Following on from Charlotte’s post the other day, I thought I would put together a list of a few of the books my family loves, which focus on that special bond between grandchildren and their grandparents.
I have already talked about the Katie Morag books, in which both her grandmothers are central. I wish we’d known about Nigel Gray’s A Balloon for Grandad when we lived abroad; as it is, we discovered it recently in our local library. Illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Jane Ray, it deals in such an uplifting way with the separation which is sometimes inevitable when generations live a long way from each other. Then there are Ana Baca and Anthony Accardo’s Benito books – look out for a review of their latest bilingual title Benito’s Sopaipillas/ Las Sopaipillas de Benito in next week’s update of PaperTigers (I’ll add the link to this post when it’s available… here it is!).
We also love Raymond Briggs’ typically quirky story The Puddleman. You have to be an indulgent grandfather to allow your grandson to lead you around by a dog-lead attached to your wrist and call you “Collar” – but the hint at the end, where Briggs thanks “Miles” for “the naming of puddles, Collar” etc. would suggest that he had real-life, grandson inspiration for the story! It’s a loving, imaginative tale that also provides a particularly special read-aloud experience. Since it is a cartoon strip, you can’t just read it as a narrative; you have to share the interpretation of the pictures alongside the reading of the dialogue and build it up together.
Sometimes we need books to help us talk about the illness or death of a beloved grandparent. (more…)