Brain Pickings

I Got Two Dogs: A Charming Children’s Book-and-Song by John Lithgow


“They’re not too smart, but they’re loyal and true.”

Joining the ranks of other famous creators who have penned lesser-known but lovely books for children — including Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Anne Sexton, T. S. Eliot, and John Updike — is actor and humanities-lover John Lithgow, who has actually authored a number of children’s books. But among his most delightful is I Got Two Dogs (public library), a charming book-and-song based on his own family’s two pooches, Fanny and Blue, illustrated by the prolific Robert Neubecker — a primer of sorts for the future readers of such high-brow canine celebrations as The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs.

(Psst, John, perchance you should revisit the genius of dogs.)

Accompanying the book is a sing-along CD. Here is Lithgow’s terrifically goofy performance of the song:

For an equal-species-opportunity treat, pair I Got Two Dogs with the wonderful Indian folk art treasure I Like Cats, then peruse some grown-up Lithgow gold with his live-illustrated reading of Mark Twain’s taxonomy of the fourteen types of readers.

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