The most recommended grandmother books

Who picked these books? Meet our 52 experts.

52 authors created a book list connected to grandmothers, and here are their favorite grandmother books.
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Book cover of Soul Food Sunday

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

This is absolutely a new classic - an award-winning coming-of-age story about the Sunday a soul food cooking grandmother finally opens up her culinary secrets to the next generation. Winsome Bingham’s vivid language is perfectly matched with C.G. Esperanza’s electric illustrations. I also appreciate the tiny details like the uncle who watches the football game on an itty bitty TV. Brings me back (kids will never understand that pre-smartphone life!) And apparently, the mac n’ cheese recipe is on point, so don’t miss that.

By Winsome Bingham, C.G. Esperanza (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soul Food Sunday as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in this loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table

On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny's for Soul Food.
But today, I don't go to the backyard or the great room.
I follow Granny instead.
"You're a big boy now," Granny says. "Time for you to learn."

At Granny's, Sunday isn't Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the…


Book cover of The Last Dress from Paris

D.M. Pelletier Author Of Cold Dresses

From my list on exposing the dark side of fashion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the world of fashion for more than a decade. Back in 2012, a serious bike accident left me incapacitated for the best part of six months. By the time I recovered from my injuries, a chance encounter with a Russian dressmaker would change everything; I decided to learn how to sew. I sat in front of my sewing machine, made my own clothes, and expanded into making dresses for my friends. Since I’ve always enjoyed reading gritty mysteries, it was only natural for me to incorporate my art into my writing. Cold Dresses was born out of a passion for fashion and dark thrillers. 

D.M.'s book list on exposing the dark side of fashion

D.M. Pelletier Why did D.M. love this book?

It has a great plot and wonderful scenery and is definitely not as ‘twisted’ as the other four on the list. Saying that I had to mention it because the writing is so beautifully descriptive, and the mystery about the "eight dresses" got me hooked until the very end.

Set in 1950s Paris and London in 2017, the novel is as gorgeous as the exquisite dresses and an absolutely worthwhile read.

By Jade Beer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Dress from Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The secret is hidden within a collection of Dior dresses...

London, 2017. There’s no one Lucille adores more than her grandmother. So when her beloved Granny Sylvie asks for Lucille’s assistance with a small matter, she’s happy to help. The next thing she knows, Lucille is on a train to Paris, tasked with retrieving a priceless Dior dress. But not everything is as it seems, and what Lucille finds in a small Parisian apartment will have her scouring the city for answers to a question that could change her entire life.

Paris, 1952. Postwar France is full of glamour and…


Book cover of The Flamingo: A Graphic Novel Chapter Book

Lee Edward Födi Author Of Spell Sweeper

From Lee's 5-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Dad Educator Traveler Maker of dragon eggs

Lee's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Lee's 5-year-old's favorite books.

Lee Edward Födi Why did Lee's 5-year-old love this book?

This is a graphic novel that relies largely on visual storytelling with minimal text. It’s filled with gorgeous, sumptuous illustrations. Within the story, the main character enters a dream-like world—and so do we.

It follows the emotional journey of a character bonding with her Lao Lao during a visit overseas and then discovering a way to keep that relationship alive after returning to her home city.

Urban landscapes are contrasted with the pastoral beauty of her grandmother’s tranquil seaside realm, where soft greys and browns are punctuated by the vibrant pink of the titular flamingo.

It’s a beautiful tale that almost any age can connect with.

By Guojing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flamingo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A stunning graphic novel filled with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations about an imaginative girl and a bright pink feather that leads to a journey with a baby flamingo. A "perfect" (Shelf Awareness) chapter book from the highly acclaimed creator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, The Only Child.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Kirkus Reviews • School Library Journal • Shelf Awareness • Horn Book

A little girl arrives, excited for a beachy vacation with her Lao Lao. The girl and her grandmother search for shells, chase crabs, and…


Book cover of Coming on Home Soon

Laura Renauld Author Of Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers

From my list on emotions from a child’s perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was one of Mister Rogers’ television neighbors. During Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he empowered children to name their feelings and act on them appropriately. Every show ended with his signature affirmation that each viewer was special. As an elementary teacher, I learned about “emotional intelligence” and “social and emotional learning”, terms that emerged in the fields of psychology and education in the 1990s. Fred Rogers was ahead of his time. I hope my stories follow Mister Rogers’ example: affirming big feelings, building self-esteem, and emphasizing positive relationships.

Laura's book list on emotions from a child’s perspective

Laura Renauld Why did Laura love this book?

