Books for K-Primary Students

Suggested Early Children’s Literature

Ackerman, Karen (1988).  Song and Dance Man
Random House Children’s (PS-2)     $7.99
ISBN 9780679819950
In the attic grandfather shows the grandchildren a trunk full of mementos from his vaudeville days. Grandfather sings and dances, they all dress up and put on a show. A good time is had by all. Shares family history and portrays older people as fun, active, and interesting.
Caldecott Medal Award

Addasi, Maha (2010).  Time to Pray
Boyds Mill Press (2-3)     $15.69
ISBN 97815907786116
Yasmin is visiting her grandmother, Teta, in the Middle East.  She sees the lights from the minaret of a nearby mosque and hears the voice of the muezzin calling people to pray.  Yasmin asks her grandmother how she would know when to pray once she goes home since they did not have a mosque near. Grandmother makes Yasmin prayer clothes, buys her a prayer rug, and teaches her the prayers Muslims do each day. When Yasmin went home her grandmother sent her a miniature mosque that had a prayer clock and timer to remind her of the times to pray. When the clock goes off, it makes the sound of the muezzin calling people to prayer. Written in English and Arabic.

Anholt, Laurence (2014).  Papa Chagall, Tell Us a Story
Barron’s Educational Series (PS-3)     $10.99
ISBN 9780764166440
Here, award-winning author and illustrator Laurence Anholt reviews the life of Marc Chagall. Through the stories that he tells his beloved twin grandchildren, Chagall relates his extraordinary rags to riches journey from a topsy-turvy cottage life in Russia, through the dark years of the war, emerging in the sparkling sunlight of Southern France. Anholt’s fine illustrations appear on every page and include reproductions of Chagall’s work. Once again, Laurence Anholt inspires and informs in this much-loved series, which has sold more than one million copies around the world.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2016

Baca, Ana (2011).  Tia’s Tamales
New Mexico (2-3)     $13.44
ISBN 9780826350268
There was no school one day and Luz and her grandmother, Abuelita, made plans to spend the day together. Grandmother shares how the girl’s great-grandfather, Diego, learned to make tamales. Diego was caring for his ill mother and with the help of his grandmother he learned how to use the resources around him to gather everything needed to make tamales for food. Grandmother tells Luz the story, how to make tamales, and shares the message that “sometimes you have to take what you have and embellish it…sometimes you have to make something out of nothing.” Text is in English and Spanish.

Bair, Sheila (2006).  Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock
Albert Whitman & Company (1-2)     $13.81
ISBN 9780807570944
Grandpa proposed a summer saving plan to his twin grandsons, Rock and Brock. Each Saturday he would pay each of them to mow his lawn and wash his car. If they saved the dollar he would match it, if they spent it he wouldn’t. Brock saved his money but Rock didn’t save any. Brock’s money grew and at the end of the summer he had $512 dollars. Rock and Brock learned the value of saving from their grandfather. At the end of the book the twins are older and wealthy from their savings. A chart at the end of the book shows how savings can grow and there is a discussion about how to become a millionaire by starting saving as a young person. Teaches children about savings and lifelong financial security.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2009

Barrett, Mary Bridgid (2011).  Shoebox Sam
Zonderkidz (1-3)     $11.41
ISBN 9780310715498
Delia and Jesse go to see Shoebox Sam on Saturdays. Shoebox Sam is an older man who lives above his shop where he shines and repairs shoes. Sam also polishes and mends used shoes and fixes them up with new laces. Each week the children place the used shoes in boxes and label them. Sam has paying customers for his shoe repairs, but he also has shoes and new socks he gives to those who need them. He also has coffee, donuts and sometimes sandwiches for those who are hungry. From Sam the children learn above giving, caring, and sharing.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2014

Birtha, Becky (2005).  Grandmama’s Pride
Albert Whitman & Company (1-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780807530283
Every summer a young African American girl and her younger sister visit their grandmother who lives in the South. During their visits the grandmother shielded the girls from what was happening with segregation, but without her saying, the older granddaughter begins to understand. Active grandmother who is wise, caring, and proud of her heritage. Nonstereotypic portrayal of an older adult. Presents information about the Civil Rights Movement.

Byrne, Gayle (2009).  Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas, Not Mommies and Daddies
Abbeville (PS-1)     $13.73
ISBN 9780789210289
A young girl is raised by her grandparents, Nonnie & Poppy and their dog Buddy. Shares the times the girl has with her grandparents. Hugs and cuddles never run out with Nonnie and Poppy. Grandmother is working. One of the girls teachers is an older adult. Addresses the contemporary issue of grandparents raising grandchildren. Resources are listed at the end of the book for grandparents raising grandchildren.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2011

Castillo, Lauren (2014).  Nana in the City
Clarion Books (PS-3)     $12.80
ISBN 9780544104433
In this magical picture book, a young boy spends an overnight visit with his Nana and is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise and crowds and scary things. But then Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds, and smells of the city are not scary - but wonderful. The succinct text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy, and beauty of the city.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2016

Churchill, Ginger (2011).  Wild Rose’s Weaving
Tanglewood (PS-2)     $15.95
ISBN 9781933718569
Grandma tries to get Wild Rose to learn how to wrap the weaving loom, work the weaving sticks, and weave; but Wild Rose prefers to do other things. When Rose returned from her day she saw the beautiful rug that Grandma had weaved. Rose “saw life in its colors, and peace in its pattern.” Grandma told Rose that a rug is a picture of life. Wild Rose decides she wants to learn to weave and Grandma teaches her. A wise grandmother who shares knowledge with her granddaughter. An epilogue to the book tells about how the art of weaving binds us together across the world and generations; it is about expressing yourself, and is infinitely useful. Includes a website to visit on how to make a simple loom.

Cohen, Caron (2003).  Everything is Different at Nonna’s House
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (K-3)     $8.63
ISBN 9780618073351
When a young city boy visits his grandparents in the country he finds that everything is different. No taxis jam the streets and no tall buildings crowd the sky. Instead there are blueberry pancakes to make, clipping roses, feeding cows, going for walks at night, and riding on the tractor with his grandfather, Pop-Pop. Sometimes they stay out late at night and sit together on the porch swing as they watch the stars blink and hear the crickets chirp. There are lots of hugs, kisses, and laughter. Active grandparents. Intergenerational sharing and caring.

Cooney, Barbara (1982).  Miss Rumphius
SanVal/Penguin (PS-3)     $13.49
ISBN 9780140505399
As a little girl, Alice helped her grandfather who was an artist. Alice told her grandfather that when she grew up she wanted to go to faraway places and live beside the sea. Her grandfather said that there was one more thing she must do: "You must do something to make the world more beautiful." Alice grows up, becoming Miss Rumphius, and readily accomplishes the first two goals. How she accomplished the third makes the story interesting and heartwarming. At the end of the book Miss Rumphius is an older woman who shares her grandfather's message with young children. Illustrates growing up and growing older, aging as a natural and lifelong process, older people as active members of their communities, and planning for later life.
American Book Award

Cooper, Ilene (2007).  The Golden Rule
Abrams (PS-3)     $13.39
ISBN 9780810909601
A grandfather helps a young grandson understand the Golden Rule across different cultures and religions. He helps him to see that it means imagining how other people feel, treating people the way you would like to be treated, and that it is a valuable way of living. The grandfather helps the boy to see how to practice the rule and to see how things would change if everyone lived by the Golden Rule. Wise and caring grandfather who teaches an excellent lesson to his grandson.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2009

Crews, Donald (1998).  Bigmama's
HarperCollins (PS-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780688158422
Crews tells the story of his childhood visits to his grandmother "Bigmama”. Every summer this African American family traveled to see grandparents and relatives in the country. These visits were greatly enjoyed. This is a beautifully illustrated story of family relations, activities and treasured memories. The grandparents are valued, loved, and contributing members of the family.

Crum, Shutta (2004).  My Mountain Song
Clarion (PS-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9780618159703
Brenda Gail enjoys her visits to her great-grandfather, Gran Pop, and great-grandmother, Big Ma. While she and Gran Pop are collecting eggs she asks him what song he is singing and he tells her it is a mountain song. He tells her that everybody born in the mountains has a mountain song in them. Few books include great grandparents and these are active great-grandparents who show understanding, kindness and sensitivity.

DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne (1997).  Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen
SanVal/HarperColllins (K-3)     $17.20
ISBN 9780688152857
A young boy stays with his Uncle Willie after school. Uncle Willie is a volunteer at a local soup kitchen for homeless people. One day when the boy is out of school he helps his uncle at the soup kitchen. Illustrates the community service activities that older people are involved in. The older adult is a role model for the young boy. Deals with the contemporary social issues of homelessness and hunger.

DiSalvo, DyAnne (2002).  Spaghetti Park
Holiday House  (2-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9780234168280
Angelo’s neighborhood park used to be a great place, but now many people in the neighborhood avoid it because it is run down, has graffiti, and a group of troublemakers hang out there. Angelo and his grandfather like to go to the park and play “bocce,” an Italian bowling game. They join a neighborhood group to clean up the park. Many of the people who help in cleaning up the park are older adults. Once the park is cleaned the troublemakers mess it up again, but everyone once again helps to make the park a good place to be.

Eagar, Lindsay (2016). Hour of the Bees
Candlewick Press $8.99
ISBN-10: 1406368156
Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . . While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world. What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2018

Falwell, Cathryn (2013).  Rainbow Stew
Lee & Low (PS-1)     $17.95
ISBN 9781600608476
Book is written in rhyming verse. The grandchildren are visiting and Grandpa is up and making pancakes for them for breakfast. They love to visit grandpa and he lets them run and jump and play outside all day. This day happens to be rainy and the children are wondering what they will do. Grandpa has them go out to his garden and gather vegetables for “rainbow stew.” They all bundle up in rain clothes and go to pick the rainbow colored vegetables in grandpa’s garden. They have a good time collecting the vegetables. Grandpa gets them back to the house and into dry clothes. Grandpa is in charge as they cut up the vegetables and cook the stew. A recipe for the stew is given at the end of the book. Nonstereotypic portrayal of an independent, capable grandfather.

Fruisen, Catherine (2000).  My Mother’s Pearls
Star Bright Books(PS-2)     $8.70
ISBN 9781595720054
A young girl enjoys helping her mother get dressed up and especially loves the pearls that have been in the family since her great-great-great-great-great grandmother was given them in 1788. A story that illustrates family history and oral history.

Gilman, Phoebe (1993).  Something From Nothing
Scholastic  (K-3)     $13.51
ISBN 9780590472807
The story is an adaptation of a Jewish folktale. When Joseph was born his grandfather, who is a tailor, made him a blanket. The blanket has a long and delightful history. As Joseph grows older it becomes worn and frazzled and his mother wants to throw it out, but Joseph says “grandpa can fix it.” Grandpa makes the blanket into a jacket for Joseph. As the years go by the jacket becomes too small so grandpa makes it into a vest. Later the vest is transformed by grandpa into a Sabbath tie, then a handkerchief, and finally a button. When Joseph loses the button there is nothing left of the blanket. Joseph now makes “something from nothing” by writing a story about the blanket. Grandfather is working, creative, and an integral part of the family and community.
Sydney Taylor Book Award, Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award

Gray, Libba Moore (1998).  Miss Tizzy
Simon & Schuster  (PS-3)     $7.99
ISBN 9780689818974
Miss Tizzy is loved by all the children in the neighborhood. They love her and her colorful house and clothes. She bakes with them, lets them pick flowers, puts on puppet shows, plays her bagpipes, leads them in parades, plays dress-up, roller skates and sings songs. Everyone wants to be like Miss Tizzy when they are older. Illustrates older people as active and valued members of their communities and caring intergenerational relationships.

Grifalconi, Ann (2007).  Ain’t Nobody a Stranger to Me
Hyperion (K-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9780786818570
The story starts with a woman telling how, as a young gir,l she went with her grandfather to his apple orchard. As she and her grandfather went through the town he waved to everyone and said hello. The grandfather did not know all the people by name and tells the girl, “Ain’t nobody a stranger to me.” The grandfather talks to the girl about his escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad and the help and friendship he received along the way.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2010

Handy, Femida & Carpenter, Carole (2010).  Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint
Second Story Press (2-3)     $15.95
ISBN 9781897187692
This book conveys environmental messages. Sandy goes down to the beach by her grandpa’s house. The beach was Sandy’s and Grandpa’s favorite place. Grandpa taught her about the beach and its environment and showed her footprints made by the different birds. On the beach Sandy finds garbage left from a bonfire. She picked up the garbage that could be recycled and put trash that could not be recycled in another bag. At the beach there is older lady who is nicknamed, the “Garbage Lady.” The lady picks up garbage and works to keep the beach clean. She tells Sandy that she should think about the footprint she is leaving on the world, and that all kinds of little choices can make her footprint smaller—like recycling a pop can. Sandy learns that to shrink her footprint she can reuse and recycle. At the end of the book environmentally sounds ways are given to help people see how they can shrink their footprints on the earth.

Herman, Charlotte (2003). The Memory Cupboard: A Thanksgiving Story
Albert Whitman & Company (1-4)     $1.99
ISBN 9780807550557
Katie’s family gathers at Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. On the wall in the kitchen Grandma has all the letters and drawings Katie sent her. When clearing the table Katie accidentally broke Grandma’s antique gravy boat. Katie was in tears, but Grandma took her by the hand and showed her a cupboard filled with old broken teapots, mugs, cookie jars, toys, and clocks where every object had “a story to tell.” The cupboard is Grandma’s “memory cupboard” and she shared the memories with Katie. Grandma tells Katie that people are more important than things. The letters that Katie wrote to her Grandmother can lead into a discussion of penpals and letter writing. The memory cupboard stories are examples of oral family history. A Grandma with good advice for her granddaughter.

Hest, Amy (1992).  The Purple Coat
Simon and Schuster Children’s  (K-3)     $7.99
ISBN 9780689716348
Every autumn Gabrielle and her mother take the train to New York to Grandpa’s tailor shop for Grandpa to make Gabrielle a new navy blue coat with gold buttons. This year Gabrielle wants a purple coat, but her mother wants her to have a blue one. Grandfather ingeniously solves the problem by making a reversible coat. He tells Gabrielle and her mother that "sometimes it is good to try something new". Shows an older adult who is working, creative and caring.
Christopher Book Award

Hoffman, Mary (1991/1998).  Amazing Grace
Dial/Penguin  (PS-3)     $11.46
ISBN 9780803710405
Grace is a young African American girl who loves acting. Her class at school plans to do the play Peter Pan and Grace wants to try out for the title role. Some of her classmates discourage her, but with the support and encouragement of her grandmother, Grace auditions for the part and everyone in the class votes for her. This book portrays the grandmother as capable, sensitive, and an integral part of the family. It shows how old and young enjoying each other and learning from each other.
Waldenbooks Best Children's Book Award

Homan, Lynn & Reilly, Thomas (2002). The Tuskegee Airmen Story
Pelican Publishing (1-3)     $14.21
ISBN 9781589800052
The grandkids find Granddad’s WWII uniforms, his leather flight helmet and medals. Grandma tells them that Granddad was a Tuskegee Airman. Granddad tells his grandchildren about his role with the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite squadron of African-American pilots that flew over 1,500 missions during WWII. The story introduces children to a part of our countries history that may be overlooked.

