Grandpa's Stories

Whether they call them Grandpa, Pop Pop, or Abuelito, kids love their grandfathers. By whatever name, granddads are special to children, always ready with a hug. They often provide a link to a family's cultural heritage and native language, and they have lots of great stories to tell! These books about grandfathers from around the world celebrate all that they have to offer — and what their grandchildren offer them in return.

For more suggestions, take a look at the following:

Chachaji's Cup

Illustrated by: Soumya Sitaraman
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Neel loves listening to Chachaji's stories over steaming cups of tea. Chachaji's tales of great Hindu gods and demons, and of his adventures in the Indian Army, leave Neel openmouthed. But it is the tale of his great-uncle's favorite teacup that teaches Neel the most, for Chachaji's cup holds far more than sweet, spicy masala chai. It holds the story of a family and a country split in two during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. When the precious cup and Chachaji's health both prove to be more fragile than they look, Neel knows what he must do.

Grandfather Counts

Illustrated by: Ange Zhang
Age Level: 6-9

Helen has trouble communicating with her grandfather who has just moved to the United States from China. She speaks no Chinese, Gong Gong speaks no English. Nonetheless, they begin to learn from the other as they watch and count trains together.

Grandfather's Journey

By: Allen Say
Age Level: 6-9

A young man travels from his native Japan to the vast country called America before returning to visit his home with his bride. The exquisite watercolors give the appearance of a family photo album as it relates this autobiographical but universal story of immigration.
Country of origin: Japan

Grandfather's Story Cloth

Illustrated by: Stuart Loughridge
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Chersheng's grandfather is beginning to forget things: little things like turning off the water faucet and big things like Chersheng's name. Then Chersheng's mother presents him with a story cloth stitched by Grandfather himself, embroidered in the Hmong tradition, and Grandfather's memories of his life in Laos come alive.

In America

Age Level: 6-9

Many years ago, Walter's grandfather left Lithuania and his brother Herschel to come to America. It was a difficult decision, he explains to Walter, but one that he felt he had to make as a Jew. Walter's questions allow his grandfather to share the story of that decision and his journey — as well as the wonderful ways he and Herschel keep in touch after so many years. Snapshots painted in watercolor lend a feeling of looking a family album, bridging the traditions of the old country with opportunities of the new. Out of print but used or library copies may be available.

Indian Shoes

Age Level: 6-9

Ray is a Seminole-Cherokee who lives with his grandfather in contemporary Chicago. In each of six short stories, Ray meets universally recognizable challenges while remaining cognizant of his Indian heritage. Short stories are told with humor and compassion.

Kunu's Basket: A Story from Indian Island

Illustrated by: Susan Drucker
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Young Kunu wants to make a pack basket on his own. He's watched his dad and his grandfather make baskets on Indian Island, but now that he's trying to make one for himself, it's not as easy as he thought it would be. Kunu isn't a quitter, but he gets so frustrated that he has to go outside to cool off. When his grandfather asks Kunu to help him with some basket-making tasks, Kunu comes to understand that it is the tradition in his family for one generation to help the next. His grandfather shows him the way, and at last Kunu's first basket is something to celebrate.

My Tata's Remedies

Illustrated by: Antonio Castro L.
Age Level: 6-9

Aaron, who lives in the American Southwest, has asked his grandfather Tata to teach him about the healing remedies he uses. Tata is a neighbor and family elder. People come to him all the time for his soothing solutions and for his compassionate touch and gentle wisdom. Tata knows how to use herbs, teas, and plants to help each one. His wife, Grandmother Nana, is there too, bringing delicious food and humor to help Tata's patients heal. An herbal remedies glossary at the end of the book includes useful information about each plant, plus botanically correct drawings.

Remembering Grandpa

Illustrated by: Layne Johnson
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Daysha's grandma has come down with a bad case of sadness. Grandpa has been gone for over a year. Sad isn't how Daysha remembers Grandpa, so she sets out to collect all the things that would bring happy memories, such as a button that fell off Grandpa's coat and his old guitar. As Daysha had hoped, they bring back happy memories, and Grandma agrees that this is the best way to remember Grandpa. Uma Krishnaswami's simple and heartfelt story is illustrated with loving care by Layne Johnson.

The Turtle of Oman

Illustrated by: Betsy Peterschmidt
Age Level: 9-12

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Aref does not want to leave Oman, his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. Finally, his mother calls Siddi for help so that Aref will pack. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures.