My Grandson is a Genius
Andreae's rhyming picture book is voiced by the grandfather himself, who starts off with: "My grandson is a genius!/It's plain for all to see/I'm sure it won't be long/Before he gets a Ph.D."
His young grandson isn't such a genius after all, however, as is evidenced by Sue Hellard's humorous illustrations of the young grandson sitting on the toilet, drumming on pots and pans, and "wriggling to the rhythm of Puccini's Turandot." The contrast between the text and pictures, then, is meant to be humorous, but it works only as a smug inside joke between parents or grandparents of tiny tots -- an unforgivable sin in the world of children's books. As well, such sentiments as "His paintings are so masterful/You couldn't fail to tell/That my grandson and Picasso/Would have got on very well" will no doubt be lost on children. The rhymes themselves are forced, and though Sue Hellard's illustrations are effective, this book is far from a work of genius.