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Grandma: Picture Books For Kids

Good grandmas are the best—it's just that simple. They love you unconditionally, do fun things with you, shower you with hugs and kisses and make you feel on top of the world. They tell amazing stories, or give great snuggles, or make yummy treats, or are the best listeners. To celebrate grandmas, here are some of our very favorite books to read about these very special members of our families.

Top 10 Grandma Books

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon book
#1
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Written by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love Molly Lou Melon! She is a fantastic girl who, despite some differences, listens to the advice her grandmother gives her to believe in herself, be proud of herself, and just be her great self. :) Even when a boy at school bullies her multiple times, she follows her grandmother's advice and shows the bully how remarkable she is, and they turn out to be friends.

Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother told her and she feels good about herself.

Thunder Cake book
#2
Thunder Cake
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from Grammy

I love the unflappable Babushka in this story. She keeps the terrified child narrator busy, moving from one task to the next acquiring ingredients for the cake they are hurrying to make and gives her a reason to pay attention to the coming storm, counting between the thunder and lightning to gauge the distance of the storm. The slightly out-of-scale farm animals serve as a visual reminder that a child's perception is different than an adult's. I remember reading this to my children and enjoyed re-reading it for this review. There is something calming about Patricia Polacco's world, even though her characters have troubles, things work out for them in the end. It is all part of life.

A loud clap of thunder booms, and rattles the windows of Grandma’s old farmhouse. “This is Thunder Cake baking weather,” calls Grandma, as she and her granddaughter hurry to gather the ingredients around the farm. A real Thunder Cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives. But the list of ingredients is long and not easy to find . . . and the storm is coming closer all the time! Reaching once again into her rich childhood experience, Patricia Polacco tells the memorable story of how her grandma–her Babushka–helped her overcome her fear of thunder when she was a little girl. Ms. Polacco’s vivid memories of her grandmother’s endearing answer to a child’s fear, accompanied by her bright folk-art illustrations, turn a frightening thunderstorm into an adventure and ultimately . . . a celebration! Whether the first clap of thunder finds you buried under the bedcovers or happily anticipating the coming storm, Thunder Cake is a story that will bring new meaning and possibility to the excitement of a thunderstorm.

Grandmama's Pride book
#3
Grandmama's Pride
Written by Becky Birtha and illustrated by Colin Bootman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While on a trip in 1956 to visit her grandmother in the South, six-year-old Sarah Marie experiences segregation for the first time, but discovers that things have changed by the time she returns the following year.

The Best Sweater book
#4
The Best Sweater
Written by Lynne Garner and illustrated by Sarah Gill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This story is delightfully sweet, and far better than it looks based on the cover, which is decidedly "meh". The preciousness and safety of a comfort object, be that sweater or stuffed animal, is relatable on many levels and the positive involvement of his family (particularly his mother and grandmother) as they seek to help him adapt his sweater as he grows up is wonderful.

A charming picture book about a little mouse and his favorite sweater. It's one little mouse's birthday and he is very excited to open his presents! He gets a lot of great gifts, but his favorite is the sweater his grandma made him. He loves it so much that he wears it all the time! But as he grows bigger and bigger, Grandma realizes she must find a different use for the sweater, so she makes him a new, big sweater he can grow into and turns his old one into a toy rabbit.

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa book
#5
Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A very sweet book about Llama Llama's overnight stay at his grandma and grandpa's house. I appreciate that it shows some of the struggles kiddos have being away from home (it feels strange to be away from home, the food is different, and sometimes we forget our favorite things) as well as grandma and grandpa's capable and loving way of helping ease the situation.

It's an exciting day for Llama Llama; he's going to visit Gram and Grandpa Llama and spend the night! His first night away from homea.and from Mama. But he makes sure to pack everything he needs. And there are so many fun things to do with Gram and Grandpa. It's not until he gets ready for bed that he realizes that he's forgotten something important. Fuzzy Llama! Fortunately, Grandpa Llama has a wonderful solution and soon Llama Llama is having sweet dreams.

