Forever Young by Bob Dylan

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Forever Young by Bob Dylan

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Bob Dylan's beautiful song Forever Young retold as a children's picture book. Parents who are existing fans will enjoy it a little more than children, but it's still a beautiful sentiment and a beautiful book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1847384294

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Forever Young appears on Bob Dylan's 1974 album Planet Waves. It's a beautiful song sung to a child: May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. May you stay forever young. It's been adapted to a picture book with illustrations by Paul Rogers. A young boy receives a guitar as a present, then progresses through life (with guitar in tow), dreaming, learning, protesting, changing and living.

This is more a book for the parents (or grandparents) than the children. Love oozes from every page, so it's a wonderful book to read together, and children will enjoy it, but its great strengths are all the hidden touches in the illustrations - some of which are explained in the illustrator's notes at the end. The lyrics aren't as poetic as Dylan's usual work, but in the song itself the glorious sentiment is emphasised by the soaring vocals. This is absent when read as a book, or without knowledge of the song itself. Look upon it as an opportunity to get your children listening to Bob Dylan.

Paul Rogers' illustrations have a real 60s and 70s cartoon feel to them. They're bold, quirky, warm and involving. Every page is riddled with references to Dylan's music, life and influences. Even if you don't want to work out what everything means, it's still a delight to take everything at face value and pore over the pictures.

Forever Young would make a beautiful present to read together. The more of a Bob Dylan fan you are, the more you'll get from it. It's perfect for reading along when listening to the song. Even if you've never even heard of Bob Dylan, there's still plenty to enjoy. Warmly recommended.

Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie is very much in the same vein as Forever Young, but just a little better and with slightly wider appeal than Dylan's book. Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret is also well worth a look. Buy all three!

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Buy Forever Young by Bob Dylan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Forever Young by Bob Dylan at


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