Monday, May 19, 2014

PICTURE BOOK - When I Grow Up - Al Yankovic

Illustrated by Wes Hargis
2011 Harper Collins
24 pgs.
HC $17.99
Goodreads rating: 4.19
My rating: 5 - A terrific book, both text and illustrations
Endpapers: Kid-like drawings of kids in various occupations (front) Protagonist sitting on a kinosaur skeleton eating his sandwich (his job?) (back)
Title Page: Double-page spread, we are looking through the leaves of a large tree, watching the protagonist walk to school.  Great layout....

Illustrations:  VERY fun to look at.  His bio at the end of the book:  "Wes Hargis wanted to be a professional dirt miner when he grew up.  Unstable market prices for dirt led him to pursue his second love, and he has been an illustrator for more than fifteen years.  Mr. Hargis lives with his family (and his dirt) in Arizona."

1st line/s:  "I waited so long for the hours to pass,
                 But soon it was noon there in Mrs. Krupp's class.
                 And Thursday at noon, as I'm sure you know well,
                 Is the time of the week when we do show-and-tell."

So here is just one example of the wonderful words and rhyming that are a part of this book:
          "My walls will be filled with awards that I've gotten
           For toast-on-a-stick and my Twinkies au gratin.
           My kitchen will be the most famous in France,
           So make reservations twelve years in advance!
           There's no doubt about it --- I'm certain, you see ---
           A world-renowned chef is what I'm gonna be."

My comments:  I love rhyme and rhythm when the words flow and are unforced, and Weird Al does this brilliantly!  I love the words in this great, creative story, and I love they way he uses them.  And the illustrations compliment them wonderfully.  Clever.  And great fun!  I will DEFINITELY be sharing this with my fourth graders, and what a great gift for picture-book-loving graduates.

'Cause maybe I'll be a gorilla masseuse Or an artist who sculpts out of chocolate mousse Or a rodeo clown or a movie director Or maybe professional pickle inspector...
          Billy's classmates may have never considered careers in snail training or sumo wrestling before, but by the time the exuberant eight-year-old is done cataloging his dream jobs, they just might share his belief in unlimited potential! 
          Virtuoso wordplay, irresistible rhythm, and laugh-out-loud humor abound in the first picture book by the one and only "Weird Al" Yankovic. This unbridled celebration of creativity and possibility invites readers of all ages to consider afresh what they want to be when they grow up.

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