Houston, Gloria (1997). My Great-Aunt Arizona
HarperCollins (K-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780060226060
The story is about the author’s Great-Aunt Arizona who was born in a log cabin. As a young girl she liked to grow flowers, sing, and dance to fiddle music; but what she liked most of all is too read. She dreamed of going to far away places but instead stayed in the Blue Ridge Mountains and for 57 years taught generations of children. At the end of the story Arizona is an older woman who is still teaching. Illustrates growing up and growing older and people making a difference in their communities.

Hughes, Sarah (2001). My Grandmother Works in a Dress Shop
Scholastic (PS-1)     $40.99
ISBN 9780516295763
Actual photos of a grandmother and granddaughter. The grandmother works in a dress shop and makes a beautiful dress for her young granddaughter. One of the few books that has an older person working. Loving intergenerational relationship.

Jeffers, Dawn (2006).  Vegetable Dreams/Huerto Sonado
Raven Tree Press (1-3)     $7.95 
ISBN 9780974199290
The book is written in both English and Spanish. Erin wants a garden, but her parents are reluctant to let her have one. Her older neighbor, Mr. Martinez, agrees to give her part of his garden to plant her vegetables. He says he will teach her all that he knows, but she must do the work. Erin and Mr. Martinez plant and tend the garden. Erin loved to work the garden, but she loved her talks with Mr. Martinez even more. Erin enjoyed the magic of the friendship found in the garden. Illustrates intergenerational friendship, old and young enjoying each other, and learning from each other.

Juster, Norton (2005).  The Hello, Goodbye Window
Hyperion  (PS-2)     $13.88
ISBN 9780786809141
Nanna and Poppy live in a big house in the middle of town. In the front of their house is a kitchen window, the “Hello, Goodbye Window.” Nanna and Poppy wave hello from the window when you come and wave goodbye and blow kisses to you when you leave. It is a special window where you can play peek-a-boo, make silly faces, and get a lot of hellos before you even get inside. Tells the fun things the grandchild does with Nanna and Poppy, like riding a bike and Poppy playing the harmonica. When the grandchild grows up she wants to have a “Hello, Goodbye Window.” Active grandparents and a loving family tradition.
Caldecott Medal Winner, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book

Laminack, Lester (2006). Jake’s 100th Day of School
Peachtree (K-3)     $8.95
ISBN 9781561453559
Jake’s class is celebrating the 100th day of school by bringing in collections of 100 things. Grandma Maggie and his teacher have planned a surprise for the class that day. Grandma Maggie brings her Aunt Lula to class. Aunt Lula is 100 years old. Aunt Lula and grandma help the class make a snack. Few books have a centenarian portrayed. Active older adults. Leads into a discussion of growing up and growing older and the fact that many children will live to be centenarians.

MacLachlan, Patricia (1994).  All the Places to Love
HarperCollins (PS-3)     $13.85
ISBN 9780060210984
On the day Eli was born his grandmother held him up to the window so that he heard first was the wind and what he saw first was all the places to love. Everyone in Eli’s family has a favorite place. Mama loves the meadows and hay fields, papa loves the fields to plow, grandmother loves the river, and grandfather loves the barn where the family names are carved in the rafters. Eli’s favorite place is the marsh where ducklings follow their mother. Eli has wonderful memories of all of these places and he grows up knowing that no matter where the rest of his life takes him all the places to love are still there. Reciprocal intergenerational relationships of loving, sharing, and caring. Shows older people as active and integral members of their families.
Oklahoma Book Award

Martin, Bill Jr. & Archambault, John (1997).  Knots on a Counting Rope
Squaregishy (PS-2)     $7.99
ISBN 9780805054798
An American Indian boy sits by the fire with his grandfather. The boy is blind and asks his grandfather to once again tell him the story of his life. Each time the story is told the grandfather ties a knot in the "counting rope". Through telling the story the grandfather has helped the boy become strong, capable, and independent in spite of his blindness. This grandfather has had a profound and positive influence on the boy's life.

Mason, Margaret (2010).  These Hands
Houghton (1-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780547215662
Joseph’s grandpa could do just about anything with his hands like play the piano and throw a curve ball, but there were some things he couldn’t do with his hands. The story discusses the racial discrimination that separated people and how hands did join together to work against discrimination. The story ends with the grandfather telling Joseph that his hands can do anything.

