A Roundup of the Best 31 Books About Grandpas

Updated Mar. 19, 2019

The bond between a grandpa and his grandchildren can be so utterly unique and special. Grandpas can be funny, do tricky tricks, know where to find the best treats, tell the best stories, know lots of interesting facts or have snuggly laps for sitting in. They can like fishing or golfing or basketball or music. Whatever your grandpa is like, we'd bet he's pretty special. These are some of our favorite books to celebrate grandpa's and how amazing they are.

Grandpa Green book
#1
Grandpa Green
Written and illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is such a meaningful and unique tale of family connections and family history. I love the idea of this young boy learning about his Great Grandpa Green's life: military service, meeting Grandma Green, hobbies and interests. What Grandpa Green has done to make it easier to learn about his life is also very neat. The interplay of the story and illustrations develops subtly until becoming clear in a moment of gorgeous illustration.

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

The Frank Show book
#2
The Frank Show
Written and illustrated by David Mackintosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a fantastic job of demonstrating how neat and interesting our grandparents or ancestors can be if we take the chance to get to know them. At first, Tom didn't think there was anything cool to share about his grandpa--he was JUST a grandpa, after all. But when his grandfather starts talking, he's amazed at all that he learns and how neat is grandpa is!

This hilarious, offbeat picture book from the creator of Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School reveals that there is more to the older generation than meets the eye. Grandpa Frank doesn’t have any interesting hobbies, unless you count complaining about how everything was better in the old days. He doesn’t speak Italian like Paolo’s mom, or play the drums like Tom’s uncle. He’s just a grandpa. So when the young narrator of this story is forced to bring Frank to school for show-and-tell, he’s sure it’s going to be a disaster. But Frank has a trick—make that a tattoo—up his sleeve! And a story to go with it. After all, the longer you’ve been around, the more time you’ve had for wild adventures.

Newspaper Hats book
#3
Newspaper Hats
Written by Phil Cummings and illustrated by Owen Swan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Georgie visits her Grandpa at the home where he lives, but he doesn’t always remember who she is. He does, however, remember how to make newspaper hats, and together they fold enough for all his friends. Touching moments portray the difficulties and nuances of memory loss from a child’s perspective, and an uplifting ending leaves readers with hope. A poignant and age-appropriate story about a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Bee Tree book
#4
The Bee Tree
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

To teach his daughter the value of books, a father leads a growing crowd in search of the tree where the bees keep all their honey.

Me with You book
#5
Me with You
Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Christopher Denise
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Cute rhymes and tender sentiments share just how special the relationship between a grandpa and his grandchild can be, with mutual support and love. The bears in this story are beautifully illustrated and I love how expressive their features are as they interact together.

With simple rhymes and classic illustrations, this charming toddler gift celebrates the special bond between grandparents and their little ones. We’re a pair beyond compare, a rare and special two, in all the ways that I am me and you’re completely you. From tea time to game time, singing or swinging, in the good times and even the grumpy ones, a granddaughter knows her grandpa is always wonderfully himself, and she is wonderfully herself, and together they are unbeatable! A pair beyond compare, a rare and special two!

When a Grandpa Says "I Love You" book
#6
When a Grandpa Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A sweet story about all the ways a grandpa shows that he loves his grandkids through his actions rather than just his words. It's chock full of tender grandpa moments, with sweet illustrations of different animal grandpa/grandchild pairs and would be the perfect gift for any grandpa or grandchild!

Discover all the wonderful ways grandfathers show grandchildren their love in this heartwarming companion to When a Dad Says “I Love You.” Everyone knows grandpas are best at spoiling their grandkids, but it’s just because they love them so much! Whether by attending a tea party or getting an extra scoop of ice cream, there is nothing grandpas won’t do to say “I love you!” From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer A. Bell, a clever and cozy tribute to the special bond between grandfather and grandchild.

The Wall book
#7
The Wall
Written by Eve Bunting
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa book
#8
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.

A Day's Work book
#9
A Day's Work
Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Francisco, a young Mexican American boy, tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something even more valuable to teach Francisco.

Through Grandpa's Eyes book
#10
Through Grandpa's Eyes
Written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is a bit on the long side, so may be better for kiddos with a longer attention span, but it is a lovely story about a little boy trying to experience the world the way his grandpa does—without sight. The illustrations are soft and soothing, and the messages about empathy and how important the bond between grandparents and grandchildren can be are powerful ones.

On John's visits to Grandpa's house, his blind grandfather shares with him the special way he sees and moves in the world.

I Already Know I Love You book
#11
I Already Know I Love You
Written by Billy Crystal and illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Starting with the anticipation of a new baby's arrival, this book from Emmy Award-winning comedian Billy Crystal celebrates all the moments, great and small, that a new grandpa is ready to share. Whether it's taking a nap together or attending baseball games, this grandpa just can't wait for his grandchild to be born.

Sing, Don't Cry book
#12
Sing, Don't Cry
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

It's always fun when grandpa visits, especially when he brings his guitar! This book hints at the difficulties encountered in life and how you may not be able to control the outcomes of things, but you can always sing.

Once a year, Abuelo comes from Mexico to visit his family. He brings his guitar, his music—and his memories. In this story inspired by the life of Apolinar Navarrete Diaz—author Angela Dominguez’s grandfather and a successful mariachi musician—Abuelo and his grandchildren sing through the bad times and the good. Lifting their voices and their spirits, they realize that true happiness comes from singing together.

