How to Babysit a Grandpa

illus. by Lee Wildish. unpaged. CIP. Knopf.. Apr. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86713-2. LC 2010052507.
K-Gr 3—A boy's tips for babysitting a grandpa include hiding when he arrives; fixing snacks such as "anything dipped in ketchup"; looking for "lizards, cool rocks, and dandelion puffs" on walks; and so on. The endpapers have eight childlike drawings of child-grandparent interactions, and the book opens with a digitally rendered cartoonlike illustration of a spindly legged man sporting tufts of gray hair and carrying a small purple duffel bag. The parents leave, and the boy assures his grandfather, "Don't worry. They always come back," and the fun begins. In preparation for outdoor activities, the child advises bundling grandpa from head to toe in winter and slathering sunscreen on his bald head in summer. For indoor activities, "have him read a looooooooooong book" several times, guaranteed to put him to sleep. Of course, the house becomes quite messy and a hurried cleanup is in order before Mom and Dad return. The humorous illustrations include a snoozing grandpa with a meowing cat atop his head to wake him up. Youngsters will recognize some of the sayings they've heard from their own grandparents and will thoroughly enjoy the tongue-in-cheek role reversal.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
A boy instructs the reader in the care of a grandfather (e.g., "When it's sunny, sunscreen up--especially the top of his head"); the unspoken joke, on which the mirthful digital art capitalizes, is that Grandpa is indulging the boy's fantasy. This is a welcome celebration of an intergenerational relationship that will feel cozy and familiar to most young readers.

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