Books to Read for National Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day
National Grandparents Day is arriving on Sunday, September 13, 2020. Celebrate by picking out some books to read with your grandparents!

Maud and Grand-Maud
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Kenard Pak
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918692 | Tundra Books
Maud loves the weekends that she stays over at her grandma’s house. There’s always breakfast-for-supper, matching nightgowns, black-and-white movies and best of all — having someone to listen to her dreams for when she grows up. But what makes the visit extra-special is what Grand-Maud has hidden in an old chest under her bed. Sometimes there are paint sets, toys, homemade cookies, handknit mittens or sweaters. But Maud finds a wonderful surprise when she finds a belonging from Grand-Maud’s childhood. When she grows up, Maud wants to be just like Grand-Maud.

Ages 3-7

Around the Table that Grandad Built
By Melanie Heuiser Hill
Illustrated by Jaime Kim
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763697846 | Candlewick Press
In a unique take on the cumulative classic “This Is the House That Jack Built,” a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). Serving up a diverse array of dishes and faces, this warm and welcoming story is poised to become a savored part of Thanksgiving traditions to come.

Grandma’s Purse
By Vanessa Brantley-Newton
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524714314 | Knopf BFYR
When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic! In this adorable, energetic ode to visits from grandma, beloved picture book creator Vanessa Brantley Newton shows how an ordinary day can become extraordinary.

Nana Says I Will Be Famous One Day
By Ann Stott
Illustrated by Andrew Joyner
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763695606 | Candlewick Press
Nana cheers the loudest at her grandson’s basketball game. She dances in the aisles at the spring concert. She yells at the umpire that he needs to get his eyes checked when he doesn’t call the strikes her grandson pitches. But when this go-go-go grandmother takes a tumble trying to get a front-row seat at the basketball game, it’s her grandson who roots her on in her recovery. Author Ann Stott celebrates our families’ biggest fans in a lively first-person narrative from the grandchild’s point of view. Andrew Joyner’s illustrations are as energetic and upbeat as Nana, who sparks much comic action, purse by her side. Filled with humor and heart, this tale will have readers — especially grandparents and their grandchildren — whistling and woo-hoo-ing!

Our Favorite Day
By Joowon Oh
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536203578 | Candlewick Press
Every morning Papa follows his normal routine. He drinks his tea, waters his plants, tidies up, and takes the bus into town. Papa enjoys his daily tasks, but there’s one day each week that is extra special. That’s the day he might visit the craft store, get two orders of dumplings to go, and possibly pick some flowers he sees along the path. With its spare text and wonderfully warm watercolor and cut-paper illustrations just begging to be pored over, Joowon Oh’s tale of the singular love between a grandfather and granddaughter will nestle within the heart of every reader.

Ages 4-8

A Gift from Abuela
By Cecilia Ruiz
38 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763692674 | Candlewick Press
The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can’t help thinking how much she’d like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week — a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela’s dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together — and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other — could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what’s most important when life starts to get in the way.

Grandad’s Island
By Benji Davies
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763690052 | Candlewick Press
At the bottom of Syd’s garden, through the gate and past the tree, is Grandad’s house. Syd can let himself in any time he likes. But one day when Syd comes to call, Grandad isn’t in any of the usual places. He’s in the attic, where he ushers Syd through a door, and the two of them journey to a wild, beautiful island awash in color where Grandad decides he will remain. So Syd hugs Grandad one last time and sets sail for home. Visiting Grandad’s house at the bottom of the garden again, he finds it just the same as it’s always been — except that Grandad isn’t there anymore. Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, Benji Davies’s tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they’re gone.

Grandma’s Gardens
By Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Carme Lemniscates
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593115350 | Philomel BFYR
Grandma Dorothy shared her love of gardens with her daughter, Hillary, and her granddaughter, Chelsea. She taught them that gardens are magical places to learn, exciting spaces for discovery, quiet spots to spend time with family and beautiful areas to share stories and celebrate special occasions. But most of all, she taught them that in her gardens, her love grew and blossomed. In this inspiring and heartwarming mother-daughter story, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton team up to show readers how sharing the things we love with the people we love can create powerful, everlasting bonds between generations.

Hey Grandude!
By Paul McCartney
Illustrated by Kathryn Durst
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648673 | Random House BFYR
Meet Grandude–a super-cool grandfather who is an intrepid explorer with some amazing tricks up his sleeve. Grandude is a one-of-a-kind traveler! With his magic compass, he whisks his four grandkids off on whirlwind adventures, taking them all around the globe. Join them as they ride flying fish, dodge stampedes, and escape avalanches! Brought to life with gloriously colorful illustrations from talented artist Kathryn Durst, Hey Grandude is the perfect bedtime story for little explorers and an ideal gift for Father’s Day.

