Countless illustrated children’s books sing the praises of moms and dads, but grandmas and grandpas have carved out a niche of their own. Such tales of grandparents’ love have long warmed readers’ hearts, and here are a few titles that Kirkus Indie recommends:
My Monster Truck Goes Everywhere With Me (2020) by Kathleen Marcath, with illustrations by Isaac Liang and Pardeep Mehra, is a “bracing and illuminating bilingual tale,” according to our starred review. It features a boy who uses American Sign Language and loves his purple toy monster truck. He also loves going to Grandma’s house, as she has lots of other cool monster trucks to play with; she jokes with him in sign language and shows keen interest when he pretends to repair his toy. When he briefly loses his truck, it’s Grandma, of course, who saves the day.
In Geoffrey B. Haddad’s Bonga Bonga and Grandpa (2019), a narrator tells of how her grandfather kept colorful fish when he was a young boy in Jamaica; as an adult in Canada, he built a big goldfish pond, complete with ducks and other animals, which the young narrator, nicknamed Bonga Bonga, loved. One day, all the fish were gone, and Grandpa explained the reason why to his sad granddaughter. Kirkus’ reviewer notes the book’s “warm memories of Bonga Bonga’s spending time with Grandpa: feeding fish and birds, playing, and commiserating.”
If Grandma Were Here (2020) by Amber L. Bradbury, illustrated by Jessica Corbett, gently encourages young readers to cherish touching memories of caring grandmothers who may no longer be with them. “If Grandma were here,” reads one page, “she would take you to dance lessons. She’d watch through the window as you do your best moves.” Our reviewer calls it a “charming and thoughtful tribute to beloved grandmothers.”
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.