Book List: Special Children’s Books about Grandfathers

Grandpa, Gramps, Pop, Grandad, Pa; whatever your children call their grandfather, there are many extraordinary children’s books that celebrate a grandfather’s relationship with his grandchildren.

To help you celebrate Grandparents’ Day in Australia (Last weekend of October), I’ve put together this special list of children’s books about grandfathers. I thought it would be a lovely gesture for children to share a special book with their grandparents on this day. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one at your local bookstore or library.

My one disappointment is that most of these books portray a grandfather’s relationship with their grandson (rather than granddaughter). Nevertheless, the books featured in this list are nothing short of beautiful and touching. My favourite books in this list are those that have a parallel story-line alongside the obvious grandfather one- stories that delve deeper into what the grandfather is like as a person. Feel free to add your favourite grandfather-themed book to the list.

I’ve also compiled a beautiful list of grandmother-themed books.

The Magnificent Tree

Author: Nick Bland

Illustrator: Stephen Michael King

ISBN: 9781742832951

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Scholastic Press, July 2012

This is a book that warms your heart from beginning to end. The Magnificent Tree is not only a celebration of the relationship between a child and grandparent, but also a lesson in nurturing small ideas.Bonny enjoys spending time with her pop. They are both very different and that’s precisely what they admire about each other. But, they are both ‘ideas people’. Bonny’s ideas are simple but clever, while Pop’s ideas are big, brave and brilliant. Read our full review of The Magnificent Tree here.

Suitable for ages: 4+

Grandpa Green

By Lane Smith

ISBN: 978-0230766457

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Macmillan, October 2012

Suitable for ages: 3+

Grandpa Green is a heart-warming and treasured tale of a child’s love for his grandfather, which Lane Smith has created through a touching story and exquisite illustrations.

Grandpa Green is a gardener who is brilliant with a hedge trimmer. His topiary sculptures tell the story of his life. So as he begins to lose his memory, his grandchildren only need to look at his garden to learn about their grandfather’s interesting life.

Adventures with Grandpa

By Rosemary Mastnak

ISBN:978-1921690761

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, August 2010

Rich and colourful illustrations complement this wonderful story perfectly. A little boy looks forward to entering his grandpa’s magic cave (shed), where they can find lots of odds and ends that lead them on imaginative adventures.

Suitable for ages: 3+

Looking for Rex

Author: Jan Ormerod

Illustrator: Carol Thompson

ISBN: 978-1921541483

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Little Hare (Hardie Grant), 2012

Suitable for ages 3+

This is such a tender tale about a grandfather who has lost his wife, and Carol Thompson’s illustrations bring so much life to the characters.

His grandchildren are keen to look after him and suggest he gets a pet dog. The children adopt a clever strategy so that their gramps will agree.  Each day of the week, they play a game of ‘Looking for Rex’. They pretend that Rex eats all the chocolates and blame Rex for terrible pongs. Gramps eventually comes around to the idea of having a pet dog.

Grandpa’s Place

Author: James Stead

Illustrator: Marjory Gardner

ISBN:978-1921136795

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Windy Hollow Books,

Josh loves to visit his grandpa. On each new page of this story, Josh describes something new about his grandpa: a hobby, a trait, a habit. What makes this story so engaging is that interwoven into the story are questions for the readers to answer about their own grandfather.

Suitable for ages 3+

My First Car Was Red

Peter Schössow

ISBN: 978-1877467691

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Gecko Press, August 2011

A young boy and his grandpa spend time together repairing an old, rusty pedal car before it is taken on a wild adventure down hills, through wasps and into creeks. This book is brilliantly presented with cute, busy illustrations and is peppered with road signs and symbols (great for visual literacy).