My Blue Bunny, Bubbit book
#6
My Blue Bunny, Bubbit
Written and illustrated by Maggie Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A little girl who loves her blue wool bunny makes a special toy friend for her new baby brother.

The Giant Hug book
#7
The Giant Hug
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How do you give your granny a hug when she lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again.

Nana in the City book
#8
Nana in the City
Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A young boy is frightened by how busy and noisy the city is when he goes there to visit his Nana, but she makes him a fancy red cape that keeps him from being scared as she shows him how wonderful a place it is.

How to Babysit a Grandma book
#9
How to Babysit a Grandma
Written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

Celebrate the special bond between grandmas and grandkids in this delightful book that puts the kids in charge of taking care of Grandma...if just for one day.

Suki's Kimono book
#10
Suki's Kimono
Written by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On her first day of first grade, despite the objections of her older sisters, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school because it holds special memories of her grandmother's visit last summer.

Books About Family & Grandma

The Giant Hug book
#1
The Giant Hug
Written by Sandra Horning and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How do you give your granny a hug when she lives far away? Send it through the mail, of course! Owen’s hug travels across the country in a series of hilarious, sometimes awkward, always heartfelt embraces between animals of different shapes and sizes. Valeri Gorbachev’s adorable artwork pairs beautifully with Sandra Horning’s charming text, and makes for a fun, funny, and educational read-aloud. An unexpected twist at the end will delight readers and have kids asking for this book again and again.

Grandma Forgets book
#2
Grandma Forgets
Written by Paul Russell and illustrated by Nicky Johnston
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When your grandmother can't remember your name it should be sad, but maybe it is just an opportunity to tell her more often how much you love her. Grandma Forgets is the heart-warming story of a family bound by love as they cope with their grandma's dementia. Over the years, the little girl has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms. But now, Grandma can't remember those memories. She makes up new rules for old games and often hides Dad's keys. Sometimes Dad is sad because he has to hold onto the memories for both him and his mother now, but fortunately his daughter is only too happy to help him make new memories to share. This is a warm, hopeful story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care. She might not remember any of their names but she will always know how much she is loved.

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa book
#3
Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa
Written by Donna L. Washington and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I loved that the boy wanted to help make Kwanzaa great for his grandma, and in doing so he brought the whole community together to make a memorable Kwanzaa. I loved the theme of unity!

Li'l Rabbit is not having a very good Kwanzaa. Granna Rabbit is sick, and so his family won't celebrate his favorite part of Kwanzaa this year: a big feast called Karamu. Li'l Rabbit knows what to do! He'll find Granna Rabbit a special treat for Karamu so she can celebrate anyway. He looks under a pile of logs, in the field, and in the pond and along the way meets Groundhog, Momma Field Mouse, and the frogs—but he doesn't find anything for Granna Rabbit. Maybe I'm just too little to help Granna Rabbit celebrate Kwanzaa, Li'l Rabbit thinks. Or maybe he just needs a little help from his family and friends. Inspired by Brer Rabbit, a trickster character from the African-American folklore tradition, the story of Li'l Rabbit captures the true meaning of Kwanzaa—coming together to help others.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Grandma's Tiny House - This sweet, rhyming counting book introduces young readers to numbers one through fifteen as Grandma’s family and friends fill her tiny house on Brown Street. Neighbors, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandkids crowd into the house and pile it high with treats for a family feast. But when the walls begin to bulge and no-body has space enough to eat, one clever grandchild knows exactly what to do. Where there’s a will there’s a way when families grow and come together.

  2. Grandma's Purse - Spend the day with a grandma and granddaughter in this charming picture book about the magic found in their favorite accessory, perfect for readers who love How to Babysit a Grandma! When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there—fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic! In this adorable, energetic ode to visits from grandma, beloved picture book creator Vanessa Brantley Newton shows how an ordinary day can become extraordinary.

  3. Applesauce Day - Maria and her family visit an apple orchard and pick apples. Then it's time to turn the apples into applesauce! Every year they use the special pot that has been in the family for generations to make applesauce. First they wash the apples. Then Grandma cuts them into quarters. Follow each step in the process as everyone helps to make delicious applesauce!

