Picture Books about Grandparents

Grandparents Day is right around the corner, and this year I’m celebrating by sharing 12 diverse picture books about grandparents!

A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu and Christina Forshay

When Mei Mei sees her grandfather practicing tai chi in the garden, she is eager to join in. Grandpa teaches Mei Mei the slow movements of tai chi, and she adds a bit of her own energetic flair along the way. When they are finished, Mei Mei teaches her grandpa some of the yoga poses that she learned in school. The endnotes include a section explaining a bit of the history of tai chi and yoga as well as instructions on how to perform the tai chi forms and yoga postures mentioned in the story.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan and Lorraine Rocha

The unnamed protagonist has a long list of pricey gadgets she’d like for her birthday, but her grandmother presents her with a very unexpected (and slightly disappointing) gift – a lemon tree! In this clever spin on the classic refrain, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” the little girl eventually comes around to the odd gift and spends the course of a year tending her tree, harvesting the lemons, and even running a successful lemonade stand.

When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox by Jamie L.B. Deenihan and Lorraine Rocha

“You wanted a special house for your dolls. But, surprise! It’s a…toolbox.” The unnamed protagonist immediately puts the unwanted gift aside, until a windblown bird’s nest inspires plans for a birdhouse. Before long, the child and his grandpa are using the once-forgotten toolbox to build and repair things all over the neighborhood!

My Singing Nana by Pat Mora and Alyssa Bermudez

Billy is very close with his Nana. They bake and read and sing together every day. But one day, Billy notices that Nana seems to be forgetting things more than normal. This sweet story is a loving tribute to families with loved ones suffering from dementia. An author’s note offers useful tips in talking to young children about Alzheimer’s.

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

A little boy visits his grandmother at her new home in the city. On the way to Nana’s apartment the boy is alarmed by all the bustle and noise of the city and worries that this isn’t a good place for Nana to live. Nana assures her grandson that the city isn’t as scary as it seems, and she gives him a special gift to help him feel brave. The beautiful watercolor illustrations earned this book a Caldecott Honor.

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney

In this charming addition to the beloved Llama Llama series, the little llama is spending his first overnight visit with grandma and grandpa. Llama spends the day gardening with grandma, working with grandpa in his workshop, and eating a yummy dinner. But when bedtime comes, Llama can’t sleep without his special toy. Fortunately, grandpa comes up with a solution just in time!

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and Angela Dominguez

Mia’s abuela leaves her sunny home surrounded by parrots and mango trees and moves to the city to live with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia doesn’t speak Spanish and abuela doesn’t speak English? Surprisingly, a pet parrot may be the solution to this multigenerational language barrier.

Our Favorite Day by Joowon Oh

Sparse text narrates as an elderly gentleman contentedly goes about his daily routine. But readers will notice that his routine changes slightly on Thursday, which is the day his granddaughter comes for a visit. I adored this simple story about the loving relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter, and the gorgeous watercolor and cut-paper illustrations are full of warmth.

It’s Good to Have a Grandma by Maryann Macdonald and Priscilla Burris

Children and their grandmas love spending time together, whether they’re playing, eating, making things, going places, or just talking. This sweet book perfectly encapsulates the special bond between a grandma and her grandchildren.

My Day with Gong Gong by Sennah Yee and Elaine Chen

May is less than thrilled to be spending the day in Chinatown with her grandfather. Gong Gong doesn’t speak much English, and May can’t understand Chinese. As the day goes on, she grows more and more hungry, frustrated, and bored with Gong Gong’s errands. But just when May can’t take any more, Gong Gong surprises her with a gift that reveals he’s been paying more attention than she thought.

Someday We Will by Pam Webb and Wendy Leach

A pair of loving grandparents prompt their two grandchildren to imagine all the fun things they will do together the next time the kids visit. As the children count down the days on their calendar, they imagine days filled with kite-flying, cozy read-alouds, fun outings, and much more. This sweet book is sure to reassure children who share a long-distance relationship with their grandparents.

How to Read to a Grandma or Grandpa by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish

This adorable sequel to How to Babysit a Grandma and How to Babysit a Grandpa is written as a how-to guide for reading with your grandma or grandpa. Book-loving kids and their grandparents are sure to enjoy this funny and heartwarming book.

What are your favorite picture books about grandparents? Let me know in the comments!

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