Suitable for ages 4+

Side by Side

Author: Neridah McMullin

Illustrator: Ainsley Walters

ISBN: 978-0980794809

Format: Paperback

Publisher: One Day Hill, September 2010

Suitable for ages: 6+

With historical stories and photographs, this book is a snapshot of life in 1916 where Collingwood, a suburb in Melbourne, was growing during the depression. It is the story of a young boy’s first footy match, where he is given a Collingwood scarf by his grandfather and initiated as a supporter of the team.

The Last Viking

Author: Norman Jorgensen

Illustrator: James Foley

ISBN: 978-1921888106

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Fremantle Press, June 2011

Suitable for ages 5+

Josh is staying with his nan and pop. His pop teaches him all about the Vikings, and in the process teaches Josh to be brave and courageous against bullies and anything that might be slightly frightening.

I Love My Grandpa

By Anna Walker

ISBN:978-1741696370

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Ollie and his grandpa enjoy chatting as they work in the garden together.

Suitable for ages: 2+

Grandpa Baby

Author:  Margaret Wild

Illustrator: Deborah Niland

ISBN:978-0670071746

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Viking Australia (Penguin) , August 2009

Suitable for ages 2+

Grandpa and Georgie spend time together reading stories, gardening, dressing up and they even swap roles for the day.

Grandpa’s Shed

By Joy Watson

Illustrator: Wendy Hopper

ISBN:978-1869435622

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand, March 2003

Suitable for ages 3+

This story takes readers on a grand adventure as Grandpa endeavours to clean out his shed.

Grandpa and Thomas

By Pamela Allen

ISBN:978-0143501312

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Puffin (Penguin), November 2005

Thomas and Grandpa spend a special day at the beach together, build sandcastles, picnicking and splashing in the water.

Suitable for ages 3+

Shoes from Grandpa

Author: Mem Fox

Illustrator: Patricia Mullins

ISBN:978-0868963723

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic Australia, October 1990

A repetitive story that builds upon itself all starts with Grandpa buying Jessie a pair of shoes for the winter. The ending will make you laugh.

Suitable for ages 3+

Grandpa’s Shorts

Author:  Joy Watson

Illustrator: Wendy Hopper

ISBN:978-1869435073

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand, 28 May 2001

Grandpa tries to decide what to wear to the beach.

Suitable for ages 4+

Grandpa’s Farm- A summer’s day

Alan Robinson

ISBN:978-1921042416

Format: Hardback

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing,

Publisher’s Description: Matt is spending his summer holidays on Grandpa’s Farm. Through Matt’s eyes we get an inside look at the joys and challenges of family life on a farm with all the drama of a bush fire. The story affirms the courage of people young and old when threatened with a bush fire.

Suitable for ages 4+

Grandpa’s Farm: A Spring Day

By Alan Robinson

ISBN:978-1921042294

Format: Hardback

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing,

Publisher’s description: Matt is staying on his Grandpa’s farm and is excited to be amongst the farm animals ‘where lambs are born and sheep are shorn’. The story revolves around a typical days shearing and informs the reader about the origins of wool.

Suitable for ages 4+

My Grandpa is Amazing

By  Nick Butterworth

ISBN:978-1406313314

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd, May 2008

Suitable for ages 2+

Publisher’s Description: The grandpa in this book is truly brilliant. He builds fantastic sandcastles, he makes wonderful flower arrangements, and he’s very, very, very patient. He’s got an amazing bike, he’s a terrific dancer and he knows all about first aid … in fact there’s very little this astounding grandpa can’t do.

I Love Grandpa

By Lizi Boyd

ISBN:978-0763637279

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Candlewick (Walker Books), March 2009

Publisher’s Description: What’s not to love? When little one is with Grandpa, he has lots of adventures, learning to make a grass whistle, burying treasures in the sand, or making up stories together. With fresh colours, delicate patterns, and delightful characters,

Suitable for ages

I love you, Grandpa

Vivian French

ISBN: 978-0763627485

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Candlewick (Walker Books),

Grandpa is not as young as he used to be, which stops him from skipping and jumping. This is a sweet story about a grandchild taking care of his grandfather.

