Comedian, actor, and director Billy Crystals ode to his first grandchild will strike a chord with every expectant grandparent (and parents, too). Readers will feel the sweet anticipation building as Grandpa Crystal dreams about the babys upcoming birth. While the writing is at times awkward, the sentiment behind the text is genuine and universal, " I want to feel your heart beat as you lie upon my chest, bait your hook, fly your kite, help you study for a test." The narrator envisions peekaboo, horsey, and visits to the beach with a red-haired tot--his love virtually bubbles over. Pastel illustrations (reminiscent of the dreamy, soft-focus drawings in pregnancy books) by Elizabeth Sayles
show the rugged, gray-haired gramps beaming as he partakes of the imagined pleasures to come. Crystal concludes with another awkward yet heartfelt verse:
Your mom is my daughter, and your dad is his moms son. You lived within your mommy, but now the time has come. Get ready, sweet little one-- Your life will be just great. Im going to be your grandpa, and
I can hardly wait.
(All Ages) --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K–As a grandfather-to-be anticipates the birth of his grandchild, he expresses excitement for all of the special moments and activities he can't wait to share: bear hugs, the ocean, a Yankees game, a movie. The rhyming text is basic and yet effective. Crystal manages to come across as sincere rather than sappy so that the special nature of this intergenerational relationship shines through. As the narrator imagines the future, the soft pastel art depicts the baby nestled snuggly in Grandpa's arms. Other pictures show the wide-eyed red-headed child getting older, her grandpa and a fuzzy stuffed monkey by her side. The longevity and importance of this family relationship is thus visually supported and celebrated. After readers see and hear about all of the enjoyable events that will occur, the book comes full circle and ends with the birth of the child, "Get ready, little sweet one–/your life will be just great./I'm going to be your grandpa, and.../I can hardly wait."–Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
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