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Books with Positive Portrayals of Older Characters: 3-6

Books introduce children to people they might not otherwise encounter. Readers will meet older individuals, many of them grandparents, in these books.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Chair for My Mother

By: Vera Williams
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and her grandmother save their money to buy a big comfortable chair. Suffused with warmth and tenderness, A Chair for My Mother celebrates family love and determination. A Caldecott Honor book. Spanish version also available.

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever

By: Marla Frazee
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Independent Reader

For one glorious, hot summer week, James went to stay with his friend Eamon's grandparents so the boys could go to a nature camp. Though the boys seem to prefer playing video games and staying indoors, the truth is in the comic illustration. Adults will recall summer vacation while young readers will enjoy its unbridled joy.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

By: Philip Stead
Illustrated by: Erin Stead
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Every day, Amos McGee goes to his job at the City Zoo where he's attentive to each of his animal friends' special needs. One day, however, Amos doesn't feel well and must miss work and so his friends visit to take care of him. Gentle, expressive illustrations expand this touching tale.

Abuela

By: Arthur Dorros
Illustrated by: Arthur Dorros
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rosalba imagines flying over New York City with her much loved abuela. The young girl uses a lovely mix of English and Spanish to describe their journey, moving from the busy streets of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. Brightly colored illustrations detail what Rosalba and her grandmother glimpse as they fly, and the rich tales of Abuela's memories. (Available in both English and Spanish).

Amazing Grace

By: Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch
Illustrated by: Caroline Binch
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grace loves to act, but one day some kids tell her she can't play the part of Peter Pan because of the way she looks. Grace's grandmother helps this young girl realize that with effort anything can be achieved. An inspiring and heartwarming story.

Aunt Flossie's Hats (& Crab Cakes Later)

By: Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When they visit their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie, Sara and Susan enjoy her collection of hats and their many stories as they share tea, cookies and crab cakes.

Full, Full, Full of Love

By: Trish Cooke
Illustrated by: Paul Howard
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Young Jay Jay helps his loving and much loved grandmother prepare for a big family dinner.

Gabby & Grandma Go Green

By: Monica Wellington
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Gabby and her grandmother enjoy doing "green" projects when they spend time together. Tips and instructions for making a cloth bag are included.

Grandfather & I

By: Helen E. Buckley
Illustrated by: Jan Ormerod
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the middle of a busy family, only grandfather has the time to walk and look with his grandson as long as they like.

Hot, Hot, Roti for Dada-ji

By: F. Zia
Illustrated by: Ken Min
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Aneel's active grandparents bring stories, special foods, and fun with them from India.

I Call My Grandma Nana

By: Ashley Wolff
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Children and their teacher share the names for their lively and loved grandparents in two books. Names for grandparents from different countries are noted on endpapers.

I Call My Grandpa Papa

By: Ashley Wolff
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Children and their teacher share the names for their lively and loved grandparents in two books. Names for grandparents from different countries are noted on endpapers.

I Know a Lady

By: Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrated by: James Stevenson
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Sally describes an elderly neighbor who grows flowers, waves to children as they pass and bakes cookies.

I Love Saturdays y domingos

By: Alma Flor Ada, Elvia Savidier
Illustrated by: Elvia Savidier
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A girl visits both sets of grandparents on weekends. On Saturdays, she speaks English with Grandpa and Grandma, while on Sundays, los domingos, she speaks Spanish with Abeulito and Abeulita. The format provides a glimpse at the subtle differences between cultures and highlights their similarities, one of which is each set of grandparents' love for their granddaughter. Spanish words are interspersed in the fluid text.

Little Red Cowboy Hat

By: Susan Lowell
Illustrated by: Randy Cecil
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

On her way to visit Grandma, Little Red meets a wily wolf in the desert….But Grandma runs in to save the day!

Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale

By: Lisa Campbell Ernst
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Red's feisty grandmother enlists the wolf as her assistant muffin maker in this contemporary parody.