Suitable for ages

Grandad Pot

By Siobhan Dodds

ISBN:978-1406323320

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Walker Books, October 2009

This is a funny story that sees Grandad Pot in a bit of a tizz. He cooks a huge feast for his granddaughter, Polly, and her friends who are all coming for a sleepover. But there’s a nice surprise in store for Grandad Pot at the end of the story.

Suitable for ages 4+

Oliver’s Game

By Matt Tavares

ISBN: 978-0763641375

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Candlewick (Walker Books), February 2009

Publisher’s Description: Oliver Hall loves baseball, and he loves the ritual of listening to Grandpa Hall’s innumerable baseball stories. But one day Oliver makes a startling discovery. It seems his grandfather has kept one very special story a secret: his own.

Suitable for ages

Willy’s Grandpa

By Scott Tulloch

ISBN:978-1869507381

Format: Paperback

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (New Zealand), November 2008,

Willy loves each of his four grandparents. Each of them is unique and special. One day Grandpa Pop passes away, and Willy must learn how to say goodbye.

Suitable for ages 4+

Dan’s Grandpa

Author:  Sally Morgan

Illustrator: Bronwyn Bancroft

ISBN:978-1863681599

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Fremantle Press, June 1996

Suitable for ages 4+

Dan and his grandpa were close. After Grandpa passes away, Dan knows that his grandfather is still with him, looking after him.

Older readers

My Pa the Polar Bear- Jackie French

Author: Jackie French

Illustrator: Stephen Michael King

ISBN: 978-0207200786

Format: Paperback

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd, January 2007

Suitable for ages 7+

Part of the ‘Wacky Family’ series, Fuzz and his Pa win two tickets to the Arctic Circle. They are used to dressing up as polar bears but meeting real ones leads to a new adventure.

Activity Books

To My Grandad – Doodles for You

ISBN: 978-1921848223

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books, August 2011

Suitable for ages: 4+

A small format activity book for children to colour and fill in before giving it to Grandad as a gift- a great alternative to a greeting card.

I’m Glad You’re My Grandpa

By Cathy Phelan

Danielle McD

ISBN:978-0230746596

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Black Dog Books (Walker Books),

Suitable for ages 4+

BOOKS ABOUT GRANDPARENTS

Spot Visits His Grandparents

By Eric Hill

ISBN:978-0140558289

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Puffin (Penguin), September 1999

Spot visits his grandparents and enjoys learning about his mum and he goes through an old family photo album.

Suitable for ages 1+

Things I Love About Grandparents

By: Trace Moroney

ISBN: 978-1742487090

Format: Hardback

Publisher: The Five Mile Press, November 2011

Suitable for ages 1+

Trace Moroney writes books that assist parents in helping their children to become positive thinkers. In this book, she looks at the positive aspects of relationships with grandparents.

The Ultimate Guide to Grandmas & Grandpas!

Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones

Illustrator: Michael Emberley

ISBN:978-0060756871

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: HarperCollins, May 2008

Playing with your grandparents, looking after them, loving them and enjoying them; this book offers all the guidelines any grandchild would need to make the most of their time with their grandparents.

Suitable for ages 3+

The Big Book of Families

Catherine and Laurence Anholt

ISBN: 978-1406303513

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Walker Books, December 2006

A book full of poems about all family members, including Grandpas and Grannies.

Is your favourite grandfather-themed book missing from this list?

Book List: Special Children’s Books about Grandfathers

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  1. We love Grandpa and Thomas (for obvious reasons!) and Adventures with Grandpa. Even though we lost my dad before Thomas was born, it is important to me that he knows who he was and the person that he was so we talk about him lots x

  2. I really enjoyed Grandpa Green. Lane Smith is usually so witty, almost edgy, and this was a much “gentler” side of him. But just as good. Which, I suppose, is why he’s such a successful children’s book author :)

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