The Bottom Line
After learning he was going to be a grandfather, Billy Crystal wrote this love poem to his unborn grandchild. The resulting book is a mix of the universal--"I'm waiting to play horsey, and bounce you on my lap"--and the personal--"We'll go to see the Yankees, though your daddy loves the Sox." The illustrations, done in misty pastels, are a nice match for the text, which is sentimental but not syrupy. Expectant grandparents will enjoy this book and will enjoy even more sharing it when their grandchild is born.
- Sincere evocation of emotion
- Beautiful pastel illustrations
- Generous 10 X 10 size
- Good for preschoolers
- Verse sometimes awkward
- Sentiments sometimes personal instead of universal
- Written by Billy Crystal
- Illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles
- Published by Harper-Collins in 2004
- 40 pages
- Available in hardcover and paperback
- Spanish version also available
Guide Review - I Already Know I Love You: A Book for Expectant Grandparents
We knew him as the first openly gay character on TV. We watched him host the Oscars and appear on Saturday Night Live. Now Billy Crystal has the role of a lifetime. He's a grandparent, and he has turned that experience into two children's books which will be loved by grandparents as well. His first book, I Already Know I Love You, is a great gift for expectant grandparents or for grandparents to give to the expectant parents. Most of all, it is a wonderful book for grandparents to share with grandchildren, to let them know how eagerly their births were anticipated.
Crystal lacks the instincts of a natural poet. His verse sometimes lumbers rather than dances, and rhymes can seem strained: "I'm waiting to show you the stars, / storm clouds and the moon. / I want to make silly faces / and laugh just like a goon." Still, grandparents are bound to go all gooey at the book's closing couplet, "I'm going to be your grandpa, and ... / I can hardly wait."
The soft pastel illustrations by Elizabeth Sayles complement the text, depicting a wavy-haired grandpa and a brown-eyed granddaughter. Incidentally, Crystal didn't know the gender of his grandchild when he wrote the book. The expectant parents had chosen not to know, but the arrival of Ella Ryan put an end to the suspense, although not, I expect, to the fun. Having Billy Crystal for a grandpa must be quite a kick. I'm glad he decided to share some of the experience in I Already Know I Love You and his second children's book, Grandpa's Little One.