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Honoring Grandma's Legacy: Children's Books About Losing a Grandmother

Updated: Jan 15

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links


Whether you call her Nana, Meema, Abuela, Grammy, Big Mama, or Paati, the impact of a loving grandmother is undeniable. These children's books celebrate the love and legacy of a grandma and can help children process the complex feelings that comes with losing her.

“A grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories.” —Barbara Cage

When Ming and his grandmother visit the wishing tree on the Lunar New Year, his wishes always seem to come true. But one year the tree does not help, and Ming alone must make peace with the loss of his grandmother and the spirit of the tree.


An enormous banyan tree with thick, leafy branches grew in the center of a village near an ancient temple in a green valley with a gurgling stream.


Every Lunar New Year, Ming and his grandmother visit the Wishing Tree. Its branches are covered with wishes, each written on red and yellow paper fluttering in the breeze, secured by the weight of an orange.


Grandmother warned Ming to wish carefully, and sure enough, his wishes always seemed to come true. But one year when Ming makes the most important wish of his life, the tree lets him down.


The Wishing Tree is about the excitement of making wishes and waiting for them to come true. It is also about the love between a boy and his grandmother, and the realization that sometimes, we already possess the most important things in life.


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George loves Saturdays.


That's because Saturdays mean time with Grandma Stella. The two of them love going on adventures downtown to visit the dinosaur museum and ride on the carousel! Even when they stay in, George and Stella have fun together, making cinnamon rolls without popping open a tube and sharing the biggest, best hugs.


Then one day Stella is gone, and George is ready to cancel Saturdays. But when a new addition to the family arrives, George finds a way to celebrate the priceless memories he made with his grandma--while making new ones too.


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In this gentle story of grief and loss, Janaki Sabesh and Dhwani Sabesh bring to young readers the enduring love of those that have passed but never truly leave us.


Malli loved weekends with her Paati. The head massages, the hugs, the engrossing stories, and most importantly, Paati's delicious, piping-hot rasam.


But then, one day, everything changed. And Malli's world became dark and colourless. No more warm hugs, no more rasam, no more Paati.


Can Malli find a piece of her beloved grandmother to hold on to? Pallavi Jain breathes life and colour into the illustrations storyboarded brilliantly by Vaijayanthi.


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Miss Eula is back! In this heartwarming companion to Chicken Sunday, young Trisha is devastated when her grandmother passes away, but finds joy in bonds with a new friend, her new California neighborhood--and the invincible Miss Eula.


There will never be anyone like her grandmother, Patricia Polacco thinks, when her grandmother passes away. But when she and her family move to California--in the middle of a drought--she meets a new friend, the irrepressible Stewart, and his amazing grandmother, Miss Eula, who not only takes Trisha under her wing, but, with Trisha and Stewart, steps up to lead their entire extraordinarily diverse neighborhood to help a hurting neighbor--and her once lush garden--survive the drought.


Trisha's grandmother's old saying about the stars being Holes in the Sky turns out to be Miss Eula's, too, convincing Trisha that she has miraculously discovered another unforgettable grandmother.


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Dance Like a Leaf by AJ Irving, Illustrