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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Actor John Lithgow and illustrator C. F. Payne -- the duo behind The Remarkable Farkle McBride -- are back en force with a rollicking tribute to artwork, starring a Central Park squirrel with an aesthetic eye.
Living in New York City's Central Park carousel, Micawber spends time peeking through the windows of "the place he loved best...a palace on Fifth Avenue," the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One day the art enthusiast spots a painter copying Monet's canvas of a haystack at twilight, and he accompanies her home, hiding in her paint case until she's asleep for the night. Climbing out and helping himself to her supplies, the little artist uses his bushy tail to paint a "splashy and lavish and lush" masterwork, afterward hightailing it home with his new creation. Many return trips to the apartment follow, and soon Micawber has built up a fine collection for himself -- perfectly showcased in his carousel home, with a swanky new name to boot.
With flowing rhymes and a story line that are as sublime as a Van Gogh landscape, Lithgow will have readers absorbed in Micawber's cheery artistic adventure. The little squirrel has focus and gumption, and any young, budding artist will be thrilled to use him as inspiration. Payne's illustrations capture Micawber's creative endeavor perfectly, as well, providing vivid details and extra humor throughout. Complete with a CD of Lithgow reading the text and a final fold-out spread, Micawber is a rollicking and uplifting storytime triumph. Matt Warner