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Bonus Recommendations

  1. Cooking with Grandma - Grandma and Anya are back! When Anya goes to stay with Grandma, they make all sorts of delicious meals – and then take them on adventures around the house! Cooking with Grandma is a beautiful story about the special world that exists between children and their grandparents. A delightful companion to Mastnak's bestseller, Dancing with Grandma.

  2. The Hello, Goodbye Window - Looking through the kitchen window, a little girl and her doting grandparents watch stars, play games, and, most importantly, say hello and goodbye.

  3. What Grandmas Do Best - Grandmas can do lots of things, like paint with you, take you on a picnic, and teach you how to dance. But what do they do best? The answer is made perfectly clear in this Irresistible celebration of grandparents and the everyday things they do. Grandpas can do lots of things, like play hide-and-seek, help you build a sand castle, and sing you a lullaby. But what do they do best? The answer is made perfectly clear In this irresistible celebration of grandparents and the everyday things they do.

  4. Willa and the Bear - More than anything, Willa adores her ragdoll, Rosie, made just for her by Grandma. But one day, on a bumpy sleigh ride to Grandma's birthday dinner, Rosie falls into the snow and disappears. Willa is inconsolable--until, mysteriously, Rosie reappears at Grandma's door. Can Willa find a way to thank the special friend who returned her doll? This picture book will warm the heart of every child who has ever had a favorite toy.

  1. Our Granny - While grannies come in all shapes and sizes, "our granny" is unique.

  2. Silly Frilly Grandma Tillie - Lucky for Sophie and Chloe, Grandma Tillie knows how to royally entertain her grandchildren. To their delight, whenever Grandma Tillie babysits, she seems to disappear, only to be replaced by a parade of lovable characters. There's Tillie Vanilly with the bright pink hair, star of The Tillie Vanilly Show, who loves to tell jokes and dance the conga; Chef Silly Tillie with the lampshade hat who offers up a dinner of Worm Chili with Glue Gravy; and Madame Frilly Tillie with the sparkly eyeglasses and towel turban, the world's most creative bath-bubble stylist. Sophie and Chloe wonder who will appear to tuck them into bed: Hiker Hilly Tillie, Explorer Chilly Tillie, or Zoo-lady Gorilly Tillie? To their surprise, it’s the best character of all—just plain Grandma Tillie.

  3. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree - "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.

  4. Grandma - Told in diary form, Oscar relates how his grandmother becomes less able to look after herself and enters a nursing home, with information about dementia to help children discuss their feelings and adjust to the changing relationship.

  1. Little Red Riding Hood - On her way to deliver a basket of food to her sick grandmother, Elisabeth encounters a sly wolf.

  2. Bunny Cakes - It's Grandma's birthday, and Max wants to make her an icky, worm-infested cake. But Ruby says, "No, Max. We are going to make Grandma an angel surprise cake, with raspberry-fluff icing." Will Max let his bossy older sister keep him out of the kitchen? Or will they both become bunnies who bake?

  3. Little Chef - In honor of the special day, Lizzie wakes up super early, as any good chef should, to prepare the perfect meal for her grandmother, whom Lizzie lauds as the greatest chef in the world.

  4. Liplap's Wish - When Liplap wakes to find the ground covered with the first snow of the year, he can hardly wait to build a snowbunny. He pulls on his winter clothes and hops outside -- lip lap, lip lap -- as quickly as he can. But something's not right. As Liplap builds his snowbunny, he realizes that for the first time, his grandmother isn't there to help him. Grandmother hadn't lived to see the snow this year, and Liplap can't believe that he'll never see her again. It isn't until Liplap's mother tells him the ancient bunny legend about the stars in the sky that Liplap realizes that his grandmother will always be with him. In this truly moving book, the heartwarming text and tender illustrations provide reassuring comfort as they remind us that the power of love and memory can transcend the sadness and confusion that comes with any kind of loss or separation. Perfect for one-on-one sharing as well as group discussion, this extraordinary book works on a variety of levels to comfort and to inspire.