Lots of Grandparents

By: Shelly Rotner
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In simple text and crisp, clear color photographs, grandparents of all sizes and in all conditions, situations, and shapes are shown. This attractive book introduces the idea that each of us is different but still have much in common.

Our Grandparents: A Global Album

By: Maya Ajmera, Sheila Kinkade, Cynthia Pon
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The joy shared between grandparents and grandchildren is presented in photographs and brief text following an introduction by Desmond Tutu.

Our Granny

By: Margaret Wild
Illustrated by: Julie Vivas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grannies come in all shapes and sizes, but the best Granny is your very own!

Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday

By: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrated by: Sam Murdocca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This companion volume to Annie and Jack's colonial adventure (Thanksgiving on Thursday in the Magic Tree House), provides information about those who arrived on the Mayflower, what they confronted, and more. Illustrations enhance the accessible information, as do occasional asides from Jack and Annie.

Song and Dance Man

By: Karen Ackerman, Steven Gammell
Illustrated by: Steven Gammell
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grandpa regales his visiting grandchildren when he revisits his days as a song and dance man — complete with banjo and jokes. Illustrations sparkle, showing Grandpa once again young and the delight his revisited youth creates.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

By: Maryann Kovalski
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this familiar sing-along, Grandma has as much fun as her sports-loving granddaughters at a big league baseball stadium.

The Doorbell Rang

By: Pat Hutchins
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When their mother bakes a dozen cookies, Sam and Victoria plan to have six each. Then the doorbell rings — again and again! Just when it seems that there aren't enough cookies, grandma saves the day!

The Grannyman

By: Judith Byron Schachner
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Simon the cat is so old that most of his parts have stopped working, but is re-energized when a new kitten arrives for him to raise.

The Hello, Goodbye Window

By: Norton Juster
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The window at Nanna and Poppy's house looks like a regular window, but it's really a doorway to the child's world and a celebration of the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren. Celebrate family with this Caldecott Medal-winning book.

The Honeybee Man

By: Lela Nargi
Illustrated by: Krysten Brooker
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Fred is an urban beekeeper who shares the fruits of his work with neighbors. Information about beekeeping and bees is included.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

By: Linda Williams, Megan Lloyd
Illustrated by: Megan Lloyd
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

On her way home one windy autumn night, a fearless old lady notices a pair of shoes following her (clomp clomp!). Then she sees and hears the pants, shirt, and the rest of the outfit, but she’s not afraid - that is until she sees a large pumpkin head! The little old woman who wasn’t afraid of anything is also a very good runner – and run she does to the safety of her own home. This engaging story, based in traditional literature, is illustrated with crisp, humorous illustrations and encourages listener participation.

The Old Woman Who Named Things

By: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Kathryn Brown
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

An old woman who has outlived all her friends is reluctant to become too attached to the stray dog that visits her each day…until one day he doesn't appear

Tortillas and Lullabies

By: Lynn Reiser, Valentes Corazones
Illustrated by: Valentes Corazones
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

A young girl tells how her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother perform an everyday activity, whether gathering flowers or making tortillas, and how every time it was the same but different. The vivid illustrations evoke Central American folk art and complement the graceful text presented in Spanish and English.

Uncle Elephant

By: Arnold Lobel
Illustrated by: Arnold Lobel
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Uncle Elephant takes care of his nephew until his parents who were lost at sea are found again. The elderly uncle and young boy share laughter and concern in this easy chapter book that leads to a satisfying conclusion in a perfect combination of pictures and story.

Verdi

By: Janell Cannon
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Verdi, a python, discovers that no matter how old or green he becomes, he is still his fun-loving self.

When I Am Old with You

By: Angela Johnson
Illustrated by: David Soman
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A young child imagines the day when he will be as old as his grandfather and share what his grandfather enjoys now. The tender relationship clearly reflects a young child’s viewpoint.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

By: Mem Fox, Julie Vivas
Illustrated by: Julie Vivas
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Wilfrid helps an elderly friend, Miss Nancy, regain lost memories by bringing her some of her favorite things to remind her of them. This is a tender story of a friendship between two very different people, both of whom have four names, and the nature of memories.

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