Song and Dance Man book
#13
Song and Dance Man
Written by Karen Ackerman and illustrated by Stephen Gammell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illus. in full color. "In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story's inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you're only as old as you feel, but the children respond—as will readers—to the nostalgia of the moment. Utterly original."—(starred) Booklist.

How to Babysit a Grandpa book
#14
How to Babysit a Grandpa
Written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A New York Times bestselling picture book—from the creators of the hilarious HOW TO… series—about a child spending time with his 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). Filled with humor, energy, and warmth, this is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!

Tea with Grandpa book
#15
Tea with Grandpa
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

No matter how far apart they are, a little girl and her grandfather share a cup of tea every day at half past three.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#16
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Mayday book
#17
Mayday
Written by Karen Harrington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice. Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate ("Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?"). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It's not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn't say. Filled with Karen Harrington's signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.

The Great Henry Hopendower book
#18
The Great Henry Hopendower
Written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Deborah Hocking
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For fans of Grandpa Green, a young boy remembers his much-loved grandpa in this touching story about family, memory and everyday magic. Henry wakes up one bright morning ready to take on the day and find magic! After all, he is the Great Henry Hopendower—an aspiring young magician who learned everything he knows from the very best, his grandpa. Henry has so many favorite memories of his grandfather, including his house with its wobbly cuckoo clock and his famous leaning tower of pancakes that tipped but never toppled. And then there was the day his grandpa gave him a red checkered suit and shared the secret to being a magician: magic is everywhere, you just have to see it. So with Grandpa’s words as his guide, Henry sets off to do the truly impossible. This heartwarming story is a celebration of the magic that surrounds us all and the people we love most.

Little Pig Saves the Ship book
#19
Little Pig Saves the Ship
Written and illustrated by David Hyde Costello
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Pig is back in Little Pig Saves the Ship! When the sea-faring pigs go a-sailing! Intrepid Little Pig — still the littlest pig in the family — is too little to go to summer camp with his older brothers and sisters. He is left behind with Grandpa and Poppy. Little Pig and Poppy make and sail a toy ship all week, but on Saturday a gusty wind takes the ship into the current, and Little Pig has to use his newfound knot-tying skills to save the day. A sweetly told intergenerational story about how even the littlest can make a big difference.

The Great Spruce book
#20
The Great Spruce
Written by John Duvall and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Together with his grandpa, a young boy finds a way to save his favorite tree in this heartwarming Christmas tale. Alec loves to climb trees-the little apple trees, the wide willow trees, even the tall locust trees. But his favorite is the great spruce, with its sturdy trunk and branches that stretch up to the sky. Alec's grandpa planted it as a sapling years and years before Alec was born, and every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright. But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec's glistening great spruce, and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration. Though it's a huge honor, Alec's heartbroken at the idea of losing his friend. With great courage and creativity, Alec comes up with a plan to save his favorite tree in this joyful holiday tale. Praise for The Great Spruce-

Hello, Fall! book
#21
Hello, Fall!
Written and illustrated by Deborah Diesen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A grandparent and child recall the beautiful and wonderful sights and sounds of a fall day spent together.

Ice Cream Summer book
#22
Ice Cream Summer
Written and illustrated by Peter Sis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A little boy writes a letter to his grandfather about all the reading and studying he is doing this summer--but all his activities revolve around ice cream.

When Grandad Was a Penguin book
#23
When Grandad Was a Penguin
Written and illustrated by Morag Hood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Last time I went to see Grandad, he seemed a little different. What do you do when your Grandad starts acting VERY much like a penguin? Find out in this brilliantly funny and heartwarming story from talented author and illustrator, Morag Hood. Boys and girls alike will love the witty, sweet and brilliantly surreal depiction of everyday settings and situations in this fish-out-of-water story with a difference. When Grandad was a Penguin is perfect for sharing with children (and grandads) young and old. Morag Hood's artwork is gorgeously bold and stylish and her illustrative talent and keen eye for design won her a place as runner up in The Macmillan Prize for Illustration.

Looking for Yesterday book
#24
Looking for Yesterday
Written and illustrated by Alison Jay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

If yesterday was the best day ever, wouldn't it be great to find a way to repeat it? A whimsical tale about happiness with sure appeal for science-minded kids -- and wise grandparents -- everywhere. What could beat yesterday's perfect day at the fair? Maybe nothing, one boy thinks, and he wishes he could go back and do it again. So he puts all his scientific knowledge to work, from stars to time machines to wormholes (is it possible he could find one in his garden?). He thinks that maybe Grandad could help him. But Grandad, in sharing some memories from his own past, reminds him that every new day brings the chance of a new adventure. With quirky illustrations imparting a sense of wonder, Alison Jay takes a fanciful look at being content in the here and now.

Heidi book
#25
Heidi
Written and illustrated by Johanna Spyri
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphaned Heidi lives with her gruff but caring grandfather on the side of Swiss mountain, where she befriends young Peter the goat-herd. She leads an idyllic life, until she is forced to leave the mountain she has always known to go and live with a sickly girl in the city. Will Heidi ever see her grandfather again? A classic tale of a young girl's coming-of-age, of friendship, and familial love.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!