It’s wonderful when grandparents spend loving, quality time with their grandchildren. Such is the case in these picture books… children spending time with a grandparent, often it’s just time together but sometimes it’s sharing memories, adventures, or wisdom.
Picture Books with Stories of Loving Grandparents
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
The boy doesn’t like the city where Nana lives, it’s loud and scary. Until Nana gives him a fancy red cape that makes him feel very brave. And he and Nana walk through the city, discovering all that is wonderful about it. I loved the cape! I loved how it helped the boy be brave. Wonderful!
Storm by Sam Usher
Tiny, Perfect Things by M.H. Clark, illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
Celebrate the wonder of ordinary, small things! A girl and her grandfather take a walk to notice all the tiny, perfect things; things like a yellow leaf, a snail, a red bottle cap, a flower growing through a sidewalk crack… When they arrive home, the little girl excitedly shares about the wonders she saw. This story is sure to inspire your own neighborhood walks searching for tiny, perfect things. Warm, earthy illustrations throughout.
Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
Oh, my goodness! What stunning artwork in a book about how art brings together two generations separated by language and age. Mostly wordless, this is almost a graphic novel with comic-style panels. A boy arrives at his grandfather’s house. He’s frustrated because his grandfather doesn’t speak English. The two eat in silence. Then the boy begins drawing himself as a caped-superhero. Excited, his grandfather draws himself as a superhero — one garbed in what may be a traditional Thai ceremonial dress. (I’m not totally sure.) Their connection continues through art — each with his own style. It’s beautiful of so many levels, metaphorically and literally.
When the Snow Falls by Linda Booth Sweeney, illustrated by Jana Christy
Playful poetic language invites readers into a wonderland of multigenerational, multicultural family time in the snow. “Woods hush. Fields glisten. Wren sings. We listen.” The children sled, make snow angels, watch the snowy roads, and return home to a cozy fire next to grandma and grandpa. “Cocoa warms. Mittens puddle. Day dawdles. We cuddle.” This book feels like a warm and cozy hug.
I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi
A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu, illustrated by Christina Forshay
What strikes me immediately about this picture book is the warm-hearted, loving relationship between the grandpa and the granddaughter. Even when the granddaughter does things differently than her grandpa, he is very accepting of her silly ways. And vice-versa. In the end, they both learn from each other during their morning practices of Tai Chi and Yoga. Because it’s about being together, trying your best, and not being perfect. A little girl named Mei Mei joins her grandpa, Gong Gong, for his morning routine of Tai Chi, a martial arts practice that sends good energy through your body. Later, Mei Mei asks Gong Gong to do yoga with her. “Mei Mei planted her hands and feet on the ground and shaped her body into an upside-down letter V. She stood like a guard dog, strong and steady.”
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raul Colon
I’m in love with the illustrations in this bilingual picture book, and the lyrical story of a boy’s memories of his abuelo. His abuelo teaches him that there are many ways to be strong, fuerte; that it’s good to laugh, es bueno reirse; and to look, mira, at the stars. Even when the boy moves to the big city, his abuelo is always with him in spirit.
A Gift From Abuela by Celia Ruiz
Nanna’s Button Tin by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Heather Potter
Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine illustrated by Yan Nascimbene
This story captures a common story of feeling embarrassed about being different. When Vinson’s grandpa from China visits, Vinson is embarrassed. However, Vinson learns grandpa is a martial-arts master and starts to see grandpa him as someone to be proud of. The elements of Chinese culture like tai chi and clothing make us all learn proud Vinson can be of his culture.
French Toast by Kari-Lynn Winters illustrated by Francois Thisdale
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