Cover image for I'm a manatee
I'm a manatee
Lithgow, John, 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Watershed Songs, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 book (1 volumes (unpaged) : color illustrations, music ; 29 cm)
General Note:
Compact disc.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 72441.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
COMPDISC KIT 38 Juvenile Fiction Media Kits
COMPDISC KIT 38 Juvenile Fiction Media Kits
COMPDISC KIT 38 Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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From time to time
I dream that
I'm a manatee,
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.

Author Notes

John Lithgow was born on October 19, 1945 in Rochester, NY. He went to Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1967. After graduation, Lithgow won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He has won four Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has also been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In 2005, he became the first actor ever to deliver a commencement speech at Harvard University.

In addition to acting, he is the author of many books for children. He lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.