Inside: Looking for incredible books about grandparents for your children to read with grandma and grandpa? We’ve got just the list for you!
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Books About Grandparents!
My grandparents met when they were only kids, living in the Chicago suburbs in the early 1930s. My grandmother was solicited to teach my grandfather how to dance. They met at their first lesson, fell in love, and the rest (as they say) is history.
Shortly thereafter my grandfather broke barriers—he was the first ever Jewish boy to receive a basketball scholarship to DePaul University. His iconic basketball photograph, knees bent, ball gripped between outstretched fingers, still hangs in my nephew’s room today.
When my grandfather eventually went off to fight in the war, he was put in charge of a camp for prisoners of war. What did he do? He fashioned a basketball court for the men at the camp so they would have a way to entertain themselves. Humanity, he said. Even when the world was seeing its darkest days, even when we disagreed on the very fundamentals of human rights, my grandfather thought it critical to treat each other with kindness and respect.
Books About Grandparents Enrich Children’s Lives
Grandparents have tremendous life lessons to teach their grandchildren, and there is nothing quite as touching as watching your child curled up on a grandparent’s lap, listening to stories of days long passed.
I always loved my grandparents’ stories, loved learning how they actively sought to better the world and instill important values in their children through their own actions.
Sometimes, though, it’s not so easy to get grandparents to share their stories. Sometimes the words don’t come, sometimes the memories escape them and sometimes they don’t want to harken back to dark days. But there is one perfect way to help unleash the memories: use picture books, of course!
I love watching my own parents read books with my boys that center around the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Almost always, when the books end, our family tales begin. The picture books sparked memories, experiences taken from the pages of my parents’ very own stories. These stories — our illuminating family history — then become woven into the fabric of my kids’ lives.
Moral of the story? Make sure your shelves contain books about grandparents for your parents to read with your children. These books are magical when shared — and they also play an important role in helping your kids learn their own family histories.
Books About Grandparents Are More Diverse than Ever!
And guess what? With an influx of multicultural children’s picture books hitting the market, it has become easier to find books about all different types of grandparent relationships.. We’ve worked hard to curate a fabulous, diverse selection of books about grandparents, and we truly hope you adore them as much as we do.
Books About Grandparents: Grandmas!
My Grandma and Me, by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Lindsey Yankey: In this exquisite true story of a girl and her grandmother in Iran, it is readily apparent that no matter where you live or what religion you practice, the love between a grandparent and grandchild — and the adoration children feel for their grandparents — is universal. Here, a young girl and her grandma are never far apart. Whether it’s going to the mosque, visiting neighbors, or getting lost in grandma’s chadors, the girl’s memories of growing up with her grandma are filled with a depth, tenderness and emotional resonance that make this book a treasure for children and grandparents in every corner of the world. For our full review, click here! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
A Gift from Abuela, by Celia Ruiz: This is a touching story about the love shared between abuela and her granddaughter. Abuela is saving up to buy something special for her special girl, but when her world turns upside down, it seems her surprise will be impossible. Luckily, the time Abuela and Nina spend together may just end up being the most special gift of all. Love this story about family bonds that even the passage of time can’t shake! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Nana in the City, by Lauren Castillo: A child is a bit nervous to go visit his Nana in the big city. But while he is there for his sleepover, Nana helps him see that the busy, bustling and loud city is not scary, but rather fun. All he needs is the perfect gear to help him remember to be brave — which comes in the form of one special cape given to him with love by Nana! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Grandma’s Purse, by Vanessa Brantley Newton: Grandma Mimi is coming! And though she always brings oodles of hugs and treats, nothing is better than… Grandma’s purse! There’s no guessing what is inside Grandma’s magical, mystical bag. Whether it’s fancy jewelry, souvenirs from around the world, or other magical treasures, chances are that purse will contain something special, something that will transform an ordinary day into an extraordinary one! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
When Grandma Gives you a Lemon Tree, by Jamie L.B. Deenihan and illustrated by Lorraine Rocha: One little girl is a bit disappointed when her birthday arrives and grandma gives her… a lemon tree. What on earth will she do with a lemon tree? Yet, when she follows the narrator’s instructions, she may discover that grandma’s gift was exactly what she needed — and wanted — after all. We love this story about turning life’s lemons into lemonade! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco: I am in love with this book! This is the story of a young girl who lives on a farm with her grandma, and as a storm approaches and thunder rumbles, the girl is so scared she hides under a bed. Leave it to Grandma to turn the storm into an adventure. The bad weather is nothing to worry about – instead, the clock is ticking for them to get a Thunder Cake into the oven before the storm arrives! This is a warm and wonderful tale, depicting one grandparent’s brilliant method to inspire adventure, distraction, and even fun in the face of her granddaughter’s biggest fear. