Bob Dylan, musician, poet
May 24, 1941-
When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan by Gary Golio, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011)
Music has always been central to Bob Zimmerman’s aka Bob Dylan’s life. And when he heard recordings by Woody Guthrie, he knew he wanted to be like him—a singer- storyteller who made people think. Meeting his hero changed his life. Thank you, Woody. Thank you, Bob.
The official Bob Dylan website offers lyrics, sound files and tour dates.
Ynes Mexia, botanist
May 24, 1870-July 12, 1938
How We are Smart by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Sean Qualls (Lee & Low Books, 2006)
Mexia discovered a new passion when she was 51. Botany. And thanks to her, more than 500 species of plants were discovered.
A very brief biographical sketch of Mexia is available on the Online Archive of California.
May 24, 1819-January 22, 1901
Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt (Harcourt, 2000)
Queen of England for 64 years and the mother of nine children, the Victorian Age was named after this monarch.
Read more about Queen Victoria on The Victorian Web, literature, history and culture in the age of Victoria.
Mary Anning, paleontologist
May 21, 1799-Mar. 9, 1847
Rare Treasure: Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)
Anning discovered the bones of an ichthyosaur as a child and from then on fossils dominated her life.
For more information, read about Anning on the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology site.
Henri Rousseau, artist
May 21, 1844 – September 2, 1910
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Amanda Hall (Eerdman’s, 2012)
Rousseau, a self-taught artist, began painting at forty years of age. The critics were brutal. But he painted on and on and on. When he was sixty-one years old, his talent was recognized. Now, we all marvel at the jungles and animals and distant worlds he painted.
HenriRousseau.org offers 154 images of Rousseau’s work.