Picture Books

Fall 2013 011A list of Positive Aging picture books–a resource for teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents reading to children. We strive to ensure this list does not include books containing negative age stereotypes. (Many intergenerational book lists do include age stereotypes.)

This page is a work in progress and its design is changing. We welcome suggestions. Please feel free to contact me.

000 coverBooks are reviewed on the blog page. Reviews often include resources and ideas for talking with kids about aging.

 

On this page:

Alphabetized list of Positive Aging picture books

Diverse picture book list–inclusive of many cultures and without negative age stereotypes (coming soon)

Positive Aging picture books listed by theme (coming soon)

Books for children ages 3-6

Sandra L. McGuire, Ed.D has studied the importance of aging education for many years and published numerous articles on the topic. Beginning with our collaboration in 2015 her booklist “Growing Up and Growing Older” can be found here. They are gradually being added to the book list on this website.

Thanks to SEA Change (Societal Education About Aging for Change) for permission to begin with their original list. For info contact Marsha Weiner at contentmaven2009@gmail.com. Original list has been changed by Lindsey McDivitt.

Read more regarding Educators on using picture books to change attitudes to aging.

Alphabetized list of Positive Aging picture books:

Click on a book’s image or title to find the closest library with that title and also options for purchase. (Some may be out of print. )

Abuela by Arthur Dorros

Abuela by Arthur Dorros; illus. by Elisa Kleven
Grandparents, families, fantasy, imagination, multicultural – Spanish/English
A little girl and her grandmother fly together over New York City. (Also in a Spanish edition)

 

 

 

Albert the Fix-it Man by Janet Lord, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Albert the Fix-it Man by Janet Lord, illus. by Julie Paschkis
Read A is for Aging book review
Elder valued in community, neighborliness, active older man

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, illus. by Caroline Binch
Families, grandparents, school, books & stories, dramatization, gender roles, multicultural.
Grace’s grandmother helps Grace, a girl who loves stories, realize that with effort anything can be achieved.

 

 

 

 

Cover_wevA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead; illus. by Erin Stead.
Read A is for Aging book review.
Dedication, jobs – zookeeper, animals, zoos, friends & friendship, Caldecott Medal for illustrations.

 

 

 

 

Aunt Flossie's hats by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by James Ransome

Aunt Flossie’s Hats (& Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by James Ransome.
Families, family stories, hats.
When they visit their favorite relative, Sara and Susan enjoy her collection of hats and  stories and share crab cakes.

 

 

betsy-cover-v4-for-PGW-300x240Betsy’s Day at the Game by Greg Bancroft; illus. by Katherine Blackmore. Baseball, baseball scoring, grandfather & granddaughter, multi-generational.

Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Dyanne StrongbowBig Moon Tortilla by Joy Cowley and Dyanne Strongbow
Grandparents, multicultural (Native Am.), bad days
After Marta has had a bad day, her grandmother shares some comforting words of advice.
 Out of print
9780375869440Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland.
Non-fiction picture book bio of chef Julia Child.
A long productive and happy life. Late-life romance and career.

P1000659Bottle Houses: The Creative World of Grandma Prisbrey by Melissa Eskridge Slaymaker; illus. by Julie Paschkis

Creative life, imagination and perseverance, love of color. Real life Grandma P. builds her own creative home from bottles and other found materials. Sadly out of print, but still available.

READ the A is for Aging book review.

 

978-0981493800Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa by Alayne Kay Christian, illus. by Joni Stringfield.
Long distance grandparents, story and ideas for kids and grandparents.

A Chair For My Mother by Vera Williams

A Chair For My Mother by Vera Williams
Grandparents, families, cooperation, saving, goal-setting
A girl, her mother, and grandmother all contribute coins to the coin jar that will buy a new chair for mama after a fire destroys their possessions.

 

 

 

 

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
Grandparents, summer activities, friends & friendship, humor
James and Eamon stay with Eamon’s grandparents while in Nature Camp for the best summer ever!

 

 

 

 

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Grandparents, families, sharing, math concepts, baking – cookies.

Out of Print.
Grandma saves the day just when it seems that there aren’t enough cookies for Victoria and Sam to share as unexpected guests drop in.

