john lithgow

13 Amazing Children's Books by John Lithgow



Micawber is not an ordinary squirrel. He has a keen appreciation for fine art which he hones with every visit he makes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. On one such visit, the sneaky squirrel buries himself in the art supply bag of student. Soon he is transported back to her apartment where he secretly puts his own skills to the test. Using his tail as a paint brush, Micawber creates remarkable duplicates of the artwork observed in the museum. The clever squirrel transports his completed canvases to his home atop the park carousel where he can enjoy them every single day. Lithgow's brilliant verse will entertain readers of all ages with expansive vocabulary fitting of the subject.

john lithgow


 Lithgow Children's Books to Add to Your Bookshelf 

John Lithgow is the author of several children's books, but it's worth noting that audiences of all ages will enjoy his way with words. Upon first reading his books, keep an open mind about his use of sophisticated vocabulary that may seem too advanced for the little ones on your lap.

Do not underestimate a child's ability to use context clues, like illustrations, to follow the story even when there are some challenging, unfamiliar words. Consider the fact that some of these stories about musicians, artists, performers, and dreamers deliver messages that resonate with adults as much as they do with children.


 The Remarkable Farkle McBride

A New York Times bestseller about a musical prodigy. Farkle McBride masters every single instrument he plays. Every time he tries a new one, like the drums, the violin, the flute, or the violin, his satisfaction is short-lived.  This remarkable boy 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. The final page is a double gatefold portraying a boy proudly conducting all of the instruments in glorious harmony. 





Mahalia Mouse Goes to College

This is a picture book for graduates from kindergarten through college with a message for all ages. It's the story of Mahalia Mouse, a tiny rodent living with her family in the basement of an old Harvard dorm. Quite by accident, she finds herself stuck in the backpack of a student. After attending her fist lecture, this inquisitive mouse's thirst for knowledge grows stronger. And after a few short years, she finds herself with a degree from one of the most prestigious institution's in the world.  This book was incorporated into John Lithgow's commencement speech at Harvard in 2005. It comes with a bonus CD so you can enjoy listening to the author himself tell the story of his beloved mouse.




I'm a Manatee 

A manatee, sometimes affectionately referred to as the cow of the sea, is the unlikely subject of a little boy's dream. In his sleep, the child transforms into this underwater beast where he plays with his sea friends. Only John Lithgow can find a way to write a rhyme that rolls off the tongue using the word manatee. It's pure fun to read out loud, and even better, the book comes with a CD where Lithgow sings the song.




I Got Two Dogs

 Calling all dog lovers! You must add this heartfelt book to your collection. A CD  included with the book features John Lithgow singing the lyrics about his own two dogs- Fanny and Blue. Theatrical, repetitive, and a whole lot of silliness, this story will  appeal to everyone who has experienced the love and loyalty of an ill-behaved, not-so-bright canine companions.




Marsupial Sue

For every kid who ever wished to be like someone else, this is the book for you! Marsupial Sue is not satisfied being a kangaroo, so she tries out other animals. A string of failures follow, like trying to climb like a koala or swim like a platypus. After exploring what life is like as other creatures, she finally comes to the conclusion that she is happiest as herself. A jaunty, rhyming, read-aloud with a fantastic message about self-esteem and appreciating your unique gifts. And, like with all of John Lithgow's books, it include a CD with the author himself singing the lyrics.



Marsupial Sue Presents the Runaway Pancake

Read your little ones The Gingerbread Man, and then follow with this creative re-telling of the classic fairytale. In this story, Marsupial Sue and her friends are putting on a play called The Runaway Pancake. It's their spin about a pancake that escapes a hot oven only to be chased by a cast of hungry creatures. Of course, a CD accompanies the book, which will especially please fans of John Lithgow's theatrical talents. 



Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo

John Lithgow incorporates his love of music and theatre in all of his children's books, and this one is no exception! In this delightful story, a group of naive performers take the stage right next to a zoo. Much to their surprise, the animals burst out of their cages and take over. The refined orchestra is replaced by raucous musicians, turning beautiful melodies into a cacophony of noise. The accompanying CD features John Lithgow singing the lyrics with a full orchestra playing in the background.




Carnival Animals

John Lithgow crafted the text to this New York City ballet in a fantastical picture book. A little boy is on a field trip to the natural history museum. He gets separated from his classmates and ends up spending the night.  He falls into a dreamlike state where all of his family, classmates, and teachers turn into a somewhat creepy cast of animals like hyenas, peacocks, and more. Kids will enjoy this magical adventure into the deep, dark, after-hours of a grand museum. 


A Lithgow Palooza

A creative book chock full of electronic-free activities to do with your family. More than 100 palooza ideas fill the pages and include specific instructions, recipes, and guidelines for having the most fun possible. Divides into four main sections, each one covers a broad array of almost (and sometimes, completely) free activities. There are crafts that only require objects commonly found around the house as well as a plethora of imaginary games to enjoy, plays to perform, and lots of laughs along the way.



john lithgow


Books by John Lithgow for Adults

John Lithgow has been entertaining audiences for more than 50 years. He is a brilliant actor whose performance range in scope from comedy to drama and everything in between. Lithgow is also a poetic talent who has delivered a number of highly successful, best-selling children's books.

For older readers who want to know about his life, he has penned an autobiography. Additionally, he is adding satirical work to his resume with a number of political titles written in verse.

Drama: An Actor's Education

John Lithgow fans will not be able to put down this memoir that reveals all the failures and triumphs of this brilliant actor's career. He delves into detail about all the people who influenced him on his journey to becoming a beloved performer, comedian, and dramatic talent. He takes readers behind the curtains to give them a backstage tour of everything he experienced as a stage actor. He also reveals some of the most instrumental collaborations over the course of his career and his transition to television and the big screen.


Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse

A humorous account of some of the pivotal events and instrumental players in the Trump administration. Entirely written in verse as only Lithgow can do, the book is filled with his own line drawings to supplement his commentary. A New York Times bestseller that is guaranteed to make you laugh.



Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown: Verses for a Despotic Age

Following the success of his first Trump book, Lithgow delivers yet another satirical collection of poems that document the events of this presidency. Even more caustic than the first, this book covers the impeachment, the pandemic, and some noteworthy figures including Jared Kuchner, Mitch McConnell, and many others. Satirical verse is well-matched with humorous line drawings that take a stab at the political climate while Trump held office.


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Best John Lithgow Books for Kids and Adults

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 all over the media with lightning speed. 

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 are the latter. A master wordsmith and creative storyteller are descriptives that come to mind when we think of his contributions to children's literature.


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