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Mango, Abuela and Me, by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez: When Mia’s abuela arrives in the city and moves into Mia’s home, communication can be challenging. Mia tries to help Abuela learn English, and Mia learns a bit of Spanish, yet the language barrier is ever present. One day, though, Mia brings a parrot named Mango home from the pet shop with an idea that will bridge the communication gap — and help the family better share their stories. Heartfelt, relatable and joyful, this one is a gem! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Thank You!, by Charo Pita and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz: Isabella has so many questions about the world, and she seems to ask one person most of them — her grandma, of course! From wondering why the moon doesn’t fall out of the sky to why the sea stops at the sand, there’s no telling what Isabella will ask grandma next. Maybe, though, Isabella will learn that its ok to not have all the answers — and maybe having an appreciation of the wondrous world around you is all you really need. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Saturdays Are for Stella, by Candy Wellins and illustrated by Charlie Eve Ryan: Saturdays were George’s favorite day of the week. Why? Because Saturdays were for Stella! Whether they went downtown to the museum or the toy store, or whether they stayed in and fought off alien attacks, gardened or hosted ninja tournaments, the Saturdays George spent with his grandma were the best. But one day, Dad told George that there would be no more Saturdays with Stella, and George came to hate that day more than any other — nothing was the same without her. Until, that is, the day a new Stella arrived. A new baby sister who wasn’t exactly like his old Stella, but wonderful all the same. A touching and beautiful story about love, loss and the cycle of life. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson: As a boy and his grandmother ride the bus one afternoon, the boy continually asks his grandma about various luxuries he sees others enjoying that he and his family do not have. His grandmother opens the boy’s eyes to all of the ways in which they are rich, even though they may not have the particular possessions the boy so admires. When their bus ride ends, the reader learns grandmother and grandchild are going to volunteer at a soup kitchen. We love how this story shows that no matter where you fit in your neighborhood, we can each find meaningful ways to give back. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Finding Grandma’s Memories, by Jiyeon Pak: Oh my goodness. If you have a grandparent who is struck by memory loss, this is a gorgeous, gentle book to read with children that highlights what it means to care for a loved one who has become forgetful. This is the story of how one little girl helps her grandma remember — and it will make your eyes well and your heart fill with tenderness. This is a perfect book for children to read with adults to help them explain how memory loss affects their loved ones. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Books About Grandparents: Grandpas!
Where Are You From, by Yamile Saied Mendez and illustrated by Jaime Kim: This book is exquisite! A little girl of color is continuously asked a question by her peers. “Where are you from?” Though it should have a simple answer, the girl always struggles to reply. One day, she seeks enlightenment from her loving Abuelo, and she gets the most beautiful, thorough answer she could have imagined. Abuelo takes her on a journey under water and through the fields, evoking heritage, family bonds, and the love that exists from generation to generation, carrying us through challenges and giving us answers to age-old questions about self-identify and home. Just beautiful! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox, by Jamie L. B. Deenihan and illustrated by Lorraine Rocha: What is it about grandparents giving gifts kids don’t always love? One little boy asked for a house for his dolls. Much to his dismay, however, his grandfather surprises him with…. a toolbox. The child is less than enthused and knows the perfect hiding spot, until he realizes that he can use that toolbox to create his dream dollhouse — and maybe a treehouse, too. We love the way this book smashes gender norms and shows children that even gifts that are not what we were hoping for can be used in ways to achieve everything you desire!
Looking for Yesterday, by Alison Jay: In this tender story, one little boy can’t get over the fact that yesterday was the best day ever. After all, what can be better than a day spent at the fair? Thus, the boy is determined to figure out a way to repeat yesterday, putting all of his scientific knowledge to work. Only with the help of his wise grandfather does the boy begin to understand that as each new day arises, so do the chances of new and fantastic adventures — and that, in and of itself, is magical. After all, the next best day ever may be just on the horizon ahead! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Time for Bed, Miyuki, by Roxanne Marie Galliez and illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh: This gorgeous book, one in a series of three (including Patience, Miyuki and Thank You, Miyuki which we also adore) tackles a universal problem and is set against an exquisite backdrop adorned with images depicting Japanese culture on every page. Sweet Miyuki just doesn’t want to go to sleep, despite her grandfather’s pleas. Why? There are too many things to do, like water the vegetables, gather the snails and prepare for the arrival of the Dragonfly Queen. With gentleness and patience, her grandfather indulges Miyuki’s antics until finally, she is ready for bed and sleep overtakes her. Exquisite! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here! For our full review of Time for Bed, Miyuki, click here!