  1. My Grandma and Me - In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories. In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma. While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin's words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey's illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.

  2. Little Red Riding Hood - Grandma, what big TEETH you have! When Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the woods with a basket of goodies for Grandma, who should she run into but a big, bad wicked wolf? The dilly-dallying girl says goodbye thinking that's the last she'll see of him—but she's in for a big surprise. This charming retelling of a timeless favorite is especially designed for reading to young children, with simple language and appealing, amusing illustrations.

  3. Ruby's Chinese New Year - In this picture book celebrating Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help a little girl deliver a gift to her grandmother. Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey. This picture book includes back matter with a focus on the animals of the Chinese zodiac. - GODWIN BOOKS -

  4. Nighttime Symphony - The sounds of the city at night create a lively lullaby in this melodious bedtime story from superstar producer and musician Timbaland, Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Christopher Myers, and Kaa Illustration! hey there, darling baby child, you’re safe in here though the storm is wild the streetlights glow through dark so deep but safe in sound you’ll go to sleep As a little boy gets ready for bed, the sounds of a wild storm echo around him, lulling him to sleep. From the crash of thunder to the pitter-patter of raindrops to the beat of passing cars, the music of the city creates a cozy bedtime soundtrack.

  1. Popo's Lucky Chinese New Year - When her Chinese grandmother comes to visit, a young Chinese-American girl learns of and participates in the customs and beliefs celebrating an authentic Chinese New Year.

  2. Little Red Riding Hood - This beautiful edition of the classic tale is re-designed in celebration of 50 years of working with Bernadette Watts—one of Europe’s most recognized and beloved fairy-tale artists, known in Europe simply as Bernadette. When a young girl sets out to bring friendship and a treat to her ailing grandmother a wolf tricks her. This cautionary tale with a happy ending is retold with simple charm and illustrated with glowing paintings by one of the world’s great interpreters of folk- and fairy tales. This edition of the cherished story is sure to be a favorite.

  3. Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail - "Emma Gatewood's life was far from easy. In rural Ohio, she managed a household of eleven kids alongside a less-than-supportive husband. One day, at age 67, she decided to go for a nice long walk. . . and ended up at the other end of the Appalachain Trail. With just the clothes on her back and a pair of thin canvas sneakers on her feet, Grandma Gatewood hiked up ridges and down ravines. She braved angry storms and witnessed breathtaking sunrises. When things got particulary tough, she relied on the kindness of strangers or sheer dumb luck to get her through the night. When the newpapers got wind of her amazing adventure, the whole country cheered her on to the end of her trek, which came just a few months after she set out. A story of real resilience and hardcore lady power, Grandma Gatewood proves that no peak is insurmountable. After all, at age 83, she hiked the whole trail again (sneakers and all)"--

  4. Nanna's Button Tin - Each button in Nanna's tin prompts the sharing of a memory in a welcoming story captured in warm, expressively detailed illustrations. Nanna's button tin is very special. It holds buttons of all shapes and sizes, and they all have a different story to tell. When her granddaughter shakes all the buttons onto the floor and starts to sort, she finds a tiny yellow circle that was on the baby jacket she wore home from the hospital, as Nanna remembers. She sees a button shaped like a bear, from a sweater that Nanna knit for her when she turned three. There's even a sparkly green button from the dress that Nanna had on when she first met Pop. But today, one button in particular is needed, a button that must be just the right size and right shape: a button for Teddy.

  1. Grandma's House - Often, after school, a little girl goes to her grandmother's house, where everything is always the same but, then again, different. One day, she puts her coat on the hook in the hall, pours a glass of milk for herself in the kitchen, and tries to reach the cookie jar on the highest shelf in the pantry. But where is Grandma? Children will love exploring the rooms in Grandma's House, peering through its cutout pages from one room to the next and journeying high up into the foldout attic in search of Grandma. Highly detailed and intricately illustrated in Alice Melvin's trademark style, Grandma's House is another winner from one of today's shining stars of illustration.

