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The Best Kids' Books About Grandparents

Outstanding Choices in a Too-Small Field

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The good news is that we've found the best kids' books about grandparents. The bad news is that there weren't that many to choose from. Considering the importance of the grandchild-grandparent relationship, shouldn't more authors be mining this ground? In the meantime, enjoy these titles.

1. Grandpa Green

If you're looking for a creative grandpa book, check out Grandpa Green by Lane Smith.
Image Courtesy of PriceGrabber
The story of a great-grandfather's life is told through the topiary that he creates in this whimsical but touching book, which culminates in an über-cool double fold-out. Grandchildren will want to read it more than one time to be sure they didn't miss anything, and so will grandparents. Story and illustrations are by Lane Smith, author of It's a Book, another out-of-the-box offering.

2. Cooking With Grandma

Cooking With Grandma is a children's book about culinary adventures and adventures in make-believe.
Photo © Hardie Grant Egmont

Tasmanian watercolorist and author Rosemary Mastnak turns a simple story line into an engaging book. A granddaughter comes to stay with her grandparents. Each day the grandmother and granddaughter cook up a new dish and a new adventure. Mastnak is responsible for the equally delightful Adventures With Grandpa and Dancing With Grandma.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Grandmas and Grandpas

grandmas and grandpas
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

Finally, a book which celebrates the grandparent-grandchild relationship with humor and wit, rather than with sentimentality. Lively text by Sally Lloyd-Jones is combined with clever animal art by Michael Emberley to create a book that you'll never tire of reading to your grandchildren.

4. Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie

Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie describes a delightful relationship between a grandma and her grandkids.
Image © Flashlight Press

Grandma Tillie looks like a mild-mannered granny with a bag full of knitting, but when she arrives to babysit Sophie and Chloe, she brings some crazy alter egos with her. The grandkids will love meeting Tillie Vanilly, Chef Silly Tillie and Madame Frilly Tillie. Laurie A. Jacobs' text is imaginatively illustrated by Anne Jewett.

5. My Grandma Could Do Anything

My Grandma Could Do Anything
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This first in a series of books by Ric Dilz puts a smiling grandmother in a variety of unlikely situations. The grandmother is pictured doing all kinds of activities, which she doesn't do, "But she could!" The main idea of the books is that grandmothers can do all sorts of things, but what they do best is love their grandchildren. The books are hip and fun, yet educational in nature and serious about the grandparent-grandchild relationship.

6. I Already Know I Love You

Billy Crystal Children's Book Expectant Grandparents
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Comedian Billy Crystal is the author of this charming book, written when he was expecting his first grandchild. It's sweet but not syrupy, with a touch of his trademark humor. It's a great gift for grandparents-to-be and a good book to read to grandchildren as it easily leads to a discussion of that special time before they were born. Soft pastels by Elizabeth Sayles enhance the storyline.

7. Grandmother and I

Book About African-American Grandmother
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Through the minor difficulties of her day, a granddaughter finds blessed comfort in her grandmother's lap. Other family members offer to braid her hair and give her a piggyback ride, but only grandmother's lap is truly special. The lovely illustrations depict an African-American family, but the message is universal.

8. Grandfather and I

Book About African-American Grandfather
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

In a high-pressure world, the grandfather in this story takes time to go for slow walks with his grandson, really looking at the world. The artwork by Jan Ormerod is so wonderfully textured that you'll want to go along on their walks. This book will be especially appreciated by African-American families who sometimes have difficulty finding books with characters who look like them.

9. Just Grandma and Me

Little Critter Just Grandma and Me
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Little Critter and His Grandma go to the beach. As usual, Little Critter is involved in a series of minor mishaps, but with the wise guidance and tolerance of his grandmother, the outing is a success rather than a fiasco. As always with Mercer Mayer's books, the focus is on warm human relationships, relationships that cushion the characters when things go wrong.

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10. Grandparents!

Books about grandparents
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This whimsical book is organized by topic, including grandparent names, grandparents' occupations or lack thereof and vacationing with grandparents. Cartoon drawings illustrate some common grandparent traits, as well as some grandparent idiosyncrasies. The over-arching theme is that all grandparents really love their grandchildren, although in slightly different ways. The theme is presented in a manner that is light-hearted and subtle rather than sentimental.

11. That's What Grandparents Are For

children's poetry book
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Sprightly verse by Arlene Uslander and nicely evocative illustrations by Freddie Levin add up to a winner of a children's book. The book begins with the grandparent welcoming the grandchild--"On the day you were born / when I first looked at you, / I knew for certain / that dreams do come true." As the child grows, the two share adventures that range from fishing to gardening to camping, because "That's what grandparents are for!"

12. Here We Go!

GrandCamp Adventures has created a magical storybook with grandparent characters.
Photo © GrandCamp Adventures

Grammie and the grandkids are doubtful when Papa says his special compass can take them all on a quest for lost treasure. Sure enough, they are whisked on a dramatic journey to New Zealand, Shanghai and other destinations before landing back in the Pa-Parents' backyard, along with a mischievous meerkat who has hitched a ride. Fascinating artwork by Victor Tavares makes the dab of cultural education go down smoothly. Here We Go is part of GrandCamp Adventure's suite of products for multi-generational bonding.

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