Benefit from the wisdom of their years this Grandparents’ Day

A review of three children's books that celebrate the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren

Grandparents have a privileged place in a child’s life. They can spoil them rotten without feeling guilty, but can also share the wisdom of their life experience.

September 7 is National Grandparents’ Day and it is a moment to celebrate the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Here are some books that grandparents can share with their grandchildren to create more special moments together.

 


How to Babysit a Grandpa (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $18.99)

 by Jean Reagan – Ages 4-7

Grandparents often babysit their grandchildren. It is generally a fun time when kids and adults get to break a few of the rules set by parents. This book puts a funny twist on the babysitting scenario by having the child believe that he is the one babysitting his grandfather. The young boy gives tips on how best to babysit a grandfather, like taking him out for a walk and hiding when he arrives.

It also reflects some of the anxieties that children feel when their parents leave. By seeing how the boy comforts Grandpa, they will understand their own fears. There is an edition that recently came out for grandmas, too!


Grandpa Green (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99)
 by Lane Smith – Ages 3-7

Grandparents come with a lot of history and this book helps readers appreciate that wealth of knowledge in a fun and clever way. Grandpa Green is being described by his great-grandson, who recounts Grandpa’s many adventures in life. Grandpa has charted his life in topiaries in his garden from growing up on a farm to battling in the First World War. Renowned illustrator Lane Smith is in top form in this book. His illustrations of the topiaries are lush and alive, capturing the old grandfather’s full life. And Grandpa himself has a wry face that shows that even if he can’t remember everything he has lived, he is still making the most of his life, and in the process clearly inspiring his children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.


My Granny went to Market: A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme (Barefoot Books, $8.95)
 by Stella Blackstone – Ages 3-5

This book turns the stereotype of grandparents as elderly and crotchety on its head, and shows a granny who is dynamic and daring, traveling the world to gather artifacts. She begins her journey at the market in Istanbul where she buys a magic carpet on which she travels to multiple exotic destinations. With each destination, she picks up an additional item to create a counting pattern. For instance, she goes to Russia to buy seven nesting dolls, and then to Australia to buy eight boomerangs. The drawings are lively and colourful and children will take great pleasure in scanning the pages to look at all the intricate details tucked in.