for you to recommend a book like this to them.
Paul  Hankins
I was just born into a world that might offer me a musical soundtrack in the same year that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would part ways.

And if it hadn't been for the music of that time and the way it came to us, through the circle speakers flush with the dash of the car my parents could afford or through the singular earbud that came with my Donald Duck-shaped transistor radio I might have missed them altogether.

I read WHEN PAUL MET ARTIE the way that I thought it should be read and the way
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, biography, music
Wonderful overview of how Simon and Garfunkel became a successful duo. The narrative is in free verse poetry with each chapter headed with one of their song titles. It is a charming way of sharing their story and pairs well with the folksy illustration style.

I was pleasantly surprised and thankful for the moments of serendipity that brought them together. Their captivating harmonies are iconic.

Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew Simon and Garfunkel were one of my favorite singing duos. I know the words to many of their songs, and I own some of their albums. It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized all that I DIDN’T know about these 2 legendary performers. This book is stunning. Written in prose, with detailed digitally rendered illustrations, I learned that the two boys were born 3 weeks apart and went to school together. Their first performance was in a school play where they played the White Rabbit and ...more
Brenda Kahn
Neri begins the story of Simon & Garfunkel in 1981 at their reunion concert in New York's Central Park (one which I attended). He then travels back in time thirty years and relates their story chronologically in poems that use their song titles for poem titles. Gorgeously illustrated and nicely oversized, this is a book to savor. If you are planning a read aloud, be sure to cue up some of their greatest hits.
Alex  Baugh
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Using the titles of songs that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel wrote and recorded together, and written to look like poetry or the lyrics to songs, G. Neri looks at the friendship of these two favorites who couldn't be more different from each other. Sure, both grew up in middle class Jewish homes in Kew Gardens, Queen, both were looking for a friend, and both loved music, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. And they didn't really know each other until they were cast in a school ...more
Vera Godley
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While I can sing along to many of Simon and Garfunkel's songs, I knew little of their backgrounds nor that they were friends from grade school. I enjoyed learning their story.
And I really enjoyed David Litchfield's art.
This has an oversized picture-book shape and captivating picture-book illustrations, but it has far more text than a picture-book typically would. Lots of text, well researched, not a quick picture-book read. It's kind of a hybrid picture book / illustrated biography with good
Ms. Yingling
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lot more information than I expected there to be. How sweet that they were friends in 6th grade!

Of course, this book, along with the picture book bio of Leonard Nimoy, puts me solidly in the Grandma demographic. Sigh.
the beginning of simon and garfunkle, when they were just paul & artie from queens!
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was such a cute way to follow the lives of Simon and Garfunkel! It's a juvenile non-fiction, so a very quick read. It made me want to hear every song I read about while reading!
Marcus Newman
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Lucky to have seen an advance copy of this gem. I love Simon and Garfunkel but I had no idea that they grew up as childhood pals, bonded over baseball and the birth of rock n roll and that they were rockabilly sensations all before the age of 18?? Crazy. Great illustrations and in depth storytelling of this special (and contentious) life-long friendship. Love that they met in a 6th grade production of Alice in Wonderland! A great overall intro into the music of the 50s and 60s from doo wop ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
I listen to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, but I've never dug deeply into their personal lives. I had no idea that Paul was the class clown, that Art was known in their Queens neighborhood as The Voice, or that they performed on American Bandstand together as teenagers. Theirs is such an inspiring story! From their childhood friendship to their creative partnership, this juvenile biography explores their path through free verse. Litchfield's colorful, detailed art begs you to look closer. For a ...more
Rebecca Honeycutt
Listen, I love all the elements of this book--I love G. Neri's poetry, I love David Litchfield's illustration style, and I loooove Simon & Garfunkel. But I have a hard time imagining the kid to whom I would hand this book. As an introduction it's okay, and the focus on the musicians as young people is typical of many picture book bios, but the fact that it stops just as they became famous makes it less useful as a biography/teaching tool.

It's a beautiful package, but I suspect it will be
Sylvie Gold
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This dual biography, told in free verse, follows Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel from their childhoods growing up in Queens, New York, through their success as teenage rock stars known as "Tom and Jerry," the demise of that episode in their lives, their individual struggles and efforts to find themselves as people and as musicians/songwriters, and their ultimate reunion and success as a folk rock duo in the 1960s. The book begins with their record-breaking Central Park reunion concert in September, ...more
Beth Rodgers
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
'When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel' by G. Neri, illustrated by David Litchfield, is an artistic and lyrically engaging biographical account of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's wonderful, yet troubled relationship and joint career. It doesn't steer away from the issues that plagued them and the times they thought they were done with the business. Their story is not so different than others who have come before or after them, but their dedication to the craft and their ability ...more
Stephanie Bange
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As he did in Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, Neri gives young readers an introduction to the iconic folk rock duo who spoke to the souls of a generation of young Americans.

Born three weeks apart, Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel grew up in the same neighborhood in Queens. It was a school talent show that brought the two unlikely opposites together and cemented a musical partnership that has seen ups and downs, ins and outs over the years. This picture book dual biography, told in free verse is a
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved seeing two of my favorite musicians from this perspective, a poetic picture book of their friendship and collaboration. From their childhoods in Queens, meeting in 6th grade, to their first attempts at making music, to the day years later when "The Sound of Silence" became the number one song and launched their careers. Story told in a lovely series of vignettes; each spread has an illustration and the text, in free verse, is titled with the name of a Simon and Garfunkel song. The ...more
Stephanie Tournas
As 2018 is the year of Paul Simon's final concert tour, this picture book biography of the folk rock duo comes at a good time. Poetic prose, printed in columns that look like liner notes on LPs, emphasizes the friendship and up and down relationship of the two boys who grew up blocks from each other in Queens. With a longer length (48 pages), the book offers slightly more than would be possible in a traditional picture book biography. Digital illustrations have a melancholy air, complementing ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
WhenPaul Met Artie: The Story of Simon and Garfunkel by G. Neri, illustrated by David Litchfield. NON-FICTION/ PICTURE BOOK Candlewick Press, 2018. $18. 9780763681746



Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel grew up in the same neighborhood in Queens, New York. Both loved music and eventually crossed paths where they decided they worked well together. They wrote songs and created music as teens. Overall they had ups and downs, but eventually they
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is a mild evening in October of 2003. Crowds of people, expectations elevated, are streaming from the parking lots to The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is their first major concert tour since 1983. It is (it was) going to be a night of nights, a lasting memory. Two old friends, two best friends, are reunited.

This friendship begins decades earlier in the Jewish suburbs of Queens. When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel (Candlewick Press, March 20, 2018)
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"When Paul Met Artie" is a beautifully illustrated stroll down memory lane. I was given this book along with tickets to "The Simon and Garfunkel Story". I had also seen Art Garfunkel in concert last year and it was just so amazing to see Art Garfunkel still performing and still enjoying it, even if his balance and memory were going a bit. When I was young I memorized all the words to every song on "Bookends". So as you can tell I might be a bit biased as this story brings me back to my youth and ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, how I love this book! Told in poetic narrative, each page titled after a Simon and Garfunkel song, we follow S & G from fourth grade to present day.
My parents had many of the duo's music, and the memory of playing those tapes tickled my brain while I read. I almost had to pause to play a song. I certainly had to play some after finishing the book!
The illustrations are folksy and are simply perfection. The story is readable enough for students as young as third grade to easily enjoy,
Eve Costarelli
This is a gorgeous, oversized picture book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The multi-colored drawings that accompany each page spread are thought provoking, sensitive portrayals of this legendary rock duo. I love the special appearance of Bob Dylan atop a brightly colored rainbow. This book tells their story through poetic verse, filling each stanza with details, thoughts and inspirations of their journey together. I enjoyed learning about who they were and where they came ...more
Full review with teaching tools:

Wow. G. Neri and David Litchfield have captured the story of Simon & Garfunkel and released it into the world in a way that oozes the same beauty that their music does. Neri’s lyrical narrative flows and is perfect for a biography of one of the most beloved duos ever while Litchfield’s illustrations have the tone and coloring that just fit Simon & Garfunkel’s music–a bit dreamy yet raw and colorful. Their two pieces
Engel Dreizehn
Poetic versed in narrative akin to musical lyrics and the style-mood felt like one of Simon & Garfunkel. Wordier then the average picture books I have read through but it works to it's advantage as the reader is forced to slow down in pace, and contemplate Paula and Art's journey from two Jewish boys from Queens to icons of that era which included the up and downs in their friendship. The illustration match the narrative mood too and surprised to realized the poem titles are their own song ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it as a work in progress at a book signing by the author several years ago. As a rabid fan of Paul Simon, a picture book about his early career is quite a treat and G. Neri knocked it out of the park. I can’t wait to recommend this picture book to my older elementary school students, it is also perfect for teen and adult readers.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Makes me want to pull up a Simon & Garfunkel playlist - I know I had their albums when I was young. Interesting to read the history of the duo, all the break ups and get togethers. Loved the text presented in 3 columns, loved the illustrations. Kinda wish more of the page titles were actual song titles - I went straight to the back matter to see if that was explained. Be sure to look at the case cover, thorough back matter.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a long time Simon and Garfunklel fan, I could not resist this book. Told in verse with sweet illustrations, it tells the story of how Paul and Art came together and eventually made it big. It focuses mostly on the mid-50s into the mid-60s. This is highly researched, and includes an Afterword, a Discography, a Bibliography, and a litpst of Musical Connections, rounding out the picture of how inspiration works to propel an artist forward.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented
  • Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
  • Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
  • Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel
  • Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World
  • Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement
  • Ordinary Hazards
  • The Undefeated
  • Howard and the Mummy: Howard Carter and the Search for King Tut's Tomb
  • She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein
  • Blue
  • Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain
  • How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace
  • How to Read a Book
  • Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace
  • What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
  • The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art
  • Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
See similar books…
G. Neri is the Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his free-verse novella, Chess Rumble. His books have been translated into multiple languages in over 25 countries. They include the novels Tru & Nelle, A Christmas Tale, Ghetto Cowboy, Knockout Games, Surf Mules, and two ...more