The Best Kids' Books About Grandparents

Outstanding Choices in a Too-Small Field

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.

  • 01 of 10

    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. Thank goodness plain Grandma Tillie reappears when it's time for bed! Laurie A. Jacobs' text is imaginatively illustrated by Anne Jewett. Read the full review.

  • 02 of 10

    The story of a great-grandfather's life is told through the topiary that he creates in this whimsical but touching book, which covers a lot of personal and collective history.  "He was born a really long time ago. . . ." begins the 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...MORE out-of-the-box offering. Read the full review.

  • 03 of 10

    Granny flies away on a magic carpet and returns with many souvenirs for her grandchild, who then has a chance to fly away. This counting book will appeal with its colorful images and rhythmic lines, but it also offers many chances for grandparents and grandchildren to discuss faraway places. Christopher Corr provides the colorfully primitive illustrations for Stella Blackstone's text.

  • 04 of 10

    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. Adorable pets add to the fun. Mastnak's Adventures With Grandpa and Dancing With Grandma are equally delightful. Read the full review.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    This children's book proves what grandchildren already know: Grandparents are a lot of trouble. A little boy who is left in charge of his grandpa takes his babysitting task seriously. It's a witty and altogether enjoyable story about role reversal that will have you thinking about how the generations relate to each other. The author, Jean Reagan, and her illustrator, Lee Wildish, have a whole line of witty "How To" books, including How to Babysit a Grandma.  Read the full review.

  • 06 of 10

    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. "When you have a grandma or a grandpa," reads the first page, "you need to sing to them and dance for them and paint lovely pictures for them." The book goes on to describe common...MORE grandparent-grandchild interactions such as playing games, telling stories, sharing meals and going to the beach.

  • 07 of 10

    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. 

  • 08 of 10

    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. Read the full review.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Renowned Italian-American cook Lidia Bastianich has created a dual purpose book. On the surface it's a charming story about a grandmother and great-grandmother sharing holiday traditions, such as using a juniper bush for a Christmas tree. Of course, the main doings take place in the kitchen. In the back are 16 of Bastianich's recipes, all suitable for preparing with grandchildren. Read the full review. 

  • 10 of 10

    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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