I have a new hero

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I have a new hero: John Lithgow. He is an inspiration to a creative jack-of-all-trades.

Until recently, I knew John Lithgow for two things: Third Rock from the Sun and Harry and the Hendersons. But a while back, we discovered “The Remarkable Farkle McBride,” which is a truly great children’s book—a tour of the orchestra from a child prodigy who can’t commit to an instrument.

This is not your bread-and-butter children’s book. The rhymes are fresh and inventive, such that it takes a few readings before you get the pattern under your tongue, and the vocabulary is extremely sophisticated. Every page contains words like beseeching and rhapsodical; notwithstanding and rekindled; bombastic and forsaken. It works because the meaning is so clear from the context and from the pattern of the story (master an instrument, discard an instrument).

Farkle and Friends

Then one day I happened upon the CD “Farkle and Friends” at the library, and discovered that he’s not just a musical aficionado but also a singer. Actor, musician, poet, storyteller—is there no end to this man’s talents? He gives me hope—that maybe spreading myself among all my creative interests isn’t a recipe for mediocrity, after all.

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