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Growing Reader

7 Favorite Books to Read with Grandparents

by the Brightly Editors

Photo credit: William Mebane, Photonica/Getty Images

There’s something extra special about grandparents cozying up with their grandkids to tuck into a good book. Stories are shared, laughs can be heard, cuddles are known to happen, and memories are definitely made. In honor of Grandparents Day, we asked the Brightly Contributors to share the books their kids have loved reading most with their grandparents. Read on for their favorites.

  • Tom-Burns-Full

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

    My daughter's favorite grandparent book was always We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. My mother loves reading it to her — they practically sing it together, like a sea shanty or a silly war chant. Even as they've both gotten older, they still sometimes hum it to each other over dinner. It became such a sacred thing between them that I made sure to not buy our own copy of the book. I wanted it to be something special, something my daughter could only visit at grandma's house.

  • Laura-Lambert

  • Mother Goose

    by Eulalie Osgood Grover, illustrated by Frederick Richardson

    My 5-year-old son's taste veers toward superheroes and Star Wars, natch, but he loves reading Mother Goose rhymes with his grandmother, Mady, who recently visited. "I think I read it cover to cover five times while down there last time," she said. "He loves the rhymes and was fixated on singing 'Three Blind Mice' for a few days. And he loves the last line of  'Sing a Song of Sixpence' — When along came blackbird/And pecked off her nose — which is when I try to nip off his!"

  • Sharon-Holbrook-Full

  • Mog the Forgetful Cat

    by Judith Kerr

    When I asked my kids what they like to read with Grandma and Papa, they all shouted, "Mog!" Me too. Mog, a sweet but dopey tabby, seems always to be underfoot — until a burglar shows up and lovable Mog inadvertently saves the day. The '70s vibe of the book jibes perfectly with Grandma and Papa's vintage curtains, and Mog even has a doppelgänger in my parents' kitty Julie, who just might curl up with us for storytime if we're lucky.

  • Dena-McMurdie-Full

  • It's Mine!

    by Leo Lionni

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    My kids only see their grandparents once or twice a year, but when they do, they love reading It's Mine! with them. It's a classic book about selfishness, kindness, and sharing with others. My parents read it to me when I was young, and now they love reading it with their grandchildren.

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  • Liz-Lesnick-Full1

  • Miss Nelson Is Missing!

    by Harry Allard, illustrated by James Marshall

    My daughter’s too old to read with her grandparents now, but back in the day, she loved nothing more than to listen to her grandfather read Miss Nelson Is Missing!. The minute he arrived at our house, she would run into her room, grab her copy, run back and hand him the book, saying, “Here Papa, read Miss Viola Swamp.” He put on different voices for the main characters, but the best part was when he played Miss Viola Swamp, the much-feared substitute who, despite her witchy wart and wild hair, looks a lot like the sweet, mild-mannered missing teacher, Miss Nelson. The more over-the-top he got, the more my daughter laughed. To this day, I don’t know who had more fun, but I do know that my daughter will never part with her copy.

  • Kari-Ness-Riedel-Full

  • Miss Rumphius

    by Barbara Cooney

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    My boys loved snuggling up with Grandma when they were about six or seven to hear Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. The pictures are beautiful as is the simple story of how one person can make a lasting difference in the world with even the smallest action. Based on a true story, readers love learning about Miss Rumphius who scattered lupine seeds across the coast of Maine which can still be seen blooming today. Great conversations about character, beauty, and how to treat our world naturally stem from this sweet story.

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