When I Grow Up

Al Yankovic, illus. by Wes Hargis, Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-192691-4
A boy's careening imagination fuels the zingy verse and art in this lighthearted take on a familiar theme. Comedian and musical satirist Yankovic opens his first children's book with Billy hogging the spotlight during show-and-tell: "I proudly stood up and began my oration/ Concerning my choice for a future vocation." His formality gives way to freewheeling fantasies as he envisions himself a world-famous chef ("My walls will be filled with awards that I've gotten/ For toast-on-a-stick and my Twinkies au gratin"), a snail trainer ("Why, that's a no-brainer!"), a lathe operator, and a giraffe milker ("It's oh-so-cliché to get milk from a cow,/ And I bet all those cows need a break anyhow"). The tempo quickens when the boy begins listing rather than describing potential professions, even the most mainstream of which Hargis (Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride) portrays with comedic hyperbole. He offers especially outlandish depictions of Billy as gorilla masseuse, deodorant tester, and tarantula shaver. After all the wackiness, Yankovic's poem wraps up on a more realistic note, as the boy finds career inspiration closer to school. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-06-192692-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-207840-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-207841-4
Other - 978-0-06-202549-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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