McCain, Becky (2004).  Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher
Albert Whitman & Company (K-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780807530320
Kimmy stays with her Chippewa grandmother while her parents look for a new home. Grandmother teaches her to make a dreamcatcher to keep nightmares away and comfort her during the night. Dreamcatchers catch the bad dreams and only let the good dreams come through. Having the dreamcatcher helps to ease Kimmy’s move to her new home.

Mitchell, Margaree (1998).  Uncle Jed’s Barbershop
Aladdin (PS-3)     $7.99
ISBN 9780689819131
Everyone has a favorite relative and for a young African American girl, Sarah Jean, it’s her Uncle Jed. Jedediah Johnson was the only black barber in the county. He had a dream of opening up his own barber shop. However, a number of things kept him from achieving his dream. Uncle Jed finally opened up his shop on his seventy-ninth birthday. Parts of our country’s history such as the Great Depression and segregation are discussed. The story is based on the life and dreams of the author’s grandfather. Shows an older person who is working and active in his community. Multicultural.
Coretta Scott King Honor Book, American Library Association Notable Children’s Book

Murphy, Claire Rudolf (2011).  Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage
Peachtree (1-3)     $15.31
ISBN 97801561455935
When Bessie was young, girls were not allowed to do many of the things that boys did. Her brothers went hiking and bicycle riding, but she was not allowed to. One day Bessie picks up a paper and reads about Susan B. Anthony. Miss Anthony is now an older woman and Bessie’s mother tells her that she has fought fifty years for women’s rights. Bessie gets to meet Miss Anthony, who everyone calls “Aunt Susan,” and hears her talk about women’s rights. The talk changes Bessie’s life and she works for women’s suffrage. Miss Anthony is seen as a person who dedicated her life to what she believed in. Illustrates a capable, active older person.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2014

Nicholson, Caitlin (2008). Niwechihaw/I Help
Groundwood Books (PS-K)     $18.95
ISBN 9780888998125
This simply told story is written in both Cree and English and illustrates Cree life and customs. The author’s grandmother, who helped young people live with tradition and cultural values in a contemporary world, was the inspiration for the book. In Cree the word kôhkom means grandmother and Cree children have many kôhkoms. The story tells about a young boy and his grandmother as they get ready to drive to the woods. In the woods they walk, pray, pick berries, listen, eat and share time together. The book reflects the education that children receive from older adults. Share with children the dialogue, notes and acknowledgements at the end of the book. The dialogue says that children should never stop learning from elders and that elders are the key to the past and the future. Young people use kôhkom as a term of love and respect for women elders.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2010

Nielsen, Laura (2008).  Mrs. Muddle’s Holiday
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (K-3)     $16.99
ISBN 9780374350949
Mrs. Muddle moves into Katie’s neighborhood. Mrs. Muddle rides a bicycle and celebrates more holidays than anyone. These holidays are many of her favorite things and she celebrates them with the neighborhood including, First Robin Day, First Shower of April, and First Snow. The children and their families surprise Mrs. Muddle with another holiday “Mrs. Muddle Day.” At the end of the book the meaning of “holiday” is described. Capable, active older adult. Illustrates young and old enjoying each other and learning from each other Intergenerational friendship.

Nye, Naomi Shihab (2014).  The Turtle of Oman
Greenwillow Books (3-7)     $14.93
ISBN 978-0062019721
Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi's roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref's suitcase—mementos of home.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2016

Ortega, Cristina (2006).  The Eyes of the Weaver/Los Ojos del Tejedor
University of New Mexico Press (2-3)     $6.60
ISBN 9780826339904
The author’s grandfather is the subject of this book. The Ortega family has made beautiful weavings for seven generations. Maria Christina who goes to visit her grandpa in New Mexico at the family farm, experiences many traditional ways. Grandpa is a master weaver and is proud that Christina learns to weave. Hispanic culture is presented, Spanish words are used throughout the book, and a Spanish glossary of words is included. Active grandfather who is still working. Loving intergenerational relationship. Multicultural.

Parish, Herman (2011).  Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend
Greenwillow (PS-2)     $3.99
ISBN 978006207516/ISBN 9780062075154
Amelia Bedelia’s family moves away and she misses her best friend.  One day a new neighbor moves in. The new neighbor is an older woman and she and Amelia Bedelia become friends. Illustrates intergenerational friendship.

Pellegrino, Marjorie (2000).  My Grandma’s the Mayor
American Psychological Association  (1-3)     $13.86
ISBN 9781557986085
Annie is very proud of her grandmother when she gets elected mayor but grandma now has to spend a lot of time with her new job. Grandma and Annie work this out. This is one of the few books that shows an older person in a leadership position. It shares with children the leadership role older people often play in their nation and communities.

