Product Details
List Price:
9 to 12
4 to 7
Trim Size:
9" x 10"
Calkins Creek
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-439-6
Full-color illustrations

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About the Book


Here is the first picture book to explore the life of Bill Monroe, the founding artist of the American root music known as bluegrass. Even though Bill Monroe’s eyes didn’t work right, his ears worked overtime, hearing all sorts of sounds near his treasured Kentucky home. Despite hard times, Bill held the echoes of the hills and hollows close and learned to play them on a mandolin. When he moved to Chicago, he heard whistles, be-bop, and big bands. But when Bill discovered the banjo, the perfect instrument to bring all those sounds together, his band, the Blue Grass Boys, took off. Accompanied by bold, reminiscent illustrations, Bill Monroe’s tale of one artist’s desire to share cadences of his boyhood in a way that changed popular music forever is beautifully brought to life. Includes a bibliography, timeline, archival images, research notes, and the lyrics to Monroe’s masterpiece “Uncle Pen.”


“This picture book is both a biography of Bill Monroe and a history of bluegrass music, the genre he was instrumental in creating... (t)he book's tone is nostalgic, with folksy narration… (a) tribute to an Americana icon and his musical legacy.” – Kirkus Reviews  

Meet the Author

Barb Rosenstock

Barb Rosenstock is the award-winning author of The Noisy Paint Box, a Caldecott Honor book, The Camping Trip That Changed America, Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library, The Streak, and Ben Franklin's Big Splash. She lives outside of Chicago, Illinois, with her family. Visit

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Other Books by Barb Rosenstock

Meet the Illustrator

Edwin Fotheringham

Edwin Fotheringham has illustrated many award-winning picture book biographies, including What To Do About Alice? and Those Rebels, John and Tom. He also illustrated the Tony Baloney series by Pam Muñoz Ryan. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his family and their dog and two cats. Visit

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