Books explore a grandparent's love
Relatable connections presented in today's titles
There is something especially important in the loving relationship between a grandparent and grandchild. Perhaps it's that the grandparent has once again the opportunity to experience life through a child's eyes — to see the world as new and fresh and exciting and all the tiny miracles that other adults somehow fail to see.
But this opportunity is different than being the parent. With the passing of years and experiences, grandparents have more patience, understanding and wisdom than they did when they were young parents.
Today's reviewed books address this wonderful relationship in various ways. Take a look for yourself and ask your local librarian and bookseller for more suggestions, then make the time to read wonderful stories together every day.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"Banjo Granny" by Sarah Martin Busse & Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Barry Root, Houghton Mifflin, 32 pages
Read aloud: age 3 and older
Read yourself: age 7 — 8
Granny wants to see her new grandson, Owen, more than anything in the world, and she's determined that nothing will stop her. "... she packed her banjo in its trusty old case with the taped-up handle. She put on her thousand-mile shoes. And she started out to cross one river, one mountain, and a desert."
A beautiful love song celebrating grandmothers and grandchildren, this lovely story, perfectly complemented with its warm illustrations, is delightful in every way.
Library: Biggs Branch, Butte County Library, 464-A B St., Biggs
Library Director: Linda Mielke
Branch Librarian: Cynthia Pustejovsky
Choices this week: "Beverly Billingsly Takes a Bow" by Alexander Stadler; "Library Lion" by Michelle Knudsen; "Warriors" series by Erin Hunter
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Following Grandfather" by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by Christopher Denise, Candlewick, 2012, 58 pages, $14.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 5 and older
Read yourself: age 7 — 8 and older
Jenny and her grandfather have always shared a wonderful friendship. Ever since Jenny was very little, Grandfather has always been there to teach Jenny gentle lessons about life.
Together they explored the beach, and Grandfather taught Jenny the names of the beautiful shells. They would shop together, share stories and Grandfather also taught Jenny not to be afraid of the world and always to hold her head high.
Then one day, Grandfather suddenly died. Hundreds of Boston mice came to his funeral, and Jenny felt lost without Grandfather. But Jenny still felt Grandfather's presence and even began to think she saw him in different places.
Eventually, Jenny was at peace with her loss and she came to understand how she could always find Grandfather — in her heart and in the shells he so treasured.
Extraordinarily tender and uplifting, "Following Grandfather" is an exceptional work. Perfectly complemented with magical illustrations, this selection is flawless.
"My New Granny" by Elisabeth Steinkellner, illustrated by Michael Roher, Sky Pony Press, 2012, 28 pages, $16.95 hardcover
Read aloud: age 4 and older
Read yourself: age 7 — 8
When Fini's granny isn't traveling the world, the two spend lots of fun times together. But after Granny had to go to the hospital, she wasn't the old Granny that Fini knew when she came back.
Granny couldn't do many of the things she once could, and she acted differently. Then Granny packed her suitcases for the last time and moved in with Fini and her parents so they could take care of her.
As Fini struggles to adapt to Granny's changes, she comes to understand that she can help care for Granny in special ways; that they can still have fun together like they always did; and that she loves her new Granny as much as the old one.
A wonderful story that sensitively addresses a child coping with a grandparent with dementia, this clever, upbeat story is simply lovely.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.