Purmell, Ann (2006).  Christmas Tree Farm
Holiday House (K-2)     $1.99
ISBN 9780823418862
Grandpa and his grandson ride on a tractor through the family Christmas tree farm. All year long grandpa and his family work on the farm planting, pruning, and tagging trees for Christmas. Grandpa knows about all the trees on the farm. From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve grandpa works at his Christmas Tree Hut. On Christmas Eve the family gathers at Grandpa and Grandma’s house for an old-time tree-trimming party. Active Grandfather who is working.

Ransome, James (2012).  My Teacher
Dial (PS-K)     $3.85
ISBN 9780803732599
The girl wonders why her teacher has not retired. The teacher had been there long enough to teach the girl’s mother and grandmothers. The girl knows that her teacher loves teaching and that she inspires them use their talents. The teacher encourages the children to read and write. The school does not have a library so the teacher brings in books for the children. The teacher told them stories about things in the past, like the jazz played by Duke Ellington and the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem where people danced. She teaches the children the gift of sharing as they put together Thanksgiving baskets for people in need of them. The teacher encourages them and helps the children see all that they can be and do. When the young girl asks her teacher why she keeps teaching she replies “I just love teaching and being a part of your lives. I love helping to make your dreams come true." A capable, caring older adult who is working.

Root, Phyllis (2003).  The Name Quilt
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (K-3)     $32.41
ISBN 9780374354848
Sadie vacations at Grandma’s in the summer. Every evening grandma tucks Sadie into bed with the “name quilt.” Every name on the quilt is a member of the family and has a story. One of the quilt’s patches was a piece of Grandma’s wedding dress. One day when the name quilt is on the clothesline a storm blows it away. Even with the quilt gone grandma lets Sadie know that the stories will live on. Sadie and Grandma start a new quilt. Active grandmother. Presents family history and oral history.

Rosen, Michael (2005).  Fishing With Dad: Lessons of Love and Lure From Father to Son
Artisan  (PS-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9781579652869
Every Sunday when the author was young he went fishing with his father. Now his son goes fishing with his father like he used to. The grandson calls the grandfather “Zee” which is short for Zayde (Yiddish for Grandpa). The pair get up early, stop for bait (night crawlers), travel down country roads, hike through a farmer’s field, and find the “fishing hole.” Grandpa has an amazing tackle box, fishing vest and hat, as well as a fishing secret that is revealed at the end of the book. Actual photographs are used to show the boy and his grandfather and their fishing excursions. Portrays a warm intergenerational relationship and an active older adult.

Rylant, Cynthia (2002).  The Ticky-Tacky Doll
Harcourt Children’s Books (PS-2)     $1.99
ISBN 9780152010782
Grandmama made her granddaughter a ticky-tacky doll from sewing scraps and the little girl loved the doll. When the girl started school it made her sad to leave her doll at home so here grandmama made her a miniature of the doll that could fit into her book bag: “Very small and ready to go to school.” A caring and sensitive grandmother and a loving intergenerational relationship.

Say, Allen (2008).  Grandfather’s Journey
Houghton Mifflin (PS-2)     $7.99
ISBN 9780547076805
An adult grandson tells the story of his grandfather’s travel from Japan to America, his life in America, and his return to Japan with his wife and daughter. The daughter is the grandson’s mother. The grandson was born and raised in Japan and eventually goes to America and shares his time between the two countries. Illustrates growing up and growing older and family history.
Caldecott Medal Winner

Schotter, Roni (2012).  All About Grandmas
Dial (PS-1)     $8.99
ISBN 9780803737143
There are many kinds of grandmas. Illustrates grandmas doing many different things and different cultures. Some grandmas work, some travel, and some tell wonderful stories from times long ago. Mentions that if you don’t have a grandma all your own perhaps “you can find someone special on loan.” The child in the book has an older friend who lives down the block who is nearly like family and who she loves a lot. The book shares how to say grandma in languages around the world. Presents the idea of intergenerational friendship.

Schwartz, Howard (2010).  Gathering Sparks
Roaring Brook (K-2)     $15.34
ISBN 978596432802
When Grandfather came to visit there was a clear night sky filled with stars. Grandfather and grandchild go out to enjoy it. They see fireflies and hear crickets chirping. The young grandchild asks where the stars same from. Grandfather tells a story of how the stars came to be as sparks of light scattered throughout the heavens and how some of the sparks fell to earth. The grandchild asks how the sparks can be gathered on earth and the grandfather gives examples including doing good deeds, being kind to animals, and loving someone. He says that one day, when enough sparks are gathered, there will be peace in the world.

Stevens, Janet & Crummel, Susan Stevens (2004).  Plaidypus Lost
Holiday House (PS-1)     $15.26
ISBN 9780823415618
Grandma makes her old plaid shirt into a Plaidypus for her young granddaughter and the girl promises to never lose him. The young girl and Plaidypus go everywhere together. There are times when Plaidypus gets lost but fortunately he is found. One time Plaidypus gets lost for longer than usual and returns home “hurt.” Grandma fixes him good as new. Capable Grandma and a loving intergenerational relationship.

