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19 Best Children’s Books About Grandparents Your Kids Will Love

Check out these amazing children’s books about grandparents. Whether you need something for Grandparents Day or just for fun!

Looking for some of the best children’s books about grandparents? If you need something for Grandparents Day or just to add some diverse characters to your read alouds, there’s something for you. Both fiction and nonfiction stories perfect for kids from Kindergarten through upper elementary.

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who–with perseverance and dedication–proved that you’re never too old to learn. A great book for reminding students that just because grandparents are old, doesn’t mean they still can’t learn something new (also a good reminder for grandparents). Also perfect for Black History Month!

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Oldest Student HERE

You can get the first day of lessons and activities for The Oldest Student by signing up below:

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ocean Meets Sky HERE

Looking for the best children's books about grandparents? These fun picture books with grandparents for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Fiction and nonfiction books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about grandparents for kids that feature all kinds of diverse grandparents for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice! Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one. One of the best books about a disability that more and more grandparents have.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Remember Balloons HERE

Proud As a Peacock Brave As a Lion by Jane Barclay

Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.

Outside, the crowd gathered for the veterans’ parade grows as quiet as a mouse, while men and women — old and young — march past in the rain. A trumpet plays and Grandpa lays a wreath in memory of his lost friend. Just then, the child imagines an elephant in the mist. “Elephants never forget,” he whispers to his grandpa. “Then let’s be elephants,” says the old man, as he wipes water from his eyes and takes his grandson’s hand.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Proud As a Peacock Brave As a Lion HERE

Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges

Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author’s grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby’s Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who’s full of ambition and the family who rewards her hard work and courage.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ruby’s Wish HERE

Last Stop On Market Street by Matt dela Pena

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. A really beautiful diverse picture book.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Last Stop On Market Street HERE

Teach Us Your Name by Huda Essa

Embracing the diversity of our names is one of the first steps we can take to show our appreciation of diversity and inclusion. Everyone has a name and every name has a story. Teach Us Your Name focuses on the many stories and ways we can all connect by helping children take pride in their many identities and to utilize the opportunity to learn from others. This book lends itself to countless invaluable discussions about cultural norms, languages, unconscious bias, and much more. It is not until the book’s main character speaks with her grandmother about her name that she realizes just how beautiful her name is.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Teach Us Your Name HERE

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene. One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them. When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Swashby and the Sea HERE

A Very Unusual Dog by Dorothy Joan Harris

Get the lesson plan and activities for A Very Unusual Dog HERE

The Raft by Jim LaMarche

Nicky is convinced that his summer with his grandmother in the Wisconsin woods is going to be the worst summer ever. She cooks food that he doesn’t like, there’s an art studio where her living room should be, and he’s expected to do chores—including fishing, the most boring chore ever.

But one afternoon, while Nicky is trying to catch their dinner, a raft drifts down the river towards him. The raft has a calming magic about it, affecting both Nicky and the wildlife of the river and woods. Through the raft and the adventures it brings him on, Nicky finds new common ground with his grandmother, a fellow river rat, who encourages him to explore his newfound talent for art.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Raft HERE

Drawn Together by Minh Le

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words. This is also an amazing book for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Drawn Together HERE

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela (grandma) one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Julian is a Mermaid HERE

Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love

Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is a Mermaid.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Julian is a Wedding HERE

Someday by Alison McGhee

A mother’s love leads to a mother’s dream — every mother’s dream — for her child to live life to its fullest. One mother follows her daughter’s development until she becomes a grandmother herself. A deceptively simple, powerful ode to the potential of love and the potential in life.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Someday HERE

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one man’s love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers’ attention and hearts.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Grandfather’s Journey HERE

Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter

Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared. In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Nasreen’s Secret School HERE

How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan

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

Here’s everything a kid needs to know to spend a fun-filled day with 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).

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Best Children’s Books About Grandparents

What are some of your favorite children’s books about grandparents? Are there any must read children’s books about grandparents that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

REMEMBER: You can get the first day of lessons and activities for The Oldest Student by signing up below:

Looking for the best children's books about grandparents? These fun picture books with grandparents for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Fiction and nonfiction books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about grandparents for kids that feature all kinds of diverse grandparents for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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