Woodson and Lewis weave a rich tapestry of lyrical text and lush watercolors to give readers a glimpse into the life of Ada Ruth, a girl growing up in the Midwest during World War II. Her mama has to leave home to find work. Ada Ruth and Grandma wait for word while caring for a stray kitten. This story overflows with longing, loneliness, empathy, worry, and, above all, love.

By Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coming on Home Soon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Ada Ruth's mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. It's war time, and women are needed to fill the men's jobs. As winter sets in, Ada Ruth and her grandma keep up their daily routine, missing Mama all the time. They find strength in each other, and a stray kitten even arrives one day to keep them company, but nothing can fill the hole Mama left. Every day they wait, watching for the letter that says Mama will be coming on home soon. Set during World War II, Coming On Home Soon has…


Book cover of Dance Like a Leaf

Nancy Bo Flood Author Of Walking Grandma Home

From my list on loss, grief, and healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Bo Flood earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and Child Development at the University of Minnesota and has authored a variety of award-winning booksWalking Grandma Home came from her own experience as a child, as a counselor, and as a daughter. She has lived and taught on the Pacific island of Saipan, where she worked with teachers and parents to create resources and programs for students with disabilities, and for the past twenty years, she has taught in the Navajo Nation. With Native educators, she co-founded an early-literacy nonprofit, Read at Home, which encourages parents to read regularly with their children.

Nancy's book list on loss, grief, and healing

Nancy Bo Flood Why did Nancy love this book?

In the delightful book, a granddaughter enjoys many fun activities with her grandmother, especially dancing like a leaf. Grandmother begins to change in many ways, especially physically and with her memory. And then “Grandmother’s bed is empty.” The child grieves but slowly feels comfort and even joy as she celebrates the many activities she had shared with her grandmother.

By AJ Irving, Claudia Navarro (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dance Like a Leaf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to lovingly take the lead in their cosy shared autumn traditions. Poetic prose paired with evocative illustrations by Mexican illustrator Claudia Navarro make for a beautiful celebration of life and a gentle introduction to the death of a loved one.


Book cover of How to Babysit a Grandma

Lynda Pilon Author Of The Sleepover

From my list on funny stories about grandchildren and grandparents.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved being around children, first as a primary school teacher, then as a parent and now as a grandma. The love, laughter, humour, and fun that I share with my grandkids keep me young in mind, body, and soul. My story is about the wonderful adventures we have. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the world through the eyes of a child and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Lynda's book list on funny stories about grandchildren and grandparents

Lynda Pilon Why did Lynda love this book?

Jean Regan has written a beautiful, funny, heartwarming story about the love and fun that is shared between the different generations, a grandmother and a granddaughter. I love the way she has reversed the roles of her main characters. This approach will appeal to little ones who will definitely want to babysit their grandma while still enjoying all the wonderful activities that a visit to Grandma’s house entails. The illustrations are cute, detailed, and add to the storyline. This is a great little book for parents to read to their children before they visit and a good source of activity ideas for grandmas to have for their little guests once they arrive.

By Jean Reagan, Lee Wildish (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Babysit a Grandma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Celebrate the special bond between grandmas and grandkids with this delightful New York Times bestseller that puts the kids in charge of babysitting...if just for one day. The perfect gift for Mother's Day, Grandparent's Day, and any day shared with Grandma!

When you babysit a grandma, if you're lucky, you'll have a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you're guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and…


Book cover of The Raft

Lisa Papp Author Of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

From my list on celebrating what animals can teach us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Animals have always been some of my very best friends. I believe in guardian angels, and I believe animals come to us when we need them most. As children, animals help us to believe in ourselves, they soothe the hurts that come from being misunderstood. When we forget, animals carry a knowing beyond words, with every purr, and chirp, and bark, and nuzzle, they remind us that we are loved. I hope you enjoy these books that celebrate the love of animals and the many ways they help us heal.

Lisa's book list on celebrating what animals can teach us

Lisa Papp Why did Lisa love this book?

A perfect book to celebrate summer and the magic of nature. Nicky is not eager to vacation at his grandmother’s country home. But nature and the animals have a different plan. And when the two find each other among the banks of a peaceful river, a delightful friendship unfolds. I love this book for its beauty, sense of peace, and quiet adventure. Surrounded by the splendor of nature is a call to come home, to quiet our minds and to see the world as animals do. With the animals to inspire him, Nicky not only discovers a talent for art but a reverence for the world around him.    

By Jim LaMarche,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This gorgeous picture book celebrates the wonders of summer adventures, imagination, and the natural world.

Nicky is convinced that his summer with his grandmother in the Wisconsin woods is going to be the worst summer ever. She cooks food that he doesn’t like, there’s an art studio where her living room should be, and he’s expected to do chores—including fishing, the most boring chore ever.

But one afternoon, while Nicky is trying to catch their dinner, a raft drifts down the river towards him. The raft has a calming magic about it, affecting both Nicky and the wildlife of the…


Book cover of The Patchwork Quilt

Valériane Leblond Author Of The Quilt

From my list on children’s books about quilts.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a teenager, my mother sewed me a quilt, but when I moved to Wales and discovered Welsh antic quilts, my interest became a passion. These bold red and black flannel patchworks with intricate quilting seem contemporary but date back to the 19th century. I have been painting them and have learned a lot about their history and how they have provided income and artistic expression for women over the years. It’s a pleasure to see that this passion is shared by so many people worldwide, and I’m fascinated by all the stories these beautiful objects hold.

Valériane's book list on children’s books about quilts

Valériane Leblond Why did Valériane love this book?

This book is a real joy to read, with a particular story of a particular family but a universal feel to it. It could be my story or yours. The illustrations have the charm of the eighties, but the story doesn’t feel dated, and it is really inspirational to get quilting or think about which pieces of fabric I would use to tell my family’s story.

By Valerie Flournoy, Jerry Pinkney (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Patchwork Quilt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Twenty years ago Valerie Flournoy and Jerry Pinkney created a warmhearted intergenerational story that became an award-winning perennial. Since then children from all sorts of family situations and configurations continue to be drawn to its portrait of those bonds that create the fabric of family life.


Book cover of Amah Faraway

Robyn McGrath Author Of There's Always Room for One More

From my list on helping children connect with their grandparents.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and child therapist, I believe in the importance of connecting with our families. Sometimes that means making sacrifices for our loved ones who need our support. When my parents moved to be near our family, we learned how to adapt to their changing needs. Like the books I choose, sometimes a grandparent moves in with you, sometimes you navigate them being grumpy, or other times you just listen to their wishes. But mostly, it’s just being there in the moment with a grandparent that opens our eyes, and heart, to something larger than ourselves.

Robyn's book list on helping children connect with their grandparents

Robyn McGrath Why did Robyn love this book?

Amah Faraway shows us how families can connect across distances and cultures.

Kylie is unsure about visiting her Amah in person, as well as all the differences that may arise between them. If you have an anxious kiddo, you’ll relate to all the uncertainty Kylie feels. But we soon see that Kylie embraces what makes them different and isn’t ready to leave Amah just yet.

A perfect picture book for discussing how to navigate cultural differences within the family.

By Margaret Chiu Greanias, Tracy Subisak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amah Faraway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A delightful story of a child's visit to a grandmother and home far away, and of how families connect and love across distance, language, and cultures.

Kylie is nervous about visiting her grandmother-her Amah-who lives SO FAR AWAY.
When she and Mama finally go to Taipei, Kylie is shy with Amah. Even though they have spent time together in video chats, those aren't the same as real life. And in Taiwan, Kylie is at first uncomfortable with the less-familiar language, customs, culture, and food. However, after she is invited by Amah-Lái kàn kàn! Come see!-to play and splash in the…


Book cover of When You Trap a Tiger

Christina Matula Author Of The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

From my list on featuring Asian-American/Canadian kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Ottawa, Canada, a child of immigrant parents, and I’ve always been curious about other cultures and far-off places. Moving to Hong Kong gave me the chance to explore my Chinese cultural roots and learn the language. I spent 14 very happy years in Hong Kong and my experiences there were the inspiration for my middle-grade debut, The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei. Like the character Holly-Mei, I love dumplings, bubble tea, and field hockey. The books I chose are ones that reflect my experience of being born and raised in a new world.

Christina's book list on featuring Asian-American/Canadian kids

Christina Matula Why did Christina love this book?

This was a touching book about a mixed Korean girl who tries to help her sick grandmother, Halmoni, get better through the power of stories. With a bit of magical realism and Korean folklore brought to life, Lily finds her own voice (so she is no longer what she describes as a “QAG – quiet Asian girl”) and begins to understand her own ancestry. Like Lily, I found a connection to my heritage via stories and folklore.

By Tae Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When You Trap a Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
 
Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

Some stories refuse to stay bottled up...

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now…