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November is shaping up as a busy month for Arlo Guthrie. To the publishing world, and for kids of all ages, Arlo’s Rising Son Records label is issuing the artist’s fifth children’s book, titled simply Monsters. Written by Arlo, with illustrations by Kathy Garren (her third such collaboration with Arlo), the fictional tale finds child Arlo facing down monsters that have taken up residence in his bedroom and are, to say the least, having a disruptive effect on his ability to sleep through the night. An experienced perspective on this phenomenon is provided by Arlo’s dad, one Woody Guthrie, who, upon becoming aware of his son’s plight, offers sage advice on what these monsters really are and how best to handle them. As with Arlo’s other children’s books, Monsters offers life lessons in dealing with difficult people of all ages, genders and temperaments.

Monsters is available from Rising Son Records and also in Kindle and iBooks iterations.

The release of Monsters comes as Arlo is in the midst of a North American tour celebrating the 50th anniversary (is that possible?) of his career igniting classic, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” one date of which—Thanksgiving Day (November 26), to be precise—will be televised nationally on PBS from 8-9:30 p.m. EST. (Check local listings for other time zones.)

‘Highway In the Wind,’ from Arlo’s Alice’s Restaurant album, is one of the featured songs on 50th anniversary ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ tour. This clip is from a performance at the Guthrie Center in Housatonic, MA, May 27, 2011. Posted at YouTube by moonchilddave.

Arlo is joined onstage by his son Abe Guthrie (keyboards), Terry A La Berry (drums), Darren Todd (bass) and Bobby Sweet (guitar, fiddle). The PBS program is produced and directed by four-time Emmy Award winner Jim Brown, whose impressive film resume include 50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary; Pete Seeger: The Power of Song; and The Weavers: Wasn’t That A Time!

“Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert with Arlo Guthrie” includes live performances of “The Motorcycle Song,” “Chilling of the Evening,” “St. James Infirmary,” “Pig Meat,” “Coming Into Los Angeles,” “Alice’s Restaurant,” “I Hear You Sing Again,” “City of New Orleans,” “Highway In The Wind” and “My Peace.” –David McGee

Woody Guthrie with son Arlo, warding off bedroom monsters in Arlo’s book Monsters. Illustration by Kathy Garren.

Woody Guthrie with son Arlo, warding off bedroom monsters in Arlo’s book Monsters. Illustration by Kathy Garren.