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When I Grow Up Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Al Yankovic
Q: Did you know what you wanted to be when you were Billy’s age?
Yankovic: When I was eight? I think chronologically that was sometime after I wanted to design miniature golf courses but before I wanted to be a writer for MAD magazine. I’ll guess that was about the time when I wanted to be a fireworks-maker. Thankfully I didn’t blow any fingers off.
Q: What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Yankovic: I was an accordion repo man. During my summer breaks from college, I had a job giving accordion lessons to kids at a local music school. The kids usually didn’t own their own accordions, so we had to lend the instruments out . . . for as long as they were still taking lessons. If they ever stopped taking lessons and didn’t return the instrument, it was a job for . . . Accordion Repo Man!
Actually, it wasn’t all that difficult—usually they were more than happy to hand the accordions back.
Q: Kids talk about being “grown up” a lot. Heck, we all do. What does it mean to be “grown up”?
Yankovic: I think it somehow involves the ability to grow hair in disgusting places.
Being “grown up” obviously means different things to different people. To most folks, I assume the definition has something to do with the added responsibilities of adulthood and the ability to make more important decisions about one’s own life. Growing up is an important transition, and hopefully a very positive one—although, strangely, whenever somebody told me to “Grow up!” as a kid, it was rarely meant as loving, constructive advice.
Of course, if you define “growing up” as having to jettison every last shred of one’s childlike wonder of the world . . . well, then I hope I never grow up.
Q: At one point Billy ponders becoming an “artist who sculpts out of chocolate mousse.” That sounds scrumptious . . . and hard! If you could sculpt something out of mousse, what would you create?
Yankovic: Well, of course, I’d make the mousse into a moose! What else? I mean, I hate to be obvious, but I just can’t resist homonyms…
Q: Do you have any advice for kids who are already thinking about what to be when they “grow up”?
Yankovic: Hey, it’s a terrific thing to think about. By all means, explore your options. Find your passions in life. And always remember: It’s never too late to change your mind.
From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
I've been a "Weird Al" fan since I was a kid and have planned on giving my child (born in July 2008) plenty of exposure to the world of Al as he grows up. So, I had to pick up the book the day it was published and bring it home and read it to my child.
At first glance, I love the illustrations (done by Wes Hargis) and the great photo of Al on the tricycle on the back. It's a nice, big "storytellers"-sized book, so you can sit with your child (or by yourself) and read it with great, full-page illustrations and a nice, big font size. It also doesn't skimp on the words. I've seen some of my kid's books where there's only 1 or 2 sentences per page, which is fine in its own way, but I'm a fan of the book lasting more than 5 seconds when I'm reading it to my son.
As far as the story, it's the story of Billy's day at school when show-and-tell's theme is "When I grow up, what am I gonna be?" Billy is VERY enthusiastic about sharing all of the thoughts that fill his head when posed with this question and goes the length of the book describing the world of possibilities of all of the awesome things he can dream of doing when he gets older. These include a chef (albeit one who uses some interesting ingredients... Twinkies au Gratin?!?!), a Giraffe Milker, and many, many more, with a great closing thought that definitely fits in the mind of a child like Billy.
The wordplay that Yankovic employs is quite creative, actually.Read more ›
I purchased 3 copies through Amazon, one for each kid (including me). I bought one at B&N because I couldn't wait, plus I figured my kids' school library could use a copy.
I absolutely love this book. So do my kids. Perhaps we are a bit partial, but who cares? The dialogue flows good and is fun to read. I've always loved reading to my kids, and I'm good at changing up my voice to go along with the moods and characters. This was perfect for that. Some of the vocabulary is a little above their heads but hey, that's what us parents are here for right? The occupations he comes up with are so creative. I love the Snail part the best. The illustrations are amazing and there are a lot of little details to notice in the pictures. Hint: Make sure you look really close at all of the kids in the cafeteria. ;)
Mostly I like the message. So many adults push to put a career label on kids way too soon. Whether they expect their kids to follow in their own footsteps, or they are trying to live vicariously through their child with stuff they weren't able to accomplish for themselves. As "Billy" puts it in the book "cut me some slack".Read more ›
My kids are 16 months through 4 1/2 years.
This is a great book with a great message for children that is too often not told. And the surprise ending is touching. I wasn't expecting it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for kids, I have purchased a copy for each of my kids and I have their teachers sign this book, my family relates more to Weird Al that the traditional dr... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sara Stahl
:a knowing book
:whats up odd guy!
:hey anybody doing the thing
This book is the cutest!!! Our department purchased to read to primary and elementary kids to help push the idea of attending college in the future. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Megan M Cumbee