John Lithgow's Marsupial Sue
    by John Cech

John Lithgow is really on a roll, or should I say a hop -- after his wonderful CD of a few years ago, "Singing in the Bathtub," and his more recent book The Remarkable Farkle McBride, he's brought us this delightful fable, Marsupial Sue. It's the familiar story of someone who doesn't yet know quite where she belongs and what her own unique talents are. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the Outback for our little kangaroo heroine, whether it's up in the trees with the koalas or at the beach with the platypii. And hilarious consequences result from her forays into regions where she doesn't really, naturally belong, though everything turns out fine in the end. If this was all there was to the project, good as Mr. Lithgow's writing is and as funny as the pictures of Jack E. Davis are, we'd also be taking our cues from Sue and trying to move on to other habitats. But Mr. Lithgow adds a truly magical dimension that makes the whole enterprise come alive -- an inspired musical version of the fable, done like a turn-of-the-century music hall number, and enclosed in a CD on the inside cover of the book. Fittingly, the book and CD are helping to support VH1's "Save the Music Foundation" which is dedicated to restoring music programs in our public schools nation-wide. One can't imagine a better moral to this story than that these programs return, like Sue's hard-won wisdom. Take it away, Mr. Lithgow!

Copyright 2002 by John Cech

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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:21:32 EDT

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."