Celebrating Grandparents Day at TheHolidayZone.com

Recommended Books

For Preschoolers:

Because of their limited text and simple story lines, the following books are ideal for reading to very young children. That's not to say, however, that school-age children won't enjoy listening in as well. The "What _______ Do Best" books served as a springboard to independent writing in my advanced kindergarten class, and What Grandmas Can't Do was a perpetual independent reading favorite of my early elementary ELL students.

For Young Children:

It's not easy to draw a line between books for older preschoolers and younger school-age children. I've placed the following books in the second categories because stories are longer and story lines a bit more complex. Most, though, would probably interest older preschoolers with longer attention spans as well.

A number of these books deal specifically with cultural heritage. Opa & Oma Together is written specifically from the perspective of German-American family, while more broadly addressing the move away from rural life. The 1994 Caldecott Medalist Grandfather's Journey tells the tale of a Japanese emigrant torn between two lands. A Day's Work reflects the struggle of migrant worker laboring to support his young grandson. The Patchwork Quilt places an African-American family at center stage, while dealing with tough issues such as aging, death, and dying in a sensitive, age-appropriate manner. Last, but not least, The Patchwork Quilt (Tanya) reflects a Jewish family's efforts to adapt to mainstream American culture without losing their own heritage, while Halmoni and the Picnic reflects a Korean-American perspective.

For Older Children:

Though there seem to be fewer books for older children dominated by the theme of relationships with grandparents, Heidi and Little Lord Fauntleroy fit the category perfectly and merit reading by every child. The Alcott children's relationship with their grandfather also plays a central role in many of Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children mysteries. Finally, Tales of a Korean Grandmother and Tales of a Chinese Grandmother offer a bridge between cultures for children growing up in environments far different from those of their ancestors.

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