  2. Finding Granny - Every two seconds, someone in the world suffers a stroke. In Finding Granny, that someone is Edie’s beloved grandmother. When Edie comes to the hospital, she is confronted by the physical changes in her grandmother: muddled words, a crooked face, a woman confined to bed. This isn’t the ‘playtime, bedtime, story-time pantomime Granny’ that Edie knows. "That’s not my Granny," she says, as she waits outside in the corridor during her mother’s visits. But when her mother takes Edie to watch one of Granny’s art therapy sessions, Edie starts to understand that the Granny she loves is still there. Finding Granny is a heart-warming story of changing relationships and the bond between children and grandparents. It’s also a sensitive exploration of coping with illness and disability that will offer children much-needed comfort.

  3. Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs - Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable death.

  4. Little Red Hot - Little Red Hot loves red hot chilli peppers. She eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When her grandmother catches a cold, Little Red makes her a hot pepper pie that will "knock those cold germs right out of her". But before Little Red shares her pie with Grandma, she meets Señor Lobo. The pie comes in very handy when the wily wolf tries to trick her into thinking he's her grandmother.

  1. The Great Gran Plan - From the author of The Giant of Jum comes a rollicking new rhyming fairytale retelling in which one of the Three Little Pigs must save Little Red Riding Hood’s granny. In this riff on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the pig from “The Three Little Pigs” gets mixed up in the Big Bad Wolf's plot to eat Granny. Fortunately, Granny is a tough old bird who can take care of herself—and everyone else, too. A funny, rhyming read-aloud!

  2. Hector's Hiccups - Sofia's Abuela is taking her and Sophia's cousin Hector to the movies, but when Hector develops hiccups, their movie plans are put on hold until the children get their hiccup problem under control.

  3. All My Treasures - When a girl receives a beautiful porcelain box from her grandmother, she immediately wants something special to put inside it. But what could it be? What does she love best? She loves jumping in puddles on rainy days, blowing bubbles in the park, and watching her little sister s first steps. As it turns out, life s most precious treasures cannot be contained in a box! With a gentle message about the immateriality of happiness, this story reminds us to take pleasure in everyday moments. The book is beautifully packaged with a sparkly die-cut star on the cover, and flaps throughout reveal hidden surprises. "

  4. My Granny Went to Market - A child's grandmother travels around the world, buying things in quantities that illustrate counting from one to ten.

  1. Abuela's Special Letters - Sofia is on a mission to make a family time capsule. The whole family contributes pictures and special items. Abuela even writes a letter to each of her grandchildren to be opened in fifteen years. Can Sofia really wait fifteen years to find out what that letter says? Adorable art, a table of contents, writing prompts, discussion questions, and an English/Spanish glossary are all included in this early chapter book.

  2. 15 Things Not To Do With a Grandma - The hilarious follow-up to 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby has all the warmth and humor of its predecessor, focusing on the relationship between children and their granny. DON'T hide an elephant in Grandma's bed. DON'T send Grandma up to the moon in a rocket, or wear her pants on your head, or give her squashed jelly beans on toast for breakfast. But do... dance with Grandma, listen to Grandma's stories, hug her and love her lots. She loves you!

  3. Abuela's Birthday - Sofia and her cousins are making a piänata for their grandmother's birthday party, but when Bella the cat gets involved chaos ensues.

  4. Piecing Earth & Sky Together - While she and her grandmother work on their embroidery, Mei Yoon listens to an old Mien tale about the creation of the earth and the sky.

  1. All about Grandmas - This jazzy ode to grandmas is just in time for Mother’s Day Today, there’s no such thing as a typical grandma. They do different jobs and have different hobbies. But one thing common to all grandmas is the love and wisdom they have to share, and nothing says that better than this rhyming celebration of the modern grandma. From the jellying, jamming, and pickling grannies to the surprising number of tickling grannies, this stylishly illustrated book covers them all.

Did you enjoy our grandma book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Grandma Books
  2. + family (6)
  3. Bonus (33)
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