Friday, May 22, 2009

John Lithgow- Children's Author Extraordinaire

Let's face it. Celebrity sells. A no-name author with a brilliant book may struggle for years without a nibble of interest from agents or publishers.

And yet an "author" who has already established a reputation in another field (acting, athletics, politics, you name it) can publish a book that is mediocre at best with far less effort. It may not be well-received by the critics, but it sure gets into print, on the shelves, and in our faces with lightning speed (which is, admittedly, a relative term when we're talking about publishing).

There has been a surge of children's books to hit the market in recent years written by all kinds of famous people. Some are forgettable...and others are unforgettable. John Lithgow's books, for the most part, are the latter. A master wordsmith and creative storyteller are descriptives that come to mind when I think of his contributions to children's literature.

Here's a list of his titles to date:

The Remarkable Farkle McBride:
NY Times Bestseller about a boy who can't quench his musical thirst until he finds the one job that allows him to enjoy every instrument at the same time- conductor of an orchestra!

An squirrel with an artistic flair lives above an art museum. He paints by night creating his own collection of brilliant art to rival the masterpieces that are housed below.

Mahalia Mouse Goes to College
A surprising college graduate, Harvard to boot, is the subject of this story sure to inspire anyone pursuing higher education. This book was incorporated into John Lithgow's commencement speech at Harvard in 2005. It comes with a nice CD where you can enjoy listening to the author himself tell the story of his beloved mouse.

I'm a Manatee
Your kids will sound super-smart when they shout Manatee! when all the others are stuck on dolphins, sharks and whales. But the real point in this story is the wondrous imagination of a little boy who goes on an adventure with his sea life friends.

I Got Two Dogs
Calling all dog-lovers! You must add this sweet book to your collection. It even comes with a CD featuring an upbeat song about man's best friend. Based on his own two dogs, this story will appeal to everyone who has experienced the love and loyalty of an ill-behaved, not so bright canine companion.

Other books to check out by John Lithgow: Marsupial Sue, Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake", Carnival of the Animals


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  2. These sound like wonderful books! I'm definitely going to look into I'm a Manatee. Sounds like one my son would love.