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The Remarkable Farkle McBride

by
4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  336 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Reedle-ee Rootle-ee

Vroom-pety BANG!

Young Farkle McBride is a musical genius: He plays the violin, the flute, the trombone, and the drums with incredible skill. But he's never satisfied: Something is missing.

In his first book, actor and musician John Lithgow introduces a memorable character, a fickle yet lovable child prodigy who brings the sounds and rhythms of an orchest
...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 518)
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CH _Kenya  Walker
Mar 02, 2010 CH _Kenya Walker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
What a delightfully funny story! The Remarkable Farkle McBride is a story about a musical genius who masters playing every instrument as an expert. He is praised and adored for his incredible talent yet he is never satisfied. Year after year he masters one instrument after another to discover that something is missing. It isn't until he asked to be the conductor of the orchestra that he discovers what he has been searching for and that is the collaboration of all the instruments. John Lithgow in ...more
Kelly
Apr 28, 2015 Kelly added it
Kelly Wiegand
April 27, 2015
EDL54500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: The Remarkable Farkle McBride

Author: John Lithgow

Plot: Farkle McBride is a musical prodigy; however, once he masters an instrument he cannot stand the sound of it. He learns that he loves hearing the instruments playing all together, rather than independently and finds himself in a fascinating position.

Setting: Orchestra; Farkle McBride's House

Characters: Farkle McBride; Farkle's Parents

Point-of-View: The story i
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Zahava Davis
The Remarkable Farkle McBride is about 40 pages long with one stanza on every other page. This book is a poem book and a picture story book because it tells the story of Farkle, a young boy, who tries out a variety of instruments to play--like the flute, violin, and drums--but is unsuccessful at enjoying any of them. Eventually he conducts the orchestra and ends up loving it. The book is also a poem because each page is one stanza, with 4, 6, or 8 lines, that has a rhyming scheme, typically ABAB ...more
Jaylyn
Feb 25, 2015 Jaylyn rated it liked it
Personal Reaction-I enjoyed this book a lot because of its vocabulary towards music and its engaging illustrations. The main character, Farkle, goes through many different instruments which gives a flavor of each instrument which helps children see different pictures and names of instruments that they could play.

Purposes:
You could read this book aloud with k-2 and get their minds thinking about what different instruments are out there. The Remarkable Farkle McBride would be a good book in the cl
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Cathi
Oct 20, 2015 Cathi rated it really liked it
I love John Lithgow! He's a funny actor, a serious actor (both movies and Broadway), and he picks a pretty mean banjo. His delightful musical album "Singin' in the Bathtub" is a long-time favorite in my family. Well, this children's book (Lithgow's first) is also a delight. It's got funny rhymes and a great story about a boy named Farkle who just can't decide on which musical instrument to play. I guess you'd say that Farkle is fickle because he keeps changing his mind. Along the way, this book ...more
Karen
Mar 02, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom, dad
This is a fun rhyming book we have read over and over and over when the kids were younger...3/18/15

Read again for CC1 wk#19. Love this book!..krb 3/2/16
Cheryl
Not just a book for children, this is one of those that many adults will be able to read over and over. A truly delightful book that simply demands one reads it aloud! Loved the CD too. Excellent, extremely humorous look at a very gifted little boy with very indulgent and wealthy parents who wasn't happy until he found the best place for him. Lots of conversation to be found in this deceptively simple, funny book.

I suspect there are a whole lot of Farkle McBride look-a-likes of all ages out the
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Britt Kitko
Summary: Star of 3rd Rock from the Sun, actor John Lithgow is less well known as a music enthusiast, but in his comical verse story The Remarkable Farkle McBride, he has created the musical prodigy he would perhaps like to have been. Farkle is a little boy with astounding talents (he's playing violin with the orchestra by the age of 3) but little perseverance. Each year he gets bored with his instrument, takes up and masters a new one, and then gets bored with that. Of his recently beloved tromb ...more
Laura Gibbs
Oct 11, 2009 Laura Gibbs rated it it was amazing
This book is all about a little boy named Farkle McBride who is searching for an instrument to play. He is really talented, and loves to play! Each time he plays one, he plays it for awhile and then he gets really annoyed of it and really tired of it and throws it away until he finds another one. He goes from playing the violin to the flute to the trombone to the drums; though his parents would get disappointed when he got rid of them he didn’t care! Finally, at the end of the book, he realizes ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Oct 14, 2010 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
This unusual rhyming book, full of wordplay and visual humor, tells the story of a child prodigy who, each year of his life, masters a new musical instrument and then tires of it, throwing it away in dramatic frustration. At age ten he reaches the pinnacle of his musical career when he is asked to conduct the orchestra, and his musical capabilities are at last fulfilled.

The text is cleverly written with unusual vocabulary, a snappy rhythm, and a sly mood. C.F. Payne, who has been called "The New
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Becky
Mar 15, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any kids
Shelves: children-and-ya
Farkle McBride is not satisfied. He's a musical genius who masters every instrument he picks up, only to toss it away out of boredom soon after. By the end of this story, told in fun, lilting verse, Farkle has found a way to be involved in music; a way that also holds his interest.

John Lithgow's books are a cut above many other children's books written by celebrities. The rhymed verse that he uses to tell Farkle's story bounces and rambles along, and it's almost impossible not to hear Lithgow's
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Tami
Perhaps better known to adults for his stage and screen work, actor John Lithgow has an amazing body of work for children. His picture books are some of my (and my children’s) absolute favorites!