My Grandma and Me
By Mina Javaherbin
Illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763694944 | Candlewick Press
While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.

Ages 5-9

Freedom Soup
By Tami Charles
Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
32 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763689773 | Candlewick Press
Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup — Freedom Soup — just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle’s family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle’s family is from. In this celebration of cultural traditions passed from one generation to the next, Jacqueline Alcántara’s lush illustrations bring to life both Belle’s story and the story of the Haitian Revolution. Tami Charles’s lyrical text, as accessible as it is sensory, makes for a tale that readers will enjoy to the last drop.

Granddaddy’s Turn
By Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein
Illustrated by James E. Ransome
32 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536205619 | Candlewick Press
Life on the farm with Granddaddy is full of hard work, but despite all the chores, Granddaddy always makes time for play, especially fishing trips. Even when there isn’t a bite to catch, he reminds young Michael that it takes patience to get what’s coming to you. One morning, when Granddaddy heads into town in his fancy suit, Michael knows that something very special must be happening—and sure enough, everyone is lined up at the town hall! For the very first time, Granddaddy is allowed to vote, and he couldn’t be more proud. But can Michael be patient when it seems that justice just can’t come soon enough? This powerful and touching true-life story shares one boy’s perspective of growing up in the segregated South, while beautiful illustrations depict the rural setting in tender detail.

How to Babysit a Grandma
By Jean Reagan
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780385753845 | Knopf BFYR
When you babysit a grandma, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you’re guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and what to do once you’re both tucked in for the night.)

How to Babysit a Grandpa
By Jean Reagan
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780375867132 | Knopf BFYR
New York Times bestselling picture book–from the creators of the hilarious HOW TO… series–about a child spending time with his grandpa. Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for “babysitting” a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play).

How to Read to a Grandma or Grandpa
By Jean Reagan
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524701932 | Knopf BFYR
Now that you know how to babysit your grandma and grandpa, it’s time to teach them how to read with you! In this hilarious new addition to Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish’s bestselling How to… series, the kids are in charge! Kids can show their grandparents how to choose a great book, find the perfect spot to read together, and use their best reading-out-loud voices. Even after the book is done, there are lots of activities that kids and their grandparents can do together!

Mango, Abuela and Me
By Meg Medina
Illustrated by Angela Dominguez
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780763695132 | Tundra Books
Mia’s abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. While they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English, and Mia learns some Spanish, too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn enough words to tell Mia her stories. Then Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window and has the perfecto idea for how to help them all communicate a little better. Here is an endearing tale that speaks loud and clear about the love that binds families across the generations.

The Magician’s Secret
By Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
40 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770498945 | Tundra Books
Charlie loves when Grandpa comes to babysit because he always brings his magical imagination. Grandpa was a magician who knows the most amazing tricks; he can pull a rabbit from a hat and make a coin disappear. But what Charlie loves most are his wonderful adventure stories, and they all begin with something his grandfather has saved in his Magic Story Chest. An hourglass is a reminder of how he defended the treasure in King Tut’s tomb from raiders. A long white scarf inspires the story about Grandpa’s dogfight with the notorious Red Baron, the great First World War fighter pilot. A coconut shell heralds the story about his encounter with a nasty Tyrannosaurus Rex. Charlie’s parents, though, aren’t too sure they like Grandpa’s stories and warn Charlie that they’re just “tall tales.” What is Charlie to believe? How can his grandpa convince him that all you need to do is believe and a dream can be turned into something real?

Ages 8-12

Any Day With You
By Mae Respicio
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707578 | Wendy Lamb Books
Kaia and her family live near the beach in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. Kaia loves playing with makeup and creating special effects, turning her friends into merfolk and other magical creatures. This summer, Kaia and her friends are part of a creative arts camp, where they’re working on a short movie to enter in a contest. The movie is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her beloved Tatang, her great-grandfather, tells. Tatang lives with her family and is like the sparkle of her special-effects makeup. When Tatang decides that it is time to return to his homeland in the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him not to go.

Clean Getaway
By Nic Stone
240 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984892973 | Crown BFYR
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED. Fasten Your Seatbelt: G’ma’s never conventional, so this trip won’t be either. Use the Green Book: G’ma’s most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home. What Not to Bring: A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G’ma starts acting stranger than usual. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem–his G’ma included.

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