I'm a Manatee (Book and CD)

( 12 )

Overview

From time to time
I dream that
I'm a manatee,
Undulating
underneath
the sea

A little boy dreams of becoming a manatee, and what a dream it is! With his new gigan-atee manatee proportions, he sets off on an underwater adventure with his ...

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Overview

From time to time
I dream that
I'm a manatee,
Undulating
underneath
the sea

A little boy dreams of becoming a manatee, and what a dream it is! With his new gigan-atee manatee proportions, he sets off on an underwater adventure with his manatee friends.
Join John Lithgow and Ard Hoyt on this silly aquatic escapade, then sing along with John, who performs "I'm a Manatee" on the enclosed CD.

A boy imagines that he is a manatee, sprinkling seaweed on his raisin bran-atee and dignifying his watery domain with his wit, sophistication, and urbanity.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Author/actor John Lithgow takes a young boy on an imaginative dip into the deep blue in this splashy book-and-CD set that's bound to have kids flipping over our oceanic friends. Ard Hoyt's fluid colored pencil, ink, and pen drawings show a sailor suit–clad lad swimming around his room alongside an algae-backed manatee, as he dreams, "I'm a manatee, Undulating underneath the sea. Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, That's me." Lithgow's rolling rhymes take readers on an awesome romp as the boy describes how he looks, what he eats ("I sprinkle seaweed on my Raisin Bran-atee, The perfect manatee cuisine."), how he acts, and what he thinks about his underwater domain. His quiet, freedom-loving life is truly magical and awe inspiring, and Hoyt's art carries Lithgow's words even further, showing the boy-manatee afloat with various aquatic creatures (including a guinea pig fish), communing with a group of smiley-faced manatees, and even surprising a troublesome fisherman. Young readers will let their imaginations set sail, too, especially when they put on the included CD of Lithgow singing his jubilant ode to manatees. With a treasure chest of New York Times bestsellers like Micawber and Marsupial Sue, Lithgow takes kids into a fun-loving, marine playground and provides adults with a storytime winner, showing his creative talent to be as wondrous as ever. Matt Warner
The Washington Post
The well-known actor dons his other hat, that of comic poet genius for kids, in his most gleeful book yet. The title contains pretty much the whole plot, except that it's a little boy dreaming of being a manatee, "immune from human folly and inanity," rather than an actual manatee, who narrates. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
Adding to his oeuvre of rhyming song-book hybrids, Lithgow (The Remarkable Farkle McBride) heads under the sea to extol the joys of being a manatee. A boy dreams of taking on the form of this favorite sea animal-"No difference between my face and fann-atee,/ .../ The least appealing creature on the planet-ee." The youngster and his fellow manatees "nose along the cozy ocean floor" snacking on seaweed (it garnishes their "Raisin Bran-atee"), exploring new nooks and crannies and relishing their "world of silence and of sanity." Like Lithgow's previous works, this one takes a read-through or two to fully appreciate the rhythm and sometimes sophisticated tone; the CD recording brings it all home in fine fashion, however, and will soon have many adults and children singing along. Young readers will likely fancy the silliness of the wordplay here and will enjoy being challenged by the vocabulary, an aspect of the "stately" personality Lithgow gives his character ("No one near will ever hear me use profanity,/ Because a manatee/ Has his image to maintain"). Hoyt's (One-Dog Canoe) pencil-and-watercolor art possesses graceful, fluid lines befitting the underwater setting. The blubbery gray and wrinkly manatees convey a sweet and unexpected charm. The artist wittily extends the story, too, adding playful elements that enhance the dream-fantasy aspects of the tale and even making an anti-litter statement (the manatees give a careless boater a taste of his own medicine). Ages 5-8. (Sept.) FYI: A CD containing Lithgow's vocals as well as an instrumental of the song is packaged with the book. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A young boy takes us along with him as he dreams he is a manatee "Undulating underneath the sea." Playing with words, rhymes, rhythm and humor, the brief, simple text is the verbal part of a song which is sung by Lithgow on the accompanying CD. The tune is bouncy and jolly, and is repeated without the words for the reader to vocalize alone; the score is also in the book. Not only is the life of the manatee celebrated, but much information on the appealing creature is included along the way. Hoyt uses colored pencils, pen and ink, mostly on double pages, to depict the underwater adventures of our hero and his friends. Vibrant with youthful adventure and comic interplay including the anthropomorphic "lumbering gigan-atee," the visual story adds the subliminal message to the plea to protect this endangered animal. 2003, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Lithgow applies his facility with music and language to create a witty, whimsical underwater fantasy. Based on the premise of a boy who dreams that he is a manatee, this song has sophisticated vocabulary and a dignified cadence and rhyme. Many elementary school children will not understand words like "inanity," "urbanity," "idle vanity," and "encumbered," so adults may need to translate the verses. Also, reading aloud requires practice in order to master the rhythm. However, music is the universal language understood by all, so just pop in the accompanying CD and stride along with the humorous lyrics and steady beat. Done in colored pencils, pen, and ink, the full- and double-page illustrations are fun and engaging. Hoyt's smirking manatees are positively endearing. An amusing accompaniment to units on this popular species.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A boy dreams he's a manatee in Lithgow's buoyant offering. "From time to time I dream / that I'm a manatee," he says as water rises in his room. "Undulating underneath the sea / Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, / A modest manatee, / That's me." When a massive manatee holds up a full-length mirror, the boy, now floating above his bed, sees the reflection of a manatee calf ("I look just like a chubby brown banana-tee"). Later, he "[sprinkles] seaweed on [his] Raisin Bran-atee." Sophisticated and silly at the same time, Lithgow's verse will keep kids on their toes. Meanwhile, Hoyt's colored pencils, pen, and ink spreads overflow with humorous aquatic activity. Words and music are included, as is a sing-along CD. Pure fun. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689854279
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 175,553
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