 

 

Crouching TigerCrouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by Yan Nascimbene

Grandfather and grandson, developing relationship, multi-cultural (China, Am.) family heritage, practice and perseverance. Grandpa visits from China and imparts his skills in tai chi to his young grandson and also pride in his Chinese-­American heritage.     Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

covdr240Dream: a Tale of Wonder, Wisdom, and Wishes by Susan V. Bosak; illus. by multiple award winning artists

Strengths and challenges of  life stages, hopes and dreams for the future no matter what age; beautifully illustrated, includes quotes and inspiration. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

 

Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Read A is for Aging book review
Family, 50th wedding anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish CookeFull, Full, Full of Love

by Trish Cooke, illustrated by Paul Howard

Multi-cultural (Af. Am.) but sadly out of print

 

 

 

 

Gabby & Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington

by Monica Wellington
Grandparents, environment, recycling, activities.

 

 

Georgia coverGeorgia Rises: A Day in the Life of Georgia O’Keefe by Kathryn Lasky; illus. by Ora Eitan.

Read A is for Aging Book Review.

 

 

Layout 1Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng; illus. by Ange Zheng. Multi-cultural (bi-racial family: American, Chinese), language differences.

Read A is for Aging book review

 

 

 

Grandfather and I by Helen Buckley, illustrated by Jan Ormerod

Grandfather and I by Helen E. Buckley, illustrated by Jan Ormerod
Grandparents, everyday activities, families, multicultural (African Americans).
In the middle of a busy family, only grandfather has lots of time to walk and look with his grandson.

 

 

Grandfathers WrinklesGrandfather’s Wrinkles by Kathryn England; illus. by Richard McFarland. Flashlight Press, 2007. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

P1000664Grandmama’s Pride by Becky Birtha; illus. by Colin Bootman

Multi-cultural (Af.Am.) strong older role model, activism, human rights, racism, segregation

Young African-American sisters visit their grandmother in 1950’s southern U.S. and encounter segregation. Along with many others Grandmama refuses to ride public buses in protest and they manage to effect change in the laws. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

isbn9781409155980-detailGus and Me by Keith Richards; illus. by Theodora Richards. True tale by Rolling Stones musician Keith Richards about his relationship with his grandfather & introduction to music.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hello Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka

The Hello Goodbye Window by Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Read A is for Aging book review
Grandparents, family, everyday adventures, multi-cultural (bi-racial family).

 

 

cvr9781442464858_9781442464858_hr

Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter

Non-fiction bio of artist Henri Matisse; art, creativity, physical challenges, happiness in late life. Read A is for Aging book review

 

 

 

 

Here Comes GrandmaHere Comes Grandma by Janet Lord, illus. by Julie Paschkis.

Long distance grandma visits.

Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi & Krysten Brooker

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi & Krysten Brooker

Cities, science, bees & beekeeping
Fred is an urban beekeeper who shares the fruits of his work with neighbors. Information about beekeeping and bees is included.

 

 

 

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Hot, Hot, Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia, F., illustrated by Keri Min

Grandparents, families, food, multi-cultural – India.
Aneel’s active grandparents bring stories, special foods, and fun with them from India.

 

 

 

 

I Call My Grandpa Papa by Ashley Wolff

I Call My Grandma Nana by Ashley Wolff

I Call My Grandpa Papa and I Call My Grandma Nana by Ashley Wolff

Grandparents, families, schools, multicultural.
Children and their teacher share the names for their lively and loved grandparents in two books. Names for grandparents from different countries are noted on end papers.

 

 

 

I Know a Lady by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by James Stevenson

I Know a Lady by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by James Stevenson
Communities, neighbors, friendliness, everyday activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love Saturdays by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Elivia SavadierI Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Elivia Savadier
Grandparents, families, multicultural – Spanish-speaking
A young girl enjoys the similarities and the differences between her English-speaking and Spanish-speaking grandparents.

IJH CoverIt Jes’ Happened: when Bill Traylor started to draw  By Don Tate; illus. by R. Gregory Christie

Late life creativity, using life experiences, emancipated slave, self-taught artist. Picture book bio of the acclaimed American folk artist who only begins drawing at age 85.                                           Read the A is for Aging book review.

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa HuJingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith; illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu
Contemporary Native American family, inter-generational sharing of traditions
Young girl represents four loving, older family members in the traditional Jingle Dance.
Kiki's Hats by Warren HansonKiki’s Hats by Warren Hanson
Joy of giving, creating a better world, leaving a legacy
Kiki, an older woman, knits thousands of hats to give away and urges others to share them also.

+-+437419633_140Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peῆa and Christian Robinson

Multi-cultural (Af. Am.), grandson and grandma, city living, jealousy, thankfulness, volunteerism

9780385390286Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans. Schwartz and Wade, 2015. About the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Based on a real woman. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

Lots of Grandparents by Shelley Rotner & Sheila Kelly

Lots of Grandparents by Shelly Rotner & Sheila Kelly
Picture book/nonfiction
Grandparents, families, everyday activities, photographs
Photographs of grandparents and their grandchildren show the joy as they visit, play, and read together.

