Here are some of my favorite picture books that feature Nana or Grandad and the special relationship kids can have with them.
Last Stop on Market Street, words by Matt De La Peña, pictures by Christian Robinson. I love the lines next to CJ’s grandmother’s mouth that, in Robinson’s signature style, are all we need to know she’s Nana. And that last stop is so worth it! This book explores many things, including seeing unexpected beauty and the power of generosity.
Infinity and Me written by Kate Gosford, illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. Uma ponders her red shoes and the concept of infinity, and it’s her grandma’s love that helps it all make sense.
Joone by Emily Kate Moon. A portrait of a spunky girl who happens to live with her grandfather makes for a sweet read.
Now One Foot, Now the Other by Tomie dePaola. This one is sure to make you cry and highlights the way childhood mirrors growing old. So tender.
Grandama’s Gloves by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Julia Denos. Another touching picture book about grandparents! This one deals with the loss of a grandmother, but the theme is how she’ll always be present in memory, in growing things.
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say. This is one of my all time favorite books. A grandson telling the story of his grandfather torn between two places.
Zayde Comes to Live by Sheri Sinykin, illustrated by Kristina Swarner. This is another book dealing with loss. A girl’s grandfather comes to live with her family in his final days. It’s very explicit about death and questions of an afterlife and comes to beautiful conclusions about life.
Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. This picture book is about a grandson who comes around to his grandmother (lamb-mother). It’s funny and teary and true.
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raúl Colōn. This one shows how instrumental a grandparent can be, how much he has to teach, how wide his reach.
A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubinno. This is basically a sweet, fun guidebook to the city, with Grandpa leading the way.
My Abuelita by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales. A grandson admires and wants to emulate his Abuelita and her vocation as storyteller.
Maia and What Matters by Tine Mortier and Kaatje Vermeire. Not only does this book look gorgeous, it tells a gorgeous story of a bond between Maia and her grandmother, before and after her grandma’s health begins to fail.
The Frank Show by David Mackintosh. A lighter look at the subject of grandparents and, again, a grandson who needs some time to come around to how cool retro Grandpa Frank truly is. (But we as readers know right away.)
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo. This grandma is super cool. I mean, look at her. Plus, she teaches her grandson how to be brave.
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka. Here we have a pair! Nana and Poppy are always looking through that window, which is so reassuring and sweet.
The Grandad Tree by Trish Cookie, illustrated by Sharon Wilson. Another book that explores how we remember grandparents, this time through an apple tree that serves as symbol.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. A book about the Edward Scissorhands of (great) grandparents. And it gives a child a glimpse into the enigmatic, unknown life of older family members.
Did I miss any other great (or grand) ones? Do share!