Long distance grandparents, blended families, LGBTQ+ grandparents and grandparents raising grandchildren—all are contemporary issues affecting modern day kids. It’s so affirming to see them all represented in AgePositive ways in new picture books.
Here I share four new picture books beginning with my own first fictional picture book–apologies for the short commercial! (It’s based on a true family story!)
I hope you’re enjoying autumn wherever you are! I had a fantastic summer–it went by SO fast. A highlight was my day at the Minnesota State Fair as a Blue Ribbon author! Kids enjoyed fun printing activities for Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story.
By Lindsey McDivitt; illustrated by Katarzyna Bukiert (Familius Books)
Christmas Fairies for Ouma celebrates the long distance love between a grandparent and grandchild with a heartwarming message of caring and connection and hidden fairies on every page. Follow the magical journey of a child’s card traveling 10,000 miles across the world, from the hand of one stranger spreading cheer to another, with NO name, no street and no stamps—all the way to Ouma. Is it kindness or Christmas magic? The story is based on the author’s true story of her family’s small, but magical miracle involving the postal service.
Christmas Fairies for Ouma publishes on November 1, 2022. Available now. More information here.
by Sarah Aronson; illustrated by Ariel Landy (Charlesbridge Books)
Jillian’s mom remarries and she gains a new stepdad and a new grandmother in her blended interfaith family of varying skin tones. Bubbe, her new Jewish grandmother is warm, vital and colorful, but Jillian’s not convinced she needs another. She already enjoys “…theater with Noni, or bike riding with Gram.” Bubbe wins Jillian over making matzo ball soup (which she learned from her bubbes of course). “Family is more than blood.” The diverse nature of older people shines. It’s good to see great grandma, Great Mama-Nana, included too. Great grandparents are infrequent characters in picture books, yet many children now know their greats. The author shares a new kind of family tree for blended families—The Family Constellation.
By author/illustrator Harry Woodgate (Little Bee Books in association with GLAAD)
“If you’re looking for a picture book about grandparents, love, and grief with amazing LGBTQ+ representation, I have the perfect book for you today. Grandad’s Camper follows a young girl who loves to visit her grandad’s cottage every summer, listening to stories of his travels with Gramps. Grandad doesn’t travel much since Gramps passed away, but that’s all about to change, as our young narrator encourages Grandad to dust off his old camper and get back on the road.” (Description from MutuallyInclusiveBooks.com)
By Molly Beth Griffin; illustrated by Maribel Lechuga (Charlesbridge Books)
Many, many grandparents are raising their beloved grandchildren. “Lily and her grandmother search for ten beautiful things as they take a long car ride to Iowa and Lily’s new home with Gran. At first, Lily sees nothing beautiful in the April slush and cloudy sky. Soon though, Lily can see beauty in unexpected places, from the smell of spring mud to a cloud shaped like a swan to a dilapidated barn. A furious rainstorm mirrors Lily’s anxiety, but as it clears Lily discovers the tenth beautiful thing: Lily and Gran and their love for each other. Ten Beautiful Things leaves the exact cause of Lily’s move ambiguous, making it perfect for anyone helping a child navigate change, whether it be the loss of a parent, entering or leaving a foster home, or moving.” Read more at an earlier “A is for Aging” post. (Description from Bookshop.org)
Bonus book recommendation!
Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs about Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live
By Becca Levy Ph.D., Yale University epidemiologist & psychologist (William Morrow & Co.)
This is not a picture book, but I highly recommend Dr. Levy’s new book—it’s highly readable and life changing. I’ve touted her groundbreaking research since beginning this blog ten years ago. Taking in negative age stereotypes over our lifetime can shorten our lives by up to 7.5 years.
Dr. Levy offers easy strategies to age in healthy, positive ways. “The often-surprising results of Levy’s science offer stunning revelations about the mind-body connection. She demonstrates that many health problems formerly considered to be entirely due to the aging process, such as memory loss, hearing decline, and cardiovascular events, are instead influenced by the negative age beliefs that dominate in the US and other ageist countries.” (Bookshop.org) *Note: it’s currently discounted (10/2022) from both sources shared here.
Thanks so much for reading! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday–you can find more Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog!
Thanks for all of these great recs, Lindsey! Congrats on your new book! A perfect pairing of grandma and fairies.
I’ve got one of your recs, Grandad’s Camper, checked out from the library right now, but I haven’t read it yet. Will do so immediately. Also, I love how each of the covers give clues as to the tone of the book. Looking forward to finding and reading them all! Thanks!
You’re so kind Jilanne. 🙂 I’m thinking grandmothers and fairies are both very special.
I think you will like GRandad’s Camper a lot–its so well done, both text and art.
What a lovely book about a girl’s relationship with her grandmother. It sounds magical! Congratulations! I am a sucker for intergenerational stories. Grandparents off children a different perspective and I never tire of reading the stories. And I have 5 great grandchildren, who I spoil with books.
Thanks very much Patricia! I’m sure your great-grandchildren feel very very fortunate!