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Great Books About Grandparents

Whether they call them Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Pop Pop, or Abuelita and Abuelito, kids love their grandparents. By whatever name, grandparents are special to young children, always ready with a hug. You can read about and enjoy all kinds of grandparents in this list of recommended books for kids ages 0-9. After all, sometimes the best part of being a parent is getting to be a grandparent!

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

Bigmama's

By: Donald Crews
Illustrated by: Donald Crews
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Every year the narrator and his family take a trip down to Cottondale, Florida, to visit his grandmother, Bigmama. This autobiographical story recalls the joys of summer and the contrast between the author's life in the city and Bigmama’s lush, rural home. While the illustrations suggest it was a period of segregation, this thought never overpowers the carefree summer celebration.

Cherry Pies and Lullabies

By: Lynn Reiser
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Three generations bake a pie, make a crown of flowers, pass on a handmade quilt, and share a lullaby. Each time “it was the same, but different,” highlighting the connections between generations. Vividly colored, child-like illustrations effectively complement the rhythmic text.

Georgie Lee

By: Sharon Denslow, Lynne Rae Perkins
Illustrated by: Lynne Rae Perkins
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When J.D. first meets Georgie Lee, a cow, on his grandmother’s farm, he doesn’t think she’s very smart or even very gentle. During the course of the summer, however, they share many adventures and J.D. comes to agree with Grandmother: Georgie Lee is not only smart and gentle, she’s shrewd and funny and helps make the summer very special.

Gus and Grandpa at Basketball

By: Claudia Mills, Catherine Stock
Illustrated by: Catherine Stock
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

It is Grandpa’s sage advice that helps Gus overcome his fear and play the best game of basketball he can. Gus learns to play on the court just like when he practices in Grandpa’s driveway. The gentle tone of the story is reflected in the illustrations to tell a tale that rings true. (Look for other Gus and Grandpa stories by Claudia Mills.)

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.

Lily's Garden

By: Deborah Ray
Illustrated by: Deborah Ray
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

It was cold and snowy when Grandma and Grandpa left their home in Maine to live in California. Lily, the young narrator, fills each month with activities that range from collecting sap to planting a garden. After a whole year has passed, Grandma and Grandpa return in December to share Christmas with Lily and her family in New England. Illustrated sidebars extend the text and provide additional information about Lily’s garden over the months.

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.

More, More, More Said the Baby

By: Vera Williams
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

In each of these three short, colorfully illustrated stories, the grandmother loves her Little Pumpkin as only a doting grandmother can. Chubby, multi-ethnic children are brightly portrayed in sparkling watercolors.

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.

The Moon Ring

By: Randy DuBurke
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Grandma and Maxine share a secret that started in the light of the blue moon – the second full moon in a month. Maxine finds a moon ring that transports her magically to any place she wants to go. Energetic illustrations depict Maxine’s fantastic journeys, punctuated by the silver-colored moon ring.

Visiting Day

By: Jacqueline Woodson, James Ransome
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A girl and her grandmother prepare to visit the girl's father by packing a big lunch then boarding a bus. The joyful reunion takes place in a prison, emphasizing the love between a father and his daughter. Notes from both the author and illustrator complete this book.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
April 7, 2014
March 27, 2014
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