The Bagel King, by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Sandy Nichols: Who else thinks bagels are the best thing about Sunday mornings? Every Sunday morning, Eli counted on his Zaida bringing bagels from Merv’s bakery. But one Sunday, Zaida doesn’t come. He had a big fall! When Zaida is told he must stay in bed for two weeks, Eli discovers there may be something he can do to keep the weekly bagel tradition alive. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Drawn Together, by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat: A young boy visits his grandfather, only to find a giant chasm between them as they do not speak the same language. But then the two sit down to draw, and that’s when magic happens. Drawn Together is a testament to the power of art to transcend words, and this stunning book perfectly encapsulates that bonds can be found and formed even when we may not share the same language. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
How to Babysit a Grandpa, by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish: If you are going to babysit a grandpa, chances are, you’ll hide as soon as he rings the bell. Shhhh! Keep still and quiet as you hide so you can surprise grandpa as soon as he throws his hands up in defeat! This book will have you in stitches as you get stellar tips and all the ins and outs for babysitting your favorite grandparent, from making sure there’s lots of ice cream on hand, to remembering sunscreen on the tippy top of grandpa’s head (the bald part, of course!) Fun and adorable, this one is a blast! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk: Imagine if your grandfather was the great Mahatma Gandhi! This beautiful story is viewed through the unique lens of one Gandhi’s grandsons, Arun. It describes Gandhi as a loving and honorable man, one who guides those in his village with a gentle hand and wise words. But when Arun and his family come to live in Gandhi’s service village, Arun feels burdened by carrying the Gandhi name. Can he live up to his grandfather’s legacy? Tender and enlightening, this one will resonate deeply with both children and the adults who read to them. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Ocean Meets Sky, by the Fan Brothers: Finn wants to honor his late grandfather’s 90th birthday by finding a faraway place he learned of from his grandfather’s tales – the magical space where ocean meets sky. Finn builds a boat as he had planned to do with his grandfather, but before his journey begins, he falls asleep inside it! Finn awakens to find himself at sea, where a golden fish discovers Finn and leads him to the exact destination his grandfather always described. When Finn eventually arrives back home, he knows he’s been transformed. Thanks to his grandfather, Finn experienced the most magical adventure! Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
A Morning With Grandpa, by Sylvia Liu and illustrated by Christina Forshay: Mei Mei’s grandpa loves to practice tai chi in the garden, and one morning Mei Mei tries to learn the graceful movements. And then she tries to teach Gong Gong her own movements — yoga, of course! But will Grandpa be able to master the challenging poses? This tender story showcases the love between grandparent and grandchild as well as the joy found in shared moments and learning new things together. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Grandpa Green, by Lane Smith: There was a time when Grandpa Green wasn’t a gardener. Instead, he was a boy living on a farm, a child with chicken pox, a soldier and an artist. In this beautiful story that explores family history and the ties that bind great grandparents and their offspring, one young boy discovers the garden his grandfather created filled with topiary trees reminiscent of long ago experiences. Learning about his history and legacy, this is a beautiful story about an aging great-grandfather, one sure to be passed down from generation to generation. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
Song and Dance Man, by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell: Once upon a time, grandpa was a song and dance man on a vaudeville stage. When he takes his grandkids to the attic one day, he shows them mementos of the past, creates a makeshift stage, and performs a mesmerizing show! At once tender and poetic, this classic story showcases not just the magic of grandparents, but the magic of theater, too. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
A Plan for Pops, by Heather Smith and illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan: This is one of those books I love for the way it so beautifully showcases a same sex relationship without making it a central focus of the story. In this tender book, Lou visits Grandad and Pops every Saturday and they walk to the library, hand in hand. But one day, Pops has a fall, and he will be wheelchair bound for good. Pops becomes withdrawn, but with help from Grandad, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops, one Lou hopes will bring the smile back to Pops’ face. Support independent bookstores and get the book on Bookshop.org right here!
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