Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Grandparents

| 16
fantastic_fiction_button This week’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids is a real winner, even if I say so myself! Today’s contribution comes from Sarah, who writes at Becoming Sarah, a blog I only discovered recently but which has become one of my very top reads each day because it’s all about love, joy, fun… oh! and Sarah’s passion for kids books. Sarah’s witty, pithy, snappy writing and wonderful talent behind the camera make it her blog a delight to read. Sarah has a beautiful daughter and (she won’t mind me saying ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) a handsome husband and her blog is full of observations of their life together, including weekly kids’ book giveaways every Tuesday.

So enough of me! Now over to Sarah, who has chosen Grandparents as her theme for today’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids:

 My husband and I live four houses away from my childhood home. This means that my neighbors remember every single mortifying aspect of my younger years with astonishing clarity. But it also means that my daughter is lucky enough to have two doting grandparents a stone’s throw away. With very few exceptions, my parents spend time with my daughter at least twice weekly since her birth.


Naturally, when I was asked to contribute to Fantastic Fiction for Kids, the first topic that came to mind was books that feature grandparents. I am a sucker for children’s books that highlight familial relationships in a positive and loving way. It can be difficult to find quality books about grandparents, I have come across a few amazing ones over the past year. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Abuela, by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Author Arthur Dorros based this book in part on the happy relationship he had with one of his grandmothers. His grandmother must have been a phenomenal woman because the book is incredible! The story is about a little girl, Rosalba, who is very close to her Abuela. They are at a park one day when Rosalba begins to speculate about flying. Pretty soon, both the girl and her grandmother are flying around in an imaginative story that is fun for all ages. The illustrations are beautiful and there are plenty of little details to entertain children. Additionally, Abuela brings in an element of multiculturalism.

What Grandmas Do Best / What Grandpas Do Best, by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

There is an entire series of these books and we enjoy all of them. This is a flip book – after you are finished reading about grandfathers on one side, you just turn it over and will find the part about grandmothers. It is a wonderful book that demonstrates to a child that the relationship they have with each grandparent is unique and special, even if they do some of the same things. Best of all, it is instantly clear to a small child that what grandparents do best is love their grandchildren!

Grandpas Are For Finding Worms, by Harriet Ziefert

This is a wonderful, classic book about the fun things that a child can do with a grandfather. The story is simple and focuses on the bond between generations, so even if the grandfather(s) in your child’s life do(es) not, for example, dig for worms, children quickly realize that the point is just to do things together. It is illustrated with children and grandfather pairs of different ethnic backgrounds and it has flaps that children will enjoy lifting.
Mei-Mei Loves The Morning by Margaret Holloway Tsubakiyama, Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

This is quite possibly my favorite grandparent-centric book of all time. It tells the story of mornings that Mei-Mei and her grandfather spend together. The illustrations are beautiful watercolors that lend themselves well to conversation and the relationship depicted is affectionate and sweet. My favorite part of this book is that although it has a multicultural facet, the activities that Mei-Mei and her Grandpa engage in are things that children of any culture can relate to such as eating breakfast and going to the park.
That’s What Grandparents Are For, by Arlene Uslander, illustrated by Freddie Levin

Last but not least, That’s What Grandparents Are For is a celebration of the role grandparents can play in a child’s life. It has an easy rhyme, which makes it particularly appropriate for small children as they can memorize it more quickly and you can sing it to them to capture their interest. The illustrations really complement the story as well – they are bright, colorful, expressive, and fun. The best part of this book is that it lends itself to discussions about memories – young children will love to interrupt and talk about the times they have flown a kite or gone to the zoo with a grandparent.

Wow, what a tremendous list of books don’t you think? Thanks for your suggestions Sarah – I’m looking forward to reading each and every one ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some suggestions for music to enjoy alongside these books:

  • There’s No One Quite Like Grandma by St Winifreds School Choir (Not really my cup of tea, but it is a classic that will at least make UK parents smile!)
  • Grandma and Me by Amanda Kroll and Grandma
  • My Grandma and Grandpa Went to Sea by Eileen Quinn
  • Grandma Told Grandpa by Lightnin’ Hopkins
  • And the beautiful Always Tell Your Grandma by Rocknoceros

  • And here’s some activity suggestions:

  • Make cards to send to your grandparents (yours and your kids!) – when was the last time you sent your grandparents a card?
  • Look out some photos of your grandparents (yours or your kids) as children – my kids really loved seeing their grandparents as kids and wanted to know about their favourite toys and food.
  • Make a family tree with your kids – here’s a simple version from Activity Village, and here’s a more involved version M, J and I made last year.

  • So, a special hello with lots of love to M and J’s Grandparents, who I know always read this crazy little blog of ours! And a big thank you once again to Sarah (don’t forget to visit her wonderful blog!). And if you have a moment to share your happiest memories with your Grandparents that would be so lovely.

    16 Responses

    1. Catherine

      I haven’t read any of these books, but I’ll be looking for grandparent books now. My son’s grandparents are such a big part of their lives – I don’t know what I’d do without them. Only one grandma (of mine, of course) was alive when I grew up, so to me a strong relationship between my kids and their grandparents is important.

    2. Zoe @ Playing by the book

      I agree with you catherine about wishing for a stong relationship between my kids and their grandparents! Unfortunately my kids grandparents don’t live nearby so nurturing the relationship is a little harder.

      • Zoe

        HI Vibha, What’s it like for getting US/UK published books in India? It is generally quite easy or do you have to track them down?

    3. Val

      Think I’d better get some of these books to read with my grandsons!!! Thanks for the heads-up

    4. Sarah @

      Oh my goodness, I forgot that I was featured today! I’ll definitely have to link up tomorrow =)

      I’m so glad that you included music as well. It never occurred to me to find music that featured grandparents, but what a special way to reinforce that bond!!

    5. sathish

      Grandparents and it reminds me of Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey.

      And his Kamishibhai Man (although not technically a grandparents related book)

      I love Allen Say’s book.

    6. sathish

      Zoe, The Arrival will probably remain my all-time favourite graphic novel for quite some time.

      Reviewed it some time back in Saffrontree – The Arrival

    7. Zoe

      We’re at one then Sathish. I’d love to have copies of The Arrival to give to everyone.

    8. magg, red ted art

      Oh Zoe… I just was “searching” for some grandparent books (for my Wed start post) and now don’t know which to get… I bought two of your recommendations and only stopped at the third because it was getting expensive!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Can’t wait for them to arrive (Abuela & What grandmas do best; Mei Mei will have to wait for Christmas) ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you

      Maggy x

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.