The best picture books which celebrate the love between a parent / grandparent and child

Who am I?

As we grow up, the special relationships with family, friends, and caregivers are what give us our sense of place in the world, make us feel loved, teach us the important things in life, and give us the courage to face each step from childhood to adulthood and beyond. Therefore I love books that celebrate these very special people in our lives.


I wrote...

Tiny Blue, I Love You

By Jo Empson,

Book cover of Tiny Blue, I Love You

What is my book about?

This is the story about a curious Little Blue Penguin. His questions about the natural world around him and all its wonders and the unquestionable love between Tiny Blue and his Papa.

Tiny Blue thinks his Papa is very wise and so must know the answers to everything! Perfectly capturing the curious nature of toddlers, Tiny Blue, I Love You is a beautiful exploration of nature and a heart-warming tale of the love between parent and child.

The books I picked & why

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Grandpa Green

By Lane Smith,

Book cover of Grandpa Green

Why this book?

This is one of my all-time favourite books. I’m a big fan of Lane Smith, I love his books and his illustrations are gorgeous – he has a wonderful ability to tweak his style to fit the specific book and storyline perfectly. Visually an intriguing delight, and a deeply touching narrative about shared time, memories, and love between Grandpa and Grandchild.

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a boy who lived on a farm and a child who had chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband, and, most of all, an artist.

Grandpa Green

By Lane Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grandpa Green as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a boy who lived on a farm and a child who had chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband and, most of all, an artist.

Follow his grandson through a garden where memories are handed down through the shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. Grandpa Green opens the door to a garden of wonder which parents and grandparents will be able to share with children for generations to come. An ode to the joys of a full life well lived as well as exploring some of the sorrow life…


Guess How Much I Love You

By Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram (illustrator),

Book cover of Guess How Much I Love You

Why this book?

This is an absolute classic and has stood the test of time. I still get tears in my eyes after reading this book today, the same as I did reading it over 25 years ago (when it was first published) to my then small daughter. We still refer back to it today. The beautiful soft and delicate watercolour illustrations by Anita Jerum are the perfect match for the text which pulls at your heartstrings every time.

This gorgeous picture book has become a modern classic. The story of Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare trying to express how much they love each other is one that has captivated adults and children the world over. 

Guess How Much I Love You

By Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Guess How Much I Love You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


What We'll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

By Oliver Jeffers,

Book cover of What We'll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

Why this book?

Richly illustrated, this tender book depicts a conversation between a father and daughter; the promises he makes to her, the worries and reassurances, and the hopes and dreams. Oliver Jeffers books are always wonderfully unique and beautifully lyrical.

A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work; building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe, and love to keep them warm. A heartfelt poignant story.

What shall we build, you and I? 

I’ll build your future and you’ll build mine. 

We’ll build a watch to keep our time. 

What We'll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

By Oliver Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What We'll Build as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant New York Times bestseller!

From Oliver Jeffers, world-renowned picture book creator and illustrator of The Crayons' Christmas, comes a gorgeously told father-daughter story and companion to the #1 New York Times bestseller Here We Are!

What shall we build, you and I?
Let's gather all our tools for a start.
For putting together . . .
and taking apart.

A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work, building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe, and love to keep them warm.

A…

Last Stop on Market Street

By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Book cover of Last Stop on Market Street

Why this book?

CJ begins his weekly bus journey around the city with disappointment and dissatisfaction, wondering why he and his family can't drive a car like his friends. Through energy and encouragement, CJ's nana helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine.

This is a stunning book about a Nana who creatively teaches her grandson to look deeper than face value – to see the beauty in every element of the world around them. It’s a rich story of humility and gratitude. Beautifully illustrated by Christian Robinson with bold, graphic shapes in a lovely retro style.  

This beautifully illustrated, emotive picture book explores urban life with honesty, interest, and gratitude. Last Stop on Market Street has won multiple awards and spent time at the number one spot on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Last Stop on Market Street

By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Last Stop on Market Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine and in the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the love and understanding between grandparent and grandchild as the world comes…

Hello, Mum

By Polly Dunbar,

Book cover of Hello, Mum

Why this book?

Hello, Mum is a visual diary of the magical highs and absurd lows that many parents will recognise – from the shock and awe of the baby days to the delight (and terror) of the toddler years and the mayhem of sibling rivalry. Dunbar's fantastically funny, wise, and enchanting drawings capture this precious and fleeting time with heart-touching perfection.

I follow Polly Dunbar on Instagram and loved seeing her daily sketches, depicting the honest highs and lows of Motherhood in the form of beautiful loose pen drawings and handwritten text. So I was thrilled when this visual diary became a book. It is honest, funny, touching, and tender and a beautiful gift for a new mum.

Hello, Mum

By Polly Dunbar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hello, Mum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Tender, funny, sometimes heartbreaking snapshots of motherhood.' - Shappi Khorsandi

Fantastically funny, wise and charming motherhood sketches from award-winning illustrator Polly Dunbar.

'Go away, I'm busy writing about the beauty of motherhood.'

Polly Dunbar is an award-winning illustrator who usually draws for children rather than adults, but when she had her own sons, she started recording the beautiful and maddening moments of parenthood with a doodle.

Hello, Mum is her visual diary of the magical highs and absurd lows that many parents will recognise - from the shock and awe of the baby days to the delight (and terror) of…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in gardens, bedtime, and imagination?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about gardens, bedtime, and imagination.

Gardens Explore 29 books about gardens
Bedtime Explore 27 books about bedtime
Imagination Explore 75 books about imagination

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Day You Begin, A Mother for Choco, and I Like You if you like this list.