Sterling Children's Books announced February 1 that it will publish a picture book inspired by Bob Dylan's song "Man Gave Names to All the Animals." Due out in September 2010, the book will be illustrated by artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky and will come with a CD featuring Dylan's original recording of the song.
Dylan released "Man Gave Names in All the Animals" in 1979 on
Slow Train Coming, the first of three albums inspired by the folk singer's new-found Christian faith. Arnosky says he was inspired by Dylan's nature-inspired lyrics in creating the book's detailed images.
"From the first time I heard it, the lyrics created pictures in my mind of a land of primeval beauty," said Arnosky, recipient of a lifetime achievement award for Excellence in Science Illustration from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "I thought this vision would make a dream of a book, and I asked for Bob Dylan's permission to make this dream come true. Happily, he said yes."
An excerpt from Dylan's lyrics:
"He saw an animal leavin' a muddy trail
Real dirty face and a curly tail.
He wasn't too small and he wasn't too big.
Ah, think I'll call it a pig.
In 1999, artist Scott Menchin illustrated a picture book inspired by "All the Animals." Published by Harcourt, the book is now out of print, with some remaining copies being sold at collectors' prices.
Sterling Children's Books - part of Barnes and Noble, Inc. - previously published a picture book of Puff, the Magic Dragon, based on the song made popular by folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. Sterling VP Frances Gilbert says that title has sold a million copies.