John Lithgow

John Lithgow is the New York Times bestselling author of I Got Two Dogs; Mahalia Mouse Goes to College; Marsupial Sue Presents: The Runaway Pancake; I’m A Manatee; Micawber; Marsupial Sue; The Remarkable Farkle McBride; and Carnival of the Animals. An award-winning actor, he has starred on stage, film, and television. He performs concerts across the country and has recorded the CDs Farkle and Friends, Singin’ in the Bathtub, and The Sunny Side of the Street. Visit John at JohnLithgow.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2007

    A great dream

    This is a wonderful book and it teaches children to dream and enjoy their dreams.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2005

    3 year old gets it

    My three year old LOVES this book and CD. He has actually added the large words (like encumbered) to his vocab! Plus we have so much fun singing the song together. This has become his favorite night time book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2005

    Very fitting

    My son loves to visit the manatees at the zoo so I picked up this book for him. He loves the song so much that he will ask to hear it over and over. We've played it so many times, I can sing the whole thing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    Man of many talents

    My grandaughter adopted a manatee on line and I wanted to get her this book to become more acquainted with her new friend. Since we're fans of JOHN LITHGOW I already knew it would be great. He didn't let me down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    The little boy who wanted to be a Mantee

    Loved this book. The kindergarners and kids a little bit older will like this book. You can probably sing along with the CD. Like the rest of his books this will be a hit with the younger crowd. Have fun with this book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    great combination of songs and story

    John Lithgow is talented in everything he does! From acting in comedies to drama, and Broadway -- and writing and singing children's books, he does it all. This book is one of a series of children's books which includes a CD of the song in the book. Mr. Lithgow's voice is great for children as he expresses his love for children that is obvious when you listen. My son's school originally played and read this book and he loved it so much we bought them all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2007

    Kids, keep dreaming!

    A great tale of a boy who dreams and succeeds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2009

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    Posted May 2, 2009

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    Posted April 24, 2010

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    Posted May 5, 2010

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