 

 

9780802853943_lMeena  by Sine Van Mol; illustrated by Carianne Wijffels

Grandmother, neighbor, aging, appearances, fears and misunderstandings. Meena’s young neighbors believe she is a witch until their many misunderstandings are cleared up. Read A is for Aging book review

 

2ce888_a6f8ef1a2919c336ab06dd158a9eea01Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children By Jan Pinborough; illus. by Debby Atwell (Houghton Mifflin, 2013; ages 6-9)

(Books, history, work, retirement)Picture book bio shows us a strong single woman busting both gender and age stereotypes. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

Miss Rumphius by Barbara CooneyMiss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Growing older, a lifetime, legacies, flowers, planting

When still a little girl, Alice Rumphius decided that when she grew up she would visit faraway places, live by the sea and do something to make the world more beautiful–per her grandfather’s advice. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

mr frank coverMr. Frank by Irene Luxbacher. Groundwood Books, 2014. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

April 2013 068Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest; illus. by Jon J. Muth

Intergenerational friends, multi-cultural (Af. Am.), long life and marriage of many decades, literacy and continued learning.

At 100 years old, Mr. Baker is learning to read and rides the school bus with his very young friend Harry. Read A is for Aging Review.

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco

Mrs. Katz & Tush by Patricia Polacco
Friends & friendship, community, caring for others, cats & kittens, multi-cultural (African-Am. & Jewish).
A lifelong and caring friendship between young Larnel and his neighbor Mrs. Katz.

 

See many more books by Patricia Polacco featuring Positive Aging and intergenerational relationships–such as  Chicken Sunday  and The Bee Tree. Read more about author/illustrator Patricia Polacco in this A is for Aging book review.

 

My Abuelita by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi MoralesMy Abuelita by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
READ A is for Aging book review
Grandparent raising her grandchild, multi-cultural, late life work.  
A young boy lives with his grandmother who is preparing for her mysterious job.
 

My Hippie Grandmother by Reeve Lindbergh

My Hippie Grandmother by Reeve Lindbergh, illustrated by Abby Carter
Read the A is for Aging book review 
Contemporary grandmother, intergenerational fun, farmer’s market, music, activism.
No aprons here. A young girl enjoys time with her unconventional grandmother who gardens in jeans, pickets city hall and drives a purple bus. Only hints of her youth in the ‘60’s. Sadly, out of print.

 

 

000 coverMy Teacher by James Ransome

Skills from age and experience, urban school, retirement, making a difference, dreams of the future. Read the A is for Aging Review.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes    by Jeanette Winter. Beach Lane Books, 2014. Read the A is for Aging book review.

Art and creativity. Read about more Positive Aging picture books by the author.

 

 

 

nanasmallNana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Urban grandmother, cities–positives and negatives. Young boy visits Nana’s home in the big city and is initially frightened. Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

Cover of "Nelson Mandela" by Kadir Nelson

Cover of “Nelson Mandela” by Kadir Nelson

 Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson.  Bio, apartheid, multi-cultural (South Africa), late life work, respect for elders, wisdom.

Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

 

The Official Picture Book Autobiography

The Official Picture Book Autobiography

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom by Chris Van Wyk; Paddy Bouma. Official picture book version of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. Activism, apartheid, late life work, multi-cultural (South Africa), respect for elders, wisdom.

Read A is for Aging book review.

 

bk_northwoodsgirlNorth Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette; illus. by Claudia McGehee. Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

 

9780811872355_p0_v2_s260x420On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne; illus. by Vladimir Radunsky.

NF picture book bio. Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

Our Grandparents: A Global Album by Maya Ajmera, Sheila Kinkade & Cynthia Pon

Our Grandparents: A Global Album by Maya Ajmera, Sheila Kinkade & Cynthia Pon (Charlesbridge; 1570914591)
Picture book/nonfiction
Grandparents, multicultural, families, everyday activities, photographs
The joy shared between grandparents and grandchildren is presented in photographs and brief text following an introduction by Desmond Tutu.

 

 

ParisHopCoverParis Hop! by Margie Blumberg; illus. by Renee Andriani

Travel adventures–grandma and grand-daughter in Paris.      Read A is for Aging book review.

 

 

Rosie-Revere-Engineer-coverRosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts

Older role model, extended family, Rosie the Riveter WW II history, perseverance, creativity. Read A is for Aging Book Review 

Young Rosie faces setbacks in her dream to be an engineer, but her Great-Great Aunt Rose encourages her creativity and persistence.

 

Silly Frilly GT coverSilly Frilly Grandma Tillie by Laurie Jacobs; illus. by Anne Jewett.

Gelett Burgess award winner for multi-generational family. Creativity highlighted. Read A is for Aging book review.

 

downloadSitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shibab Nye; illus. by Nancy Carpenter.

Multi-cultural (Am., Palestinian), language differences. Read A is for Aging book review

 

 

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman

Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman (Knopf, 0394893301)
Picture book
Grandparents, families, Caldecott Medalist
Three children spend the day in their grandfather’s attic, enjoying his tap dancing and memories of vaudeville in this Caldecott Medal winning book. Out of print.

 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Maryann Kovalski

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Maryann Kovalski (Fitzhenry and Whiteside;
Grandparents, baseball, family outings
In this familiar sing-along, Grandma has as much fun as her sports-loving granddaughters at a big league baseball stadium.

 

ResizeImageHandlerThe Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel; illus. by Amanda Hall (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Arts, creativity, history, perseverance. Self-taught artist Rousseau begins painting late in life and perseveres despite poverty & criticism. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

coverThe Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman; illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline

Great grandfather, life experiences, family stories, history, immigration, work. A kindergartner meets her great-grandfather and gets to know him and his past via trinkets in matchboxes he has saved over his lifetime.

Read the A is for Aging book review

 

dontate_poetpageThe Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate. (Peach Tree; 2015)

(History, multi-cultural, perseverance, slavery, writing.)

George Moses Horton taught himself to read while a slave and became the first African American to be published in the South.

Read the A is for Aging book review soon.

 

The Teacher Who Would Not Retire by Sheila and Letty Sustrin, illustrated by Thomas H. Bone III

The Teacher Who Would Not Retire by Sheila and Letty Sustrin (Blue Marlin Publications; 0967460239)
Picture book
READ the A is for Aging book review of book one.
Dedicated teacher; forced, but active retirement; ongoing involvement with first grade classroom and kids.
The School Rules force Mrs. Belle into reluctant retirement, but rather than stay home and rest she dons creative disguises to slip back into the school.
Sequels to this book are equally fun:
The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Goes to Camp
The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Becomes A Movie Star
The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Discovers A New Planet
                           NEW–The Teacher Who Not Retire Loses Her Ballet Slippers       READ the A is for Aging Book Review of this 5th book in the series.

 

9780375867743The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winters

NF picture book bio. Older role model, activism, environment.

Read A is for Aging book review.

 

c02-1Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014. Non-fiction picture book bio. Read the A is for Aging book review.

 

 

 

 

 

Tortillas and Lullabies/Tortillas y Cancioncitas by Lynn Reiser

Tortillas and Lullabies/Tortillas y Cancioncitas by Lynn Reiser
Families, traditions – intergenerational, family stories, bilingual – Spanish/English
Traditions are passed on through four generations in this celebration of food, family, and affection.

Updated List ends here—

Books for Children Ages 6-9

Click on a book’s image or title to find the closest library with that title and options for purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza

Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
Nonfiction/Picture book
Multicultural – Hispanic (American), bilingual – Spanish/English, families, everyday activities, memoir
Folk paintings and brief narratives recall the artist’s growing up in a large Hispanic family in Texas.

 

Fishing with Dad by Michael Rosen

Fishing with Dad by Michael Rosen (Artisan; 1579652867)
Picture book (out of print)
Intergenerational family, stories, memoirs, outings – fishing, photo-essay
A young man relives the pleasure of his childhood experiences while on a fishing trip with his son and father.

 

 

 

Grandpa's Face by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Grandpa’s Face by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Families, grandparents, perception, fears.
Tamika sees her beloved grandfather making a mean face while he rehearses for one of his plays and becomes afraid that someday he will make that face at her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Putter and Tabby Toot the Horn by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard

Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard (Sandpiper; 0152002472)
Easy reader
Friends & friendship, pets – cats, music & bands, humor, confidence, series
Mr. Putter’s neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, decides that they should join a band, but finding the right one isn’t as easy as it sounds—for them or their pets. Mr. Putter’s everyday adventures continue in other books in the series such as Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch; here the help Mr. Putter gets from his animal friends makes painting his front porch a challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A River of Words by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A River of Words by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans; 0802853021)
Biography/picture book
Poets & poetry, biography, vocations, persistence
Though he practiced medicine, William Carlos Williams became a recognized poet continuing well into his sixties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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