I ALREADY KNOW I LOVE YOU

Billy Crystal, Author, Elizabeth Sayles, Illustrator , illus. by Elizabeth Sayles. HarperCollins $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-059391-9

Comedian Crystal's unabashedly sentimental poem to his first grandchild rather clumsily starts on the opening endpapers, where the verse begins, "I'm waiting to see you in ballet shoes or is it football pads?" and concludes, "I can't believe I'm writing this, 'cause I don't know who you are." The rhyming narrative that follows echoes this hypothetical tenor ("I'm waiting to show you everything,/ hear your giggles and your sighs,/ see butterflies and monkeys/ and clowns who cross their eyes"), as Sayles's (This Mess ) softly focused, emotion-filled pastels reveal a devoted grandfather and a girl—as an infant, toddler and elementary schooler. They engage in such activities as playing in the waves, sharing a strand of spaghetti, watching a baseball game and (reinforcing the narrator's unremitting affection) enjoying a variety of hugs. The verse's rhythm and rhyme at times falter and several passages are awkward (a picture of the narrator gazing upon his newborn grandchild in a hospital nursery accompanies this text: "Your mom is my daughter,/ and your dad is his mom's son./ You lived within your mommy,/ but now the time has come./ Get ready, sweet little one—/ your life will be just great"). Yet Crystal's name and the inherent appeal of his theme should put this in the spotlight on the grandparent/baby gift bookshelf. All ages. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/15/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-06-117073-7
Board Books - 32 pages - 978-0-06-145057-0
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-06-059393-3
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-06-084598-8
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-06-059392-6
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