Some grandparents pick their grandkids up from school, others host sleepovers; some sneak the kids cookies when mom says “no”, others see their grandchildren just a few days a year. Whatever your kids’ relationship with their grandparents, take time on National Grandparent’s Day in September to honor the wisdom, differences, and connections to the older generation, with these books.
by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat
(Disney Hyperion, 2018)
“Color and movement zing off the page in this story about a grandfather and grandson who use the power of drawing to overcome the barrier of speaking different languages,” says Amy Forrester, children’s librarian at Denver Public Library. The grandfather’s and grandson’s drawing styles combine throughout the story, while simultaneously creating a bond between the two of them that wasn’t there before.
by Xelena González; illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia
(Cinco Puntos Press, 2017)
When author Xelena González was a little girl, she was asked to draw a timeline for a class assignment. But her father told her that in their family—a mix of Native American and Spanish ancestry—“we believe it’s a circle.” In the story, a grandfather helps his granddaughter notice all the circles that can be found around them in the world, and teaches her “what we take from the earth, we return.” The award-winning book shows the importance of respecting elders, ancestors that have passed on, and the earth.
by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
(Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018)
When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always has a treasure to share, and it always comes from inside her purse. “Grandma Mimi’s purse is an endless source of fascination for a young girl in this colorful ode to the comforting magic of grandmas,” says Denver Public Library children’s librarian Amy Forrester.
by Barney Saltzberg
(A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press, 2014)
“Every day at half past three…Me and Grandpa. Time for tea,” begins this rhyming book for young children and 2015 winner of the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Bell Award. The pages that follow detail everything that the granddaughter and her grandfather do at teatime, including a surprise at the end: they have tea together long distance, via the computer.
by Simona Ciraolo
(Flying Eye Books, 2016)
A little girl visits her grandmother, and asks about her grandmother’s worried looking lines. Her grandmother explains that her wrinkles are where she holds her memories and tells a brief story about the memory held in each crease. “I love this book for its sweetness and depth. There’s the story you’re reading and another more subtle and open-ended story conveyed through the illustrations,” says Shannon Habbas, bookseller at Second Star to the Right Books. “You can just feel the love put into the book—one reason it’s a favorite of mine to share with others.”
by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
(Simon and Schuster, 2018)
Though his grandfather is gone, Finn remembers all the tales he told him about a magical land. Finn decides to build a boat and travel to that land to honor his grandfather. “You’ll have trouble deciding on your favorite page, and children will find much to look at in the detailed illustrations,” says Buffy Cummins, lead bookseller/assistant buyer at Second Star to the Right Books.
Book experts and librarians also recommend:
- The Great and the Grand by Benjamin Fox; illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins
- How To Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan; illustrated by Lee Wildish
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
- Our Granny by Margaret Wild; illustrated by Julie Vivas
- I Love My Grandma by Giles Andreae; illustrated by Emma Dodd
- I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi
- My Superhero Grandpa by Michele McAvoy; illustrated by Mike Motz
- Grandmother Thorn by Katey Howes: illustrated by Rebecca Hahn
- Our Grandparents: A Global Album by Maya Ajmera and Sheila Kinkade
- Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
- My Tata’s Remedies/Los Remedios de mi Tata by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford; illustrated by Antonio Castro L.
- Grandma’s Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood; illustrated by Priscilla Burris
- Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
- Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman; illustrated by Stephen Gammell
- 40 Uses for a Grandpa by Harriet Ziefert; illustrated by Amanda Haley
- Baking Day at Grandma’s by Anika Denise; illustrated by Christopher Denise