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The best books for grandparents to read to their grandchildren

26th September 2018


Often, time spent with grandchildren is the best time in the world. Cooking meals together, time in the garden, whizzing up and down the stairs on your modern stairlift come indoor rollercoaster and more. The magical moments made, and the connections formed can last a long time and every second spent together can make that bond even strong. Whether just before bed or in the middle of the day, a story can open a little one’s eyes to a whole new part of the world. From Charlie finding his golden ticket and walking into the Chocolate Factory for the first time to Charlotte writing messages in her web these stories are well known by children and adults alike.

With new books being written and illustrated every day, there is an almost never-ending supply of books perfect for storytime. This article details some of the best books for grandparents to read to their grandchildren.

Gangsta Granny

Written by: David Walliams

Illustrated by: Tony Ross


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Gangsta Granny is one of the most popular children’s books of modern times and for good reason, it’s a hilarious and ingenuitive story. This book, written by Britain’s Got Talent’s David Walliams, is about a boy called Ben and his Granny. One day when Ben is at his Gran’s house he rummages for food and finds a tin filled with all kinds of jewels, it was then he found out his little old Granny was an international jewel thief. This is a fantastic read to set anyone’s grandchildren’s imaginations on fire!

Hunting the White Cow

Written by: Tres Seymour

Illustrated by: Wendy Anderson Halperin

Hunting the White Cow, a book by Tres Seymour and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin, talks about one farm families experience with a walkabout white cow. This is a book that even grandparents will want to read again once it’s over thanks to its subtle details and touching sentiment. 

This book was suggested by Teresa, a blogger at Nanahood and author. Teresa blogs about ‘the second half of the motherhood journey’ and her life experiences. Hunting the White Cow means so much to her because: “The story is about a farm family whose cow is always getting out. As a child, I grew up on a farm and my father and grandfathers had cattle. I could really relate to it and so I loved reading it to my grandchildren. They don’t live on farms, but they love animals and being read to, so this story connected us (and the generations). I also love the book because the author is from my home state of Kentucky.”

There’s a monster in your book

Written by: Tom Fletcher

Illustrated by: Greg Abbot


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There’s a Monster in Your Book is a fantastic way to teach children a bit more about actions, as well as have an entertaining read. There’s a Monster in Your Book is incredibly interactive and asks its reader to complete a series of actions to try and get the monster out of the book. Written by Tom Fletcher, former lead singer of the band McFly, it’s a well-loved book with a simple idea that makes it a delight for grandparents and grandchildren alike.

The Hello, Goodbye Window

Written by: Norton Juster

Illustrated by: Chris Raschka


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The Hello, Goodbye Window is a perfect book to share with children who spend a lot of time with their grandparents. Written by Norton Juster from the perspective of a little girl whose grandparents babysit her, it describes the love between them in a very powerful way. As well as the beautiful and touching story it presents, the illustrations in this book are world-class and help bring the tale to life in a beautiful way. 

Tabby McTat

Written by: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by: Alex Scheffler

Tabby McTat is a story about Fred the busker and his cat, Tabby McTat. They love to sing together but when Fred must chase a thief down they get separated, and the story looks at whether they will ever find one another again. It’s a fantastic story of love, courage and right and wrong. Plus, the illustrations really do bring the tale to life.

Josephine, a blogger at Chic At Any Age, loves Julia Donaldson for reading to her grandchildren. “I have three grandsons aged 8, 5 and 3. They have all loved the books by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. It is difficult to choose between The Gruffalo, The Scarecrows Wedding the Tabby McTat. I think probably Tabby McTat is my favourite. I have read it to all three and continue to read it to the 3-year-old. I love the illustrations and the story is lovely with a happy ending. Who doesn't love cute kittens?

Grandpa Christmas

Written by: Michel Morpurgo

Illustrated by: Jim Field


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Although it’s not out yet, Grandpa Christmas will surely be a 2018 hit upon its release in October. Best-selling author Michael Morpurgo has joined with illustrator Jim Field to create this stunning and powerful book. In it, it describes the relationship between Mia and her Grandpa. Every Christmas, Grandpa writes Mia a letter about all the times they have fondly spent. He also uses this letter to teach Mia about her responsibility when it comes to protecting our precious planet. As well as showcasing a beautiful and touching relationship, this book also carries a fantastic message about protecting our environment and our world.

Perfectly Norman

Written and illustrated by: Tom Percival


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Perfectly Norman, a book both written and illustrated by Tom Percival, explores what it can feel like to be different, and how to cope with those feelings. This is a great book to help children start to understand anxieties, and how to talk about them. This beautiful message is brought to life with striking illustrations. And, if you already have Perfectly Norman in your library, try Percival’s follow up: Ruby’s Worry. 

How to Babysit a Grandpa

Written by: Jean Reagan

Illustrated by: Lee Wildish


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How to Babysit a Grandpa does exactly what it says on the tin, teaches young ones about looking after their grandparents. From fantastic tips like what to do on walks and how to play with grandpas, this book is a great way to not only have a brilliant reading experience but inspire ideas for future moments. You can also check out Jean Reagan’s and Lee Wildish’s ‘How to Babysit a Grandma’ to get the low down on both grandparents.

Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes

Written by: Clyde Watson

Illustrated by: Wendy Watson

Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes is a fantastic book filled with unusual and often eccentric short rhymes, perfect for making both grandparents and grandchildren laugh out loud. The beautifully illustrated book was written and illustrated by two sisters, and so it has a family on every page.

Diana, known online as The Nana Diana, holds this book as her favourite: “I do have a favourite book to read to my grandkids. It is a very old one-one that I read to my own children. It is Father Fox's Pennyrhymes by Clyde & Wendy Watson. My youngest son memorized the words to every single rhyme. He is now in his 30s and still quotes some of the things-

“There was a chap,

His name was Bert.

He ate the buttons

off his shirt!  

“Just a darling book-almost cartoonish.”

With these books, anyone is bound to make a fantastic library of stories ready to be shared between grandparent and grandchild. 

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.