‘I’m a Manatee’ by John Lithgow

Save the Manatee Club

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Back in 2003 Janice Nearing, Media Relations Coordinator with Save the Manatee, interviewed John Lithgow about his new book I’m a Manatee. Here is an excerpt (click here for the full interview).

Q: Your new book, I’m a Manatee, has a Seuss-ian feel to it, with rhyming verses and fun illustrations. Does your playful side make it easy for you to write children’s’ stories?

A: I think everybody has a playful side, but kids especially. My book writing grew out of entertaining kids, the best audience an actor could hope for. They bring the playful side out in me.

Q: As you know, manatees are an endangered species. Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?

A: I’m very concerned for the future of the earth and its amazing creatures. We’ve got to be careful and make sure we don’t foul our own nest. But I also have a lot of faith in people.

Q: Your book portrays the manatee as a noble creature in the face of countless human-created dangers.

A: The manatee is such a wonderful animal, gentle, graceful, a little comical. It’s important for everyone to know all about them.

Q: If you were a manatee, what message would you have for humanity?

A: Take care, be kind, be considerate of other people and other species, and be loving.


Yes, this is the same man that won an Emmy for his portrayal as the ‘Trinity Killer’ on Dexter.

Related link:

10 facts about manatees

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10 facts about manatees

  1. Manatees are marine mammals and breathe air through their nostrils.
  2. Manatees belong to an order of marine mammals called the Sirenians. Dugongs are the other member of this family. Stellar sea cows were also a member of this family, but they were hunted to extinction within 27 years of their discovery.
  3. Manatees can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
  4. Manatees closest modern relative is the elephant. Evidence of this relationship is easy to spot – both animals have three to four fingernails.
  5. Manatees are typically pretty slow, but, can swim up to 20 mph.
  6. There are four species of manatees: the West Indian Manatee, the Florida Manatee (technically a subspecies of the West Indian species), the Amazonian Manatee and the West African Manatee.
  7. Manatees are credited for being the basis for the mermaid legend.
  8. Manatees are herbivores.
  9. Manatees can live up to 60 years old.
  10. Manatees have no natural predators, but, they are peril. Find out more about their plight at Save the Manatees.

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