Father’s Day

How to be a Genius Kid by Waldo Pancake aka Jim Smith


When I was a kid, I asked a lot of questions, most of which my mum and dad wouldn’t reply to. It’s not like they were horrible – they just didn’t know the answers. Luckily, these days there’s Google (or Yahoo if you’re a loser).

That’s how I wrote How to be a Genius Kid – I waited for my son to ask me one of his million questions a day and then I Googled the answer. Easy!

Not that I wouldn’t be Googling stuff anyway. I have a built-in urge to fill up my kid’s brain with facts about the world. I get it from my dad. He loved to feed me info too. Like the fact that little toes are being phased out due to evolution. I’ve never forgotten it. I don’t think it’s true.

Everything he tried to teach me, I’d shrug off. The word ‘meh’ didn’t exist when I was a kid, but I mehed him even so. That’s a son’s job – to meh his dad. My son mehs me a hundred times a day. With the actual word. Doesn’t stop me trying to turn him into a genius kid though.

I definitely thought I was a genius kid when I was a kid. Looking back, I wasn’t. A genius kid would’ve been playing chess and reading the dictionary. I was spraying fart gas through people’s letterboxes and calling random phone numbers to ask if Poopoo was there.

My dad didn’t stop trying to teach me stuff once I’d grown up. If I was going on holiday with my wife and kid, he’d unfold his world map. ‘This is where you’re staying,’ he’d say, pointing at the town we’d booked a hotel in.

When I met my father-in-law I discovered that some dads try to feed you actual real-life facts. Like the fact that JEEP doesn’t stand for ‘Just Enough Essential Parts’, but a shortening of ‘General Purpose vehicle’, AKA ‘GP’ or ‘JEEP’.

Maybe the two main characters in How to be a Genius Kid – G.K. and Flea – are based on my dad and my father-in-law. One makes stupid stuff up, the other remembers actual real-life facts. And I’m the dad who’s put those two things together.

I gave my son a copy as soon as it was printed. He read it in one go and I asked him if he liked it.



How to be a Genius Kid is out now.
Buy the Book
Jim Smith

Get super brainy with zero effort thanks to Waldo Pancake – who wrote and illustrated all the mega keel Barry Loser books.

About the Author

Jim Smith is the most boringly-named graphic novelist in the world. That’s why he calls himself Waldo Pancake. When he was a kid, Jim collected coke cans. Now he’s grown up, he draws on paper cups and sugar sachets for a coffee shop chain called Puccino’s. He also writes the Barry Loser kids’ books which have sold over 850,000 copies and won him the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Laugh Out Loud Book Award. In his spare time, Jim makes little birds out of bits and pieces he finds in skips.

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About the Author
Jim Smith