Topping the list for me is The Remarkable Farkle McBride. The story centers around a young boy who is a musical prodigy. He is able to master instrument after instrument with ease, but throws each one away as he becomes bored with it. Through an unfortunate illness on the part of the orchestra conductor
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Kim T.
Apr 04, 2014 Kim T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I genuinely liked this book for so many reasons. It's the type of book that could be expanded. I could easily use it for a music and arts module. Instrument intro, research on composers, sensory and sounds - there is so much here to work with. Plus, it could serve as a discussion board to jump off into change and transitions in terms of interests and life. Yes!

Rating: 4.25
Recommend: Yes
Amanda
Jan 29, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Farkle McBride is a musical prodigy; however, ever year he seems to lose interest in the instrument he has mastered. His parents and family quickly become frustrated and wonder what is he going to do when he has mastered every instrument in the orchestra!?!? Lithgow's rhyming verse is musical in this charming story of a boy that loves music, instruments, and the way the all sound together!
The Brothers
Feb 23, 2016 The Brothers rated it it was amazing
Really fun story about a little boy who is a musical prodigy. Only problem is that after a while with a certain instrument he gets tired of it and throws it out! Is there any solution to his fickleness? What will make him satisfied.

Really great rhymes and I love the illustrations.
Amber the Human
Sep 04, 2015 Amber the Human rated it liked it
It's very cute. Although I am generally against celebrities inserting themselves into every aspect of my life (Robert Downey Jr., you make enough money being a movie star, you don't also need to voice car commercials) I did find this amusing, and plan on showing it to my mom when she visits.
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 11/26/11 -


This is the only Lithgow book Julia and I haven't liked. After reading Micawber I fell in love with Lithgow's writing and we're since read quite a few. (His self-read audio's are very, very worth checking out also!)
But the illustrations here are so stomach-turning that I couldn't even concentrate on the story. Julia felt the same way even though she said it in a different way. She kept groaning each time we turned the page.
On a smaller note, I tend to dislike books
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babyhippoface
Apr 01, 2015 babyhippoface rated it liked it
For a celebrity-authored title, this was a pleasant surprise. It's clever and full of onomatopoeia and noisy fun, not to mention musical instruments galore. If you have a musician-child, introduce him or her to Farkle. They'll be fast friends.
PacaLipstick Gramma
Mar 14, 2014 PacaLipstick Gramma rated it liked it
A fun book about a musical prodigy! The words are a little advanced for younger crowd, but one can always improvise!!

The illustrations are over the top hilarious.

My grandson, age six, enjoyed it even if he didn't understand all the words.
Ashley
Mar 10, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
A very cute library find in which a young boy tries and then destroys every instrument in the band until he finds his true passion for conducting. He does seem a bit overly snarky for me, and Alice didn't love this one.
Barbara Brien
Good, seemed a bit strained; I wasn't quite sure what the whole point was. But the sound and flow of the book was good, the writing was clever, and the pictures were cool.
Stacy
May 12, 2014 Stacy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Farkle McBride loves music and is a musical prodigy but his musical passions go unsatisfied until one day. Read to find out what happens.
Jessica
I loved this book--the illustrations are realistic but sort of off, and coming from a musical family I can't get enough of the picture books that feature classical musical instruments. The story is told in rhyme, and I reading it I can almost hear John Lithgow's voice telling the story. Another reason I love this book is that the Orchestra musicians are members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and on the last big fold out image of the entire orchestra, you can see my mom in the bass section ...more
Michelle
Apr 01, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, picture-books
A funny rhyming story about Farkle McBride who tried instrument after instrument, trying to find something he liked.
Stephanie
Jul 05, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about music. Hilarious illustrations. My 1st Grade class loved it.
Kimberly Ward
Jun 20, 2010 Kimberly Ward rated it liked it
I picked up this book because of the amazing illustrations by C.F. Payne, but also found many uses for teaching with this book by author and actor John Lithgow. The book is about a young boy, Farkle, who is a prodigy musician; once he learns and masters an instrument he becomes bored and frustrated until he discards the instrument and moves on to another. Yet, he is never happy until he puts them all together and becomes a conductor. This book would be very useful in teaching the different music ...more
Christyc
Mar 15, 2014 Christyc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Lithgow has an Amazing way with words and rhyme.
Alicia Scully
Jul 11, 2012 Alicia Scully rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of having this read to me during a program about music and this book was both informative and entertaining. Farkle is a child progeny and he slowly goes through each section of the orchestra as he tries to discover what he wants to do for the rest of his life. There are a lot of words, so young readers may find themselves bored if they find it too long, but the detailed and hyperbolic illustrations may keep them entertained. This is a great was to teach kids about music and th ...more
Stephanie Mixon
Dec 06, 2012 Stephanie Mixon rated it really liked it
This is such a cute rhyming book that tells of Farkle's discoveries in musical instruments. This is creatively done through the text and illustrations. Farkle, a musical prodigy continues to go through instrument after instrument to find his favorite one.

This is a great book to introduce poetry to 2nd or 3rd graders. It has a great rhythm with funny humor that children will enjoy. This is also a great tool to use to teach about music and instruments. This also shows the importance of enjoying in
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Demetrius Rogers
Sep 02, 2014 Demetrius Rogers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-kids
Lithgow at his best.
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