Stock, Catherine (2001).  Gugu’s House
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (PS-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9780618003891
The story is set in the grassy plains of Zimbabwe. Kukamba takes the bus from the city to visit her grandmother, Gugu. From the bus they walk the long, dusty path to Gugu’s house. Kukamba has never seen a home as beautiful. She loves the colorful paintings and sculpted animals that Gugu has made. Gugu shares village traditions and shows Kukamba how to sculpt and paint wonderful animals like zebras, leopards, and birds. The rains come and the painting and sculpting turn to mud, but grandmother tells her that the landscape is reborn with the rain. An active, creative grandmother based on a real person. A glossary of Afrikaans terms is included.

Sullivan, Sara (2011).  Passing the Music Down
Candlewick (1-3)     $15.39
ISBN 9780763637538
Based on the true story of a friendship between Melvin Wine and Jake Krack. Every August people traveled from all over to hear the fiddle playing of Melvin Wine. Jake, a boy in the crowd, knows some of the older man’s music and plays the music with him. The older man gives the Jake advice on how to play and Jake asks the man to teach him all of his tunes. Jake returns time after time and not only learns music but the ways of the farm, the woods, the garden, and of many other things. The old man and the boy become the best of friends. “Their lives are stitched together in a quilt of old-time tunes.” At the end of the story Melvin passes away, but Jake continues in the music. The prologue of the book shares the friendship between Melvin and Jake and shares the tradition of “passing the music down.”

Takushi, Eliah & Tan, Carly & Takeda, Colby (2017). It’s Just Aging: A Story About Growing Up
Mutual Pub Co (1750) $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-9844458-6-8
Lily is a playful young girl who loves her Tutu and Papa. On this beautiful day in Hawaii, Lily learns how to make her Tutu’s famous banana bread and, in the process, discovers some of the benefits and challenges of growing up. This story was written by two students in the Iolani School One Mile Project class and Colby Takeda, an administrator with The Plaza Assisted Living. It is their hope that stories like this can help children begin to understand the aging process and continue to form important intergenerational relationships.
Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Children’s Book Award Winner 2018

Taulbert, Clifton (2003).  Little Cliff’s First Day of School
Penguin (2-3)     $1.99
ISBN 9780142500828
Little Cliff, is a young African American boy who has lived with his great-grandparents. Poppa Joe and Mama Pearl, all his life. He is apprehensive about his first day at school. His great-grandparents help him to overcome his apprehension and make this day a happy one. Few stories have great-grandparents raising great-grandchildren. These great-grandparents are depicted as capable, sensitive, and caring.

Thompson, Holly (2007). The Wakame Gatherers
Shen’s (2-3)     $15.72
ISBN 9781885008336
Nanami has a grandmother, Baachan, who lives with her family in Japan and a grandmother (gram) who lives in Maine. Gram comes to visit Japan. Nanami’s Japanese grandmother shows gram how to gather wakame (seaweed) to eat. The grandmothers share their experiences during World War II. When gram returns home she sends tickets for Nanami and Baachan to visit her in Maine. The two grandmothers enjoy and learn from each other and have the shared love of their granddaughter. Illustrates values and traditions of different cultures. Shares part of history about World War II. Japanese words are used in the text.

Wahl, Jan (2011). The Art Collector
Charlesbridge (PS-2)     $14.43
ISBN 9781580892704
When Oscar was very young his Great-Granny took a piece of paper and drew a chicken. She gave Oscar paper to draw on too. Oscar drew a snow storm scene, but was disappointed in his work, but Great-Granny congratulated him. Ma and Pa framed both Great-Granny’s chicken and Oscar’s snow storm scene. Oscar’s parents took him to Sunday shows and flea markets where artists sold pictures. Oscar bought his first picture for $1 and continued to collect pictures as he grew up. The years passed, his collection became famous, and a museum was built for it. At the end of the story Oscar is an older man sitting with a young girl and encouraging her to draw like his great-grandmother encouraged him. Oscar kept one picture that did not go to the museum; the drawing of the chicken that his great-grandmother had done years ago. Illustrates the lifespan activity of art and the process of growing up and growing older.

Wellington, Monica (2011).  Gabby & Grandma Go Green
Dutton (PS-2)     $1.99
ISBN 978052422143
When Gabby spends a day with grandma they love doing green projects that are good for the earth. They sew reusable cloth bags and when the bags are finished they fill them with things to take for recycling and use the bags for groceries instead of plastic or paper bags. They shop at the farmers market and go to the library to find “save the Earth” books. The book notes that everyone can be involved in green projects and that every little bit helps. Tips for going green are given throughout the book and at the end of the story instructions for sewing a cloth bag, green tips, and some websites for environmental information for children are given. The book was inspired by the authors fond memories of doing crafts with her grandmother.

Wyeth, Sharon Dennis (2013).  The Granddaughter Necklace
Scholastic (1-3)     $15.35
ISBN 9780545081252
This is story of family history over many generations and the pride of the author in her African-American heritage that has ties to Ireland and Cameroon. A crystal bead necklace is fictional but tells the story of a necklace being handed down from one generation to the other. With the necklace go the stories of those who wore the necklace before. Family names and stories are given. Although there are no older adults as major characters in the story, the story honors family history and ancestry.

Yazzie, Seraphine G.  (2011). Beauty Beside Me: Stories of my Grandmother’s Skirts [Shima Sani’ Bitl’aakal Noot’ishi’gii Nizhonigo Nidaashch’aa’go Baa Hane’]
Salina (2-3)     $15.46
ISBN 9781893354074
The young girl tells of her grandmother’s beautiful skirts and how each skirt was worn for a different purpose. Grandmother’s yellow skirt was worn while cooking, her green skirt for planting corn. Other colored skirts were worn for things like weaving, picking herbs, picking nuts, making cedar beads, going to a Navajo dance, and herding sheep. Grandmother’s skirts swayed back and forth when she wore them. The girl learned many things from her grandmother. Grandmother shared her knowledge, wisdom, and love when she wore her skirts. When the girl grows up she wears a skirt of many colors. This book is dedicated to all grandmothers who raised their grandchildren. Illustrations show Navajo life, culture and history. Story written in English and Navajo. There is a version of the book that contains a CD with the book text spoken in both languages.

Ziefert, Harriet (2011).  Grandma’s Wedding Album
Blue Apple (PS-2)     $1.99
ISBN 9781609050580
Emily and Michael are up in the attic and find grandma’s and Poppy’s wedding clothes. Grandma shows them her wedding album, tells them the story of how she met Poppy, and the story of her wedding. Illustrates family history. Wedding traditions of many different cultures are discussed at the end of the book. Non-stereotypic portrayal of the grandmother.

Zeifert, Harriet  (2009).   My Forever Dress
Blue Apple Books (PS-2)     $11.04
ISBN 9781934706459
A grandma makes the granddaughter a dress. The next year when the dress is outgrown the grandmother talks to the girl about saving the earth, and how they should use new material only if they have too. The girl decides she likes the shorter dress, grandma makes her a pair of leggings to go with it, and the dress is “recycled.” The next year grandma offers to make a new dress, but the granddaughter likes her old dress and wants to help the environment. Together they “recycle” the dress into a jumper and a new sweater knitted by grandma. The girl calls the dress her “forever dress.” When she does outgrow the dress she “recycles” it by giving it to her cousin to be her forever dress. Active grandmother who shares a good lesson about helping the environment.

Ziefert, Harriet (2005).  40 Uses for a Grandpa
Blue Apple Books (PS-1)     $59.38
ISBN 9781593540760
This book lists 40 reasons why grandpas are the greatest. All of the things listed are positive and enjoyed by the grandchildren. Grandpas are for playing, e-mailing, mediating, coaching, teaching, storytelling, and many more things. A nonstereotypic portrayal of active grandpas. Illustrates positive intergenerational relationships.

Ziefert, Harriet (2005). 41 Uses for a Grandma
Blue Apple Books (PS-1)     $10.66
ISBN 9781593540708
This book lists 41 reasons why grandma’s are the greatest. Grandmas are great keepers of secrets, personal shoppers, dance instructors, e-mail pals, movie companions, and many more things. A nonstereotypic portrayal of active grandmas. Illustrates positive intergenerational relationships.

Ziefert, Harriet (2004).  My Friend Grandpa
Blue Apple Books (PS-1)     $1.99
ISBN 9781593540630
In this story the author draws on memories of her vacations with her grandfather in the Catskill mountains. The story has a young girl, Emma, who goes to visit her grandpa in the country every summer. Emma loves the big tree on grandpa’s farm. She plays under it, climbs it, and swings from it. When a storm topples the tree Emma asks grandpa to find a way to save part of the tree. Grandpa went to work with his chain saw and turned the fallen tree into a tree house for Emma. Active, capable grandpa. Loving intergenerational relationship.

Zolotow, Charlotte (1992).  I Know A Lady
Harper Trophy  (PS-2)     $6.99
ISBN 9780688115197
Children should all know an older person like the one in this book. She works in a garden, takes walks with her dog, gives out candy apples at Halloween, bakes cookies, and waves to the children as they pass by her house. She is a woman who makes others feel special, and is someone people always remember. The book illustrates how old and young can enjoy each other, do for each other, and learn from each other.

Zolotow, Charlotte (1972/1985).  William's Doll
HarperCollins Children’s   (PS-3)     $6.99
ISBN 9780812441604/ISBN 9780064430678
William wanted a doll, but instead his father gave him a basketball and a train set. This did not make William want a doll any less. His grandmother gets him a doll so that when he grows up he will know how to be a good father. Grandmother shows sensitivity, wisdom, and understanding.

Zolotow, Charlotte & Lobel, Anita (2000).  This Quiet Lady
Harper Trophy  (PS-1)     $7.99
ISBN 9780688175276
This book portrays the author’s mother from infancy through adulthood. It provides an excellent starting point for a discussion of growing up and growing older, oral history and family history.