Tag Archives: the frank show

17 picture books featuring grandparents





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-meInfinity 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-otherNow 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-journeyGrandfather’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-lambyGrammy 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-picture-bookAbuelo 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-abuelitaMy 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-mattersMaia 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-cityNana 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.

hello-goodbye-windowThe 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-treeThe 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-greenGrandpa 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! 

the frank show + old stuff is new

FRANKjkt_SS_100The Frank Show
 by David Mackintosh (2012).


I love this book. I love it for its retro and architectural illustrations, its humor, and good old Grandpa Frank who is so persnickety and old-fashioned and endearing.


I read it aloud to my husband, who laughed the whole way through it.


Basically, this kid needs to do a show and tell presentation in which he talks about a family member to his class for a full minute.

dm_frank_06Talking about Grandpa Frank for a full minute seems an impossible task because he’s always saying stuff like, “They don’t make ’em like that anymore.” Everyone else in class has a cool relative to talk about, but this kid’s just got Grandpa Frank whose arm hurts when it’s about to rain. Ugh.


“He doesn’t like noise,

or today’s music,

or gadgets and gizmos (or new things),

or haircuts, or weather, or doctors,

or any sort of ice cream that isn’t vanilla.

And today I have to talk about him for a

full minute.”

dm_frank_05   dm_frank_07   dm_frank_09   dm_frank_08   dm_frank_10 But wouldn’t you know it? At the very last minute, Granda Frank surprises the kid. And the class. And it turns out he’s pretty cool.


This book is smart and wry and hilarious and I just dare you not to enjoy it immensely for even ONE FULL MINUTE


Thanks to David Mackintosh for the images!




Lots of stuff Grandpa Frank likes is cool again. In fact, his taste is de rigueur. So I give you stuff sold at Urban Outfitters that Grandpa Frank would probably dig. (Urban didn’t pay me to do this either lest you think it’s an ad.)

mustache-wax Mustache Wax. Because mustache. (There’s pomade for hair too.)

portable-record-player Portable record player. Because records.

brasscombBrass comb. For shirt pockets. (There’s still room for pens.)

suspenders Suspenders. Pants-holding up purposes.

fedora Fedora. Obvs.

croppedpant Cropped pants a la Albert Einstein. (I think I must get these for my dude.)

tees Finally, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Grandpa Frank would like these t-shirts. I mean shuttle lift-off and National Geographic? Right up his alley.


Hope you check outThe Frank Show if you haven’t already! It would make a great dad/grandad gift (as would everything in this post—bonus).