Justin Vernon Joins Legendary Songwriters for Book to Benefit Children’s Literacy

Mike Paulus

Where's Vernon?
Where's Vernon?

Take a look at this crazy storybook which includes Justin Vernon amongst its many credits. Apparently, when he's not making music, producing albums, organizing festivals, or forming weird international music collectives, Vernon sometimes scratches up enough time to write a story to benefit children's literacy programs. 

The new project, called Stories for Ways & Means, includes original work from songwriters like Tom Waits and Nick Cave (almost thirty in all). Artists were matched up to the stories, and the result is a 350-page book project. But that's not all. Some of the stories get an audio treatment with narrators like Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, and Lauren Lapkus. The readings are available on vinyl (duh) and you can hear some of them in a collection of trippy videos.

A softcover edition of the book (which is not intended for children) runs $35 while an "exclusive signed version" would set you back $490 (those better be some sweet signatures). The vinyl LP is 20 bucks. 

Watch a trailer for the book below and below that you'll find an FAQ from sfwam.org ...

WHAT IS STORIES FOR WAYS & MEANS?

Ten years ago the founder of Waxploitation, Jeff Antebi, had an idea to ask his favorite music artists and favorite contemporary painters to come together and collaborate on original children’s stories for a benefit project.

Today, 29 of those pairings make up the 350 page book project called Stories for Ways & Means.

The book includes stories from Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Justin Vernon, Laura Marling, Devendra Banhart, Alison Mosshart and Kathleen Hanna as well as painters/illustrators like Anthony Lister, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, James Jean, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny, and more.

Guest narrators came along for fun as featured voices in short promo films: Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, Phil LaMarr, King Krule, and Lauren Lapkus.

IS THIS A BOOK FOR KIDS?

Probably not, unless said kid is over 17 years old. It features outre art, weird images, graphic displays of nasty stuff and cuss words.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME DELUXE ART BOOK?

The first edition will be scarce. It’s a limited edition, hardcover ONLY available first come, first served basis soon at SFWAM.org

WHERE IS THE MONEY RAISED FOR ALL THESE CHILDREN’S LITERACY PROGRAMS GOING TO GO?

Proceeds from sales of the book primarily benefit Room to Read, Pencils of Promise, and 826 National among a number of non-profits working to build schools and educate children around the world.

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