The Bottom Line
- Unique concept
- Whimsical illustrations
- Playful text
- Handy size
- Little pricey
- Small format paperback
- High quality paper
- List price $6.95
Guide Review - Good Series If You're Looking for Children's Books About Grandparents
This series of whimsical books captured my heart and the attention of my grandchildren aged 4 to 11, which is no easy task. The smiling grandmother is pictured doing all kinds of activities, which she doesn't do, "But she could!" The books employ puns and other word play, and the colorful drawings have a kinetic quality that keeps kids engaged. The small format makes them perfect to tuck into a grandmother's purse for those spare moments in the car or at a restaurant. At $6.95, they are a little pricey for a small format paperback. The Mercer Mayer Little Critter books, which my grandchildren and I love also, go for only $3.99, and they are larger in format. The paper and print quality of the Dilz books is, however, superior to the Mayer books and most others.
The kids all enjoyed the original book in the series, although they liked My Grandma Could do Anything in Hawaii even more. The Hawaiian version has Grandma surfing, hula dancing, snorkeling and hanging out with the fish and animals of Hawaii, which are helpfully identified in the back of the book. The grandkids especially enjoyed learning about the humuhumunukuapua'a fish, and the book created a good opportunity for talking about language differences. According to Dilz, this is his most popular book. It's carried in many gift shops in Hawaii, one of his family's favorite vacation spots.
In a similar vein, My Grandma Could do Anything in The Great Outdoors closes with fun facts about forest denizens. This book comes in a larger format hardcover and retails for $14.95. There's also My Dad Could do Anything, which is equally cute but less likely to warm the cockles of a grandparent's heart.
While there's no shortage of wonderful children's books, ones that celebrate the grandmother-grandchild relationship are far too few. I salute Ric Dilz and those grandmas who could do anything!