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Drawn Together photo courtesy Disney Publishing Worldwide; All Around Us photo courtesy Cinco Puntos Press; Grandma’s Purse photo courtesy Penguin Random House; Tea with Grandpa photo courtesy Macmillan; The Lines on Nanas Face photo courtesy Nobrow Inc./Flying Eye Books; Ocean Meets Sky photo courtesy Simon & Schuster

22 Books that Celebrate Grandparents

Check out these recommendations from local librarians and book experts.

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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.

Drawn Together

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.

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All Around Us

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.

Grandma’s Purse

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.

Tea with Grandpa

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.

The Lines on Nana’s Face

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.”

Ocean Meets Sky

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.

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