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Micawber Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Micawber + Marsupial Sue Book and CD + I Got Two Dogs: (Book and CD)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Book and CD edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689833415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689833410
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The team behind The Remarkable Farkle McBride returns with another high-spirited tale celebrating the arts. While young Farkle found joy in orchestral music, Micawber the squirrel is a lover of the fine art of painting. The refined New York City rodent makes a weekly scamper from his Central Park nest to the nearby "palace on Fifth Avenue" (the Metropolitan Museum of Art), where he can "feast... his eyes and his heart" on countless masterworks. On one such museum visit Micawber stows away among an art student's supplies and winds up in the woman's apartment, where he clandestinely uses her equipment to paint his own canvases, substituting his bushy tail for a brush. As months pass, the benign bandit assembles his own colorful gallery in his home atop the park's carousel. In a tighter, more linear text than Farkle, Lithgow conveys the sense of discovery and emotional enjoyment one can experience while observing or creating art. The vast majority of lines here have a musical rhythm, though young readers may need to puzzle out the meaning of words like "peregrination." Payne's mixed-media compositions capture an area of Manhattan at its clean, sunny best. His varying perspectives and occasionally paint-splattered backgrounds embrace all the exhilaration of Lithgow's words. Ages 5-8. FYI: Included is a CD recording of Lithgow reading his text.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Lithgow's love of language and wordplay shines throughout his work."
-- USA TODAY

"Another high-spirited tale celebrating the arts."
-- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Writing a children's book was not something that I pursued. It pursued me. It started when I was asked to write a narration for a symphony for kids. I realized that it had the text for a book. From that text "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" was born. And once the first book was successful, others followed.

My sixth (!) children's book, "Marsupial Sue Presents the Runaway Pancake," was just published this fall. This is a sequel to "Marsupial Sue," one of my most popular storybook characters.This story was inspired in part by two different things: The "Runaway Pancake" song is a guaranteed show stopper whenever I sing it in one of my Paloozicals Concert for Kids , and my performing on Broadway this year in "Dirty Rotton Scoundrels" made me think that Sue might like to put on a show of her own with all of her animal friends.

I credit my parents for fostering my love of literature and books. I have fond memories of my father reading chapters aloud from great thick books like "The Jungle Book" and "A Teller of Tales".

I have carried on my father's tradition by reading aloud to my own kids when they were little. I have also started a few traditions of my own, like singing to them and playing really mediocre guitar, building castles with them out of refrigerator boxes and treasure hunts across museums. Once I even created a very elaborate paper chase across the entire campus of UCLA for my daughter Phoebe's 16th Birthday. Some of these games were inspiration for all of the Lithgow Palooza books and books with kits that have been published by both Simon and Schuster and Running Press.

Although writing is an arduous process for me, there is nothing better than seeing a child falling in love with one of my stories.

Customer Reviews

This is a classic book and one that both of my daughters--who are very different from each other--loved as children.
S. Wood
C.F. Payne's inimitable talent, and familiarity with the styles of great masters, facilitates illustrations that visually companion the text pluperfectly.
Cheryl Lage
Also, this book can be a wonderful tool for helping children to learn story inferencing as well as how to decode unfamilar words.
Indiana Gal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By book-loving mom on January 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
At least one other reviewer claims 'Micawber' is inappropriate for younger kids, based on the reaction of one 4-year old. I would just like to say that my 17-month old chooses both 'Micawber' and the other Lithgow/Payne collaboration, 'The Remarkable Farkle McBride', from the shelf for me to read to her, and listens all the way through to both books, laughing at and pointing to the illustrations along the way (especially Micawber's self-portraits). I believe she is responding not just to the pictures, but to the rhythm and lilt of the poetry as well. This is NOT just a book for grownups!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Patricia KollarFrancazio on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you buy one gift for that special someone in your life, make sure it's by Lithgow. His music and his books are superb! Micawber is delightful, the entire family dropped everything to sit on the couch for this one! Not a book just for reading, its the kind of book you dive into, become a part of, get lost in! Lithgow is a master at everything he does, his talents are breathtaking! Pop one of his recorded selections into your stereo, any one of which has the power to turn the crankiest child, the most frazzled mom, the most serious of men into a crazy, singing, joyful idiot before the end of the first song!Bring laughter into the lives of those you love, pick them up anything by John Lithgow!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In this wonderful book about a little squirrel's adventures, Lithgow seems to know that even a small child can understand the elaborate, descriptive words he uses to rhyme. I love the fact that he doesn't speak down to children, but brings them up to his level. C.F. Payne is also an amazing artist that brings Micawber and all of his escapades to life. His friends are a little too realistic for me, but it gives me the opportunity to show my daughter nature without actually having to touch the real thing!! :) My daughter loves to find things we may have overlooked or simply forgotten about and she is now asking about the Monet "depicting a haystack at twilight" as well as the other artists mentioned. We recently used this as an opportunity to see more art in books and the museum. She also loves to hear Lithgow reading the story and I use it as a special treat just for her. I purchased this book for her over a year ago and it is still one of her favorites.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Raven on August 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In this charming book, John Lithgow uses clever rhymes, avoiding one syllable words and expected endings. As his little squirrel adventures through New York City on his journey to become a self-made artist, vocabulary words and artistic concepts are skillfully introduced to children. My 2 year old daughter loves to have this book read over and over, and fortunately it is sweet and intelligent enough that I enjoy it nearly as much as she does. Every squirrel we see is now called Micawber and she wonders aloud if he might have paint on his tail if she could just get close enough to see. I highly recommend it for any young, curious child, just be prepared for him or her to develop an unusal interest in your neighborhood squirrels!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brent Hilton on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is an excellent book to read to kids& a cute story about squirrel that learns how paint by watching a human painter. john lithgow words make it enjoyable even for adults to read it over & over again & the pictures are full of life & color. it comes with a cd of john reading his story so parents can take a rest .
Highly recommended for bedtime reading for children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paula's Books on January 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was such a treat, to read a children's book by John Lithgow. I have only known him as an actor, so this was interesting to pick up. I loved this story! It has a magical element that both children and adults will love, I am sure. The choice of vocabulary he uses, alone, is amazing. Children, (and maybe even adults), will find new words, or artists mentioned in this book. This squirrel loves art. It makes one almost giggle how he after observing many works of art, he comes to make his own, and...(well, you just have to read the book to see how it ends.) It is a very cute story, and if you are like me, it will get you thinking about the sqirrels you have seen in your life that have more than one color on their tail. A very cute thing to watch for with the children. It will bring a smile to your face.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book that introduces young readers to the world of art in a most imaginative way. My son has ridden the carousel in Central Park, so he had no trouble imagining that there might be a squirrel living in a cozy apartment in the top. Lithgow's rhymes are very clever, and it is especially fun to listen to him reading the story on the enclosed CD. The illustrations are terrific too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Evans on April 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We were given "Micawber" as a baby gift. When I first read through it I wasn't sure that it would ever be a favorite, given the high-level vocabulary, so I stuck it on the shelf. When my son was about [...] he pulled it off the bookshelf at bedtime. We've now read it at least once a day for FOUR MONTHS. And my son and I still love it! Thanks to this book, my son loves to point out the various paintings in the illustrations (great illustrations, BTW), he yells "Micawber" every time he sees a squirrel, and he's fascinated with painting of any kind (fingerpainting, paint with water, even playing with my old eyeshadows). I had no idea that a 2 year old could develop an appreciation for fine art and GRE level vocabulary, but it's true. Yes, perhaps not all pre-pre-schoolers will love this book (and neither will all 4-8 year olds or parents), but those who do love it gain so much from it!
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