15 Books To Read With Grandparents

Whether they’re called Bubbe, Zayde, Savta, Saba, Nana, Papa, Grandma, or Grandpa, there’s no denying that grandparents are special. Reading a story with a grandparent builds beautiful memories while also helping develop a child’s literacy. The following books highlight the very special relationship that children form with their grandparents:

A Grandma/Grandpa Like Yours by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum
Recommended for ages 2-3
One book shares two rhyming, humorous stories of grandmas and grandpas, bubbes and zaydes, savtas and sabas – all of whom just happen to be adorable animals.
 

Grandma Rose's Magic by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Recommended for ages 4-5
Grandma Rose sews and sews--and gives her projects away to everybody she knows. When she saves up for some nice dishes for herself, she gets a surprise.
 

Estie the Mensch by Jane Kohuth
Recommended for ages 3-4
Estie does not always know how to be around other people and sometimes when her grandmother reminds her to be a mensch, she'd rather not. She'd prefer to be a turtle or a seagull. Eventually, something happens that shows her grandmother and Estie herself what a mensch the girl can really be.
 

First Rain by Charlotte Herman
Recommended for ages 5-6
When Abby moves with her family to Israel, she misses her grandmother and remembers the fun they had with each other. Writing to each other helps, but it doesn’t take the place of spending time together.
 

Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz
Recommended for ages 5-6
“Where did all the stars come from?” A grandfather offers an age-old Jewish explanation to his granddaughter and, in the process, teaches her about tikkun olam (repairing the world). 

 

Like a Maccabee by Barbara Bietz
Recommended for ages 8 and up
Only one thing stands between victory for Ben and his soccer team: a school bully who torments Ben. Feeling misunderstood by those who love him most, Ben finds an unexpected friend in his grandfather.
 

My Grandfather's Coat by Jim Aylesworth
Recommended for ages 5-6
Grandfather made himself a coat when he came to America -- and now it’s wearing out. What do you think he’ll do? (Hint: He doesn’t throw it out!)
 

Red, Blue and Yellow Yarn: A Tale of Forgiveness by Miriam Kosman
Recommended for ages 4-5
Danny’s grandmother is very prim and proper--and Danny is neither. He thinks that she doesn’t like him. But when Danny makes a big mistake, Bubbe surprises him--and shows him the love and forgiveness that is passed down generation after generation.
 

Tea with Zayde by Barney Saltzberg
Recommended for ages 2-3
Teatime with Zayde is always fun! Lucky for this little one, he’s never far away, either -- thanks to the miracle of the digital age.
 

The Always Prayer Shawl by Sheldon Oberman
Recommended for ages 8 and up
In this poignant story of tradition and love passed along from one generation to the next, a prayer shawl makes its way from grandfather to grandson.
 

The Friday Nights of Nana by Amy Hest
Recommended for ages 3-4
In this contemporary intergenerational tale, Jennie and her grandmother find happiness in their joint preparations for the Sabbath.
 

The Shabbat Puppy by Leslie Kimmelman
Recommended for ages 4-5
Every Saturday Noah and his grandfather go for a walk together, looking for “Shabbat Shalom” – Sabbath Peace. For what seems like the longest time to the little boy, Grandpa won’t allow Mazel, Noah’s puppy, to join them. Eventually, though, the dogis permitted to join in, with sweet results.
 

This is the Challah by Sue Hepker
Recommended for ages 2 to 3
When Bubbe and her grandchild bake challah for Shabbat, they make a big mess -- and have a great time doing it. Told in rhyme, this story illustrates the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Shabbat -- and the peacefulness that settles when it arrives.

 

When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
Recommended for ages 6 to 7
Jessie lives in an Eastern European shtetl. The rabbi in her town decides to give Jessie his ticket to America, where she works for years to save enough money to send for her beloved grandmother.
 

Yuvi’s Candy Tree by Lesley Simpson
Recommended for ages 8 and up
Plucky Yuvi, a little Jewish girl living in Ethiopia, dreams of a place where candy grows on trees. Based on a true story, this book tells of Yuvi’s extraordinary journey to Israel with her grandmother -- a passage from famine and fear to oranges and freedom.


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