Picture Book Highlights | Grandparents Day

Here in the United States, Grandparents Day is celebrated one week after Labor Day.

And what a lovely day it is! Grandparents are caregivers, teachers, comrades in play, and a time machine to the past. They can offer time, attention, and be a source of unbound love to the generations that follow them. This year on September 11, find a book to read with your grandparent(s). Just like last year, there’s lots to choose from!

A Grand Day by Jean Reidy; Illustrated by Samantha Cotterill

Whether planting a garden, having a picnic, or baking, any day spent together is sure to be grand. Follow all kinds of family configurations as grandparents and grandchildren celebrate togetherness: baking, exploring, gardening, and all of life’s joyful moments. This rhyming, warmhearted picture book captures the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren in every kind of family!

Ebook available from Overdrive

Dinner on Domingos by Alexandra Katona; illustrated by Claudia Navarro

Warm memories wash over a first-generation Latinx American girl as she experiences a typical Sunday night dinner at her Abuelita’s house. As Alejandra thinks about all the good times her family has had there, she decides that she wants to be brave and try speaking Spanish with Abuelita so that they can deepen their bond.

My Hands Tell a Story by Kelly Starling Lyons; illustrated by Tonya Engel

A little girl, baking bread with her grandmother, becomes transported by the tales her grandmother’s hands tell-those that spring from the rose-painted nails, a flower-banded wedding ring, and the way her fingers move and glide. These hands have many stories to tell. But only if you listen.

Berry Song by Michaela Goade

On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all.

Klezmer! by Kyra Teis

When Eastern European Jewish immigrants bring their klezmer music with them to America, it takes on a rockin’ new vibe, adding elements of Jazz borrowed from its new country. A child makes a music-filled visit to her grandparents’ apartment on the Lower East Side. Along the way, she dances to klezmer music, connecting its Old Country beginnings to its new rockin’ vibe.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Sitti’s Olive Trees by Ndaa Hassam; Illustrated by Soumbal Qureshi

Sitti shares the beautiful tales of her ancestors planting and caring for their precious olive trees in Palestine with Reema, her granddaughter who lives in the west, and the unique culture and hard work that goes into olive picking season. This heart-warming tale is a celebration of culture, family, and storytelling.

The Star Festival by Moni Ritchie Hadley; illustrated by Mizuho Fosisawa

Tanabata Matsuri, the Star Festival, celebrates a popular folktale: The Emperor of the Heavens separates his daughter, Orihime, from her love, Hikoboshi, all year—but on this day the two stars finally reunite on a bridge across the Milky Way. For Keiko, her mama, and her grandmother, Tanabata is about making tanzaku wishes, taking in the colorful decorations, and eating delicious food like nagashi somen and shaved ice. But when Obasaan gets lost in the crowd, Keiko and Mama must make their own bridge to find her again—and see if their tanzaku comes true.

Ebook available from Overdrive

I’ll Go and Come Back by Rajani LaRocca; Illustrated by Sara Palacios

When Jyoti visits her grandmother halfway around the world, she is overwhelmed by the differences between India and home. At first she feels lonely and out of place, but soon, despite a language barrier, she and Sita Pati are able to understand each other. They form a bond—looking at books together, making designs with colored sand, shopping at the market, playing games, eating chapatis, and sipping warm milk with saffron to bring sweet dreams. When it’s time to part, Jyoti doesn’t want to leave, but then she remembers that in Tamil, people don’t say goodbye, they say “I’ll go and come back.” Sure enough, the two reunite the next summer when Pati visits Jyoti in America, and it’s Jyoti’s turn to make her grandmother feel welcome. Can they create some special memories that will last until the next time they see each other?

Tofu Takes Time by Helen H. Wu; Illustrated by Julie Jarema

CLICK CLACK WHIRRRR . . . Lin and her grandma, NaiNai, are making tofu from scratch! When NaiNai goes through each step, from blending soybeans with water to molding curd into shape, Lin gradually becomes impatient. But she soon discovers that making tofu not only takes time, but also takes the whole universe! It takes the seed from soil and sunshine, the cloth from thread and fiber, weight and space, books of words and pictures. And most of all, it takes lovely spending time with her beloved grandmother.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Joy Ride by Sherri Duskey Rinker; Illustrated by Ana Ramirez

Needing something to fill up her summer days, Joy seeks out her granddad, who also likes to tinker, for something to do. Together they find the perfect project: sprucing up an old bike for Joy. From hardware stores to garage sales, the two find everything they need to transform this bike, little by little, into something that’s truly one of a kind. Ornamented with sparkles, a basket, and a brand-new bell, the bike is finally ready for Joy to ride it all over the neighborhood, filling the air with her own kind of music that exudes JOY. But when a few kids take notice of Joy’s bike, and not in a good way, Joy makes an impulsive decision that ruins the dazzling bike she and Granddad worked so hard on. Joy realizes quickly, however, that trying to fit in can be boring, and it doesn’t make her feel JOY. Just maybe, with a heartfelt apology and Granddad’s help, she can get back on track to being true to herself.

The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury; Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu

Asiya loves to visit Nanu’s house where she can rummage through Nanu’s katha chest filled with quilts. There are stories in each of the quilts that her Nanu has collected through the years, all about the bold and brave women in Asiya’s family. Among all of the games and exciting things at Nanu’s house, Asiya thinks these hidden histories are the grandest treasure.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Grandpa & Jake by Julie Fortenberry

"Let’s turn the TV off," says Grandpa to Jake. "There’s some place I’d like to show you… a place my Grandpa took me when I was your age." As the two of them walk through the busy town, Grandpa shares the favorite places he and his own grandpa went together. . . and Little Jake keeps guessing where they are going. The movies? The baseball park? The beach? "not this time," says Grandpa, and has Jake close his eyes before going into . . . the library!

Ebook available from Overdrive

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added!

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