Book Review: Al Yankovic’s When I Grow Up

Posted November 12, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Al Yankovic’s When I Grow Up

When I Grow Up


Al Yankovic

picture book that was published by HarperCollins on February 1, 2011 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Illustrator: Wes Hargis

A picture book that celebrates creativity and possibility through Billy’s imagination.

My Take

Be sure to take the time to explore the endpaper watercolors when you open this up. They’re so much fun and so very creative. Hargis does a great job on the graphics. They’re cheerful, detailed, oh, man, are they detailed! You could probably spend a night per page just exploring each one!

And it only gets better as you delve deeper into the book, as Billy explores being a chef — I wouldn’t have thought an eight-year-old knew about truffles and kumquats. A snail trainer with all the tricks they’ll do. A bit more reality as a lathe operator before he falls back into fantasy as a giraffe milker. He certainly has the baboons confused, lol. He may need more muscle if he truly intends to be a gorilla masseuse!

Oh, yes, there’s more, so very much more…and there’s quite the ring of truth and a reality at the end as Billy speaks of his great-grandfather Bob.

The text has a rhythm and rhyme that made me think of Dr. Seuss, but at a higher level with bigger words. You’ll enjoy the sing-song sound of it.

It’s the type of story that will spark the imagination — yours and the kids’ as you think up the silly and the practical of possible careers.

The Story

It’s the day Billy has been looking forward to: What he wants to be when he grows up.

It’s quite the presentation that Mrs. Krupp hadn’t anticipated, as Billy explores a myriad of possibilities.

The Characters

Billy is an imaginative eight-year-old. Great-grandfather Bob is quite inspiring at 103.

Mrs. Krupp is Billy’s teacher. Suzie and Fred are Billy’s fellow students.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a white background with a young lad dreaming of all the possibilities for When I Grow Up, from fireman, teacher, doctor, cowboy, mechanic, bulldozer driver, and more. The author’s name is across the top in red while the title is in blue in the middle and the illustrator’s name in orange on the blade of that ‘dozer.