cover image Grandpa's Little One

Grandpa's Little One

Billy Crystal, , illus. by Guy Porfirio. . HarperCollins, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-078173-6

Crystal's granddaughter turns a year old in this emotion-charged follow-up to I Already Know I Love You . "Happy birthday, little sweet one,/ you're one year old today./ I gave you your first piece of cake,/ once Mommy said, 'OK.' " Ironically, this talented comedian's stabs at humor tend toward the banal ("I'm glad it was hot out so we could/ go swimming in the pool./ I love to watch you do new things—/ all you used to do was drool"). More effective are revelations of simple yet precious moments, as the grandfather watches his daughter sharing a hug with her little one and delights in introducing the child to her image in the mirror. Porfirio's (The Littlest Angel ) illustrations convey the affection between grandfather and his cherubic granddaughter. But in some images of the grandfather attempting to entertain the child, the narrator looks misshapen. The artist's other efforts, such as the antics of the affable family dog, which purloins a piece of birthday cake, and curls up at the foot of her crib at day's end, her birthday crown resting on its head, meet with greater success. Despite its occasionally stumbling rhythm and forced rhyme, Crystal's poem delivers sentiments that will likely strike a resonant chord with many grandparents. The author reads his narrative on an accompanying CD. All ages. (Apr.)