Children's Book Recommendations

Five New Picture Books with Grandparent Characters

Recommended by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian

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I’m always on the lookout for picture books with grandparents and grandchildren relationships and have been pleased to see five brand-new ones in our public library. I hope there are more to come this year.

Mama Shamsi at the Bazaar 

by Mojdeh Hassani  (Author), Samira Iravani (Author), Maya Fidawi (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dial Books. 2023. K-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593110614.

Brief summary: Samira is a bit nervous about going to the bazaar with her grandmother for the first time to buy groceries. She repeatedly asks Mama Shamsi to hide in her chador, but the woman wisely resists using humor to soothe her granddaughter’s fear.

Buy here.

At the Drop of a Cat 

by Élise Fontenaille (Author), Violeta Lópiz (Illustrator), Karin Snelson  (Translator), Emilie Robert Wong (Translator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Enchanted Lion Books. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1592703821.

Brief summary: A grandson visits his Grandpa Luis every Wednesday and Sunday. His grandpa is not only a talented artist but can make anything grow, creating the beautiful garden where they spend their days. The six-year-old is learning to read and write and tells us that his Grandpa does not know how as he was an immigrant from Spain to France who had to work in the fields as a child.

This is a French translation and captures the two kindred spirits. I like the mixed-up idioms and how the grandson narrates how he is getting to know Grandpa Luis.

Buy here in ENGLISH

Abuela’s Super Capa 

by Ana Siqueira  (Author), Elisa Chavarri  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins. 2023. K-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0063113657.

Brief summary: Luis and his abuela have fun every Saturday going around the neighborhood being superheroes. One Saturday, she does not visit. Luis learns that his abuela is very sick in the hospital. She comes to stay with them as she recovers. Although Luis is saddened that his abuela is unable to be as active, he tries to come up with a way to have fun and realizes his sister, Isabel, can be his new sidekick and fight and do adventures together in their capes. 

There is a glossary of the Spanish words used in the book.

Buy here in ENGLISH.

In Every Life 

by Marla Frazee  (Author, Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beach Lane Books. 2023. PreK-2. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1665912488.

Brief summary: The text has seven lines with seven words each(except for the last line). Each line is across the top of a two-page spread with small illustrations below, and then the next two-page spread is an illustration matching that color scheme.

The words are calm and straightforward. The stunning illustrations are done with pencil and gouache and are detailed little scenes of family members with everyday interactions. I stopped and looked at the details of each one before continuing to the following line and was glad to see that grandparents were included.

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Together with You

by Patricia Toht  (Author), Jarvis  (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2023. PreK-1. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536223514.

Brief summary: A grandmother and her grandchild put on rain gear to play in Spring’s rain. Summer arrives with them cooling off from the hot sun. Autumn brings the wind they need to fly a kite and enjoy the falling leaves. Winter comes with them getting cozy and watching the snow from inside. Each season is spent with one another.

The seasonal color schemes go in hand with this gentle and calming book that blends from one season to the next.

Buy here.

Children's Book Recommendations

Four St. Patrick’s Day Children’s Books and One Irish Tale

recommended by Angela Ferraris, The Retired School Librarian 📚❤️

(This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you).

St. Patrick’s Day (New & Updated) 

by Gail Gibbons (Author & Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Holiday House. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0823453399

Brief summary: This narrative nonfiction tells about the customs that are celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day. Readers will also learn about St. Patrick’s life and some of his legends. I learned why it is celebrated on March 17th as well as that some say his real name was Maewyn.

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Leprechaun vs. Easter Bunny 

by Todd Tarpley  (Author), Stephanie Laberis (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316374262

Brief summary: A leprechaun and the Easter Bunny battle over the space in a garden. The leprechaun wants to hide his pot of gold, and the Easter bunny wants to grow tulips to hide colored eggs. Cupid comes along and wants to make plans for next year’s Valentine’s Day, moving all of their things out of the way. The two join forces and launch the baby out of the garden. Rhyming

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Let’s Celebrate With St. Patrick’s Day Origami (Let’s Celebrate with Origami Series) 

by Ruth Owen (Author). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Enslow Pub Inc. 2021. Primary/Intermediate grades. Paperback. 32 pages. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1978526679

Brief summary: Large colorful pictures with step by step directions to make a Celtic cross, shamrock, pot of gold, rainbow celebrations, and green ribbons. Explanation of St. Patrick’s Day, origami tips, glossary, index, and suggested websites for more information.

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Saint Patrick the Forgiver: The History and Legends of Ireland’s Bishop 

by Ned Bustard  (Author). Publisher ‏ : ‎ IVP Kids. 2023. PreK-3. Hardcover. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1514007242

Brief summary: If you are looking for more of a religious story about Saint Patrick, this is the book. “Hello, my name is Patrick. You may have heard my story. I walked the span of Ireland to tell of God’s great glory.” Young readers will learn about Saint Patrick’s life as a child, being kidnapped to become a slave in Ireland and his escape back home. Saint Patrick continues to tell the reader how he forgave the Irish people and decided to preach Christianity there. The story is told through the viewpoint of a saint. Told in rhyme.

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The Fog Catcher’s Daughter 

by Marianne McShane (Author), Alan Marks (Illustrator). Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick. 2022. Primary grades. Hardcover picture book. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536211306

Brief summary: Eily and her father live on the coast of Ireland across from the isle of fairies, Lisnashee. Her father is the Fog Catcher and must row to the island and collect the magical fog on it every Midsummer. Eily helps prepare to keep her family safe from the Good People. Her father rows out to the island. Eily is worried as she has found his protection charm in a tree.

Young readers will be enchanted by Eily’s adventure to find her father and keep him safe. Beautifully illustrated with dreamy watercolors.

Buy here.