Jayne’s Grandpa Reading List
Kiyoshi’s Walk by Mark Karlins
Where do poems come from? This beautiful picture book about a young aspiring poet and his grandfather shows that the answer lies all around us—if we take the time to look. After Kiyoshi watches his grandfather, Eto, compose his delicate haiku, he wonders out loud: “Where do poems come from?” His grandfather answers by taking him on a walk through their city, where they see a cat perched on a hill of oranges; hear the fluttering of wings; imagine what’s behind a tall wall; and discuss their walk, with each incident inspiring a wonderful new haiku from Eto. As Kiyoshi discovers that poems come from the way the world outside of us meets the world within each of us, he also finds the courage to write a haiku of his own. This lovely book will speak to any reader who treasures poetry, city life, grandparents, or the beauty of the everyday.
A grandson and his grandfather take a scenic walk through a large and multicultural city. As they progress, Kiyoshi’s grandfather writes haiku poems about what he sees and hears, opening his grandson’s eyes and inspiring Kiyoshi to try his hand at composing one. This is a quiet, gentle book with lovely illustrations (with lots of cats!). B
Grandpa Across the Ocean by Hyewon Yum
Though separated by language, age, and an ocean, a child and grandparent find common ground in this warm, witty picture book
Grandpa lives on the other side of the ocean.
He takes naps all the time. He eats different foods. He speaks an unfamiliar language. His house is the most boring place on Earth!
Or is it? A little time together just might reveal that Grandpa is also a great singer, an energetic sandcastle builder, and a troublemaker . . . just like his grandson!
With her signature warmth and humor, award-winning author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shares the challenges and joys of having a relative who lives far away—proving that even from across the ocean, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is a very special one.
A grandson thinks he’s nothing like his grandfather. Grandpa is boring and eats strange food and doesn’t speak the same language. But it doesn’t take long before his grandson realizes that grandpa is a lot like him – smart, funny, and mischievous. Sweet watercolor pictures accompany the text. B
How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
Here’s everything a kid needs to know to spend a fun-filled day with grandpa! Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for “babysitting” a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play).
From the author-illustrator team behind the New York Times bestselling HOW TO… books comes a funny and heartwarming celebration of grandpas and all that they do! This is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!
Right, so if your grandfather is coming over, here’s everything you need to know in order to babysit him. The illustrations go hand in hand with the tongue-in-cheek directions. I have a feeling that grandpa might not need quite as much instructions as his grandson is giving him but grandpa would never let on. B
My Day with Gong Gong by Sennah Yee
A day in Chinatown takes an unexpected turn when a bored little girl makes a connection with her grandpa.
May isn’t having fun on her trip through Chinatown with her grandfather. Gong Gong doesn’t speak much English, and May can’t understand Chinese. She’s hungry, and bored with Gong Gong’s errands. Plus, it seems like Gong Gong’s friends are making fun of her! But just when May can’t take any more, Gong Gong surprises her with a gift that reveals he’s been paying more attention than she thought.
With lighthearted, expressive illustrations by Elaine Chen, this charming debut expertly captures life in the cityand shows how small, shared moments of patience and care—and a dumpling or two—can help a child and grandparent bridge the generational and cultural gaps between them.
A glossary at the end of the book features translations of the Chinese words from the story into Chinese characters and English.
May is spending the day with her Gong Gong. May isn’t happy and thinks her grandfather isn’t listening to her. But he is paying a lot more attention to her than she realizes. This one is adorable and seems like a great book to read aloud. The illustrations are cute and perfectly depict the transition of a bored little girl into a happy one with her beloved grandfather. B+
These all sound charming, Jayne! (At first I thought you were going to share your grandfather’s reading and thought you must have a long-lived family….)
@Kareni: Oh, I wish but no. If either were alive they’d be well over 100 years old.
These books are so cute!
That was a very pleasant break from everything. The illustrations are lovely. Thank you.
I got misty-eyed reading about Grandpa Across the Ocean and My Day with Gong Gong. While my beloved grandpa and I lived in the same country until I was eleven, after we (my immediate family) moved across the ocean it got hard to keep in touch. Zoom and email weren’t available in those days; international phone calls were expensive and our means were limited so we could only talk for five minutes on the rare occasions when we talked at all. So every time we visited or he did—not very often—we rediscovered each other in all our wonderful differences and commonalities. Now that he’s gone I miss him so much.
I suspect reading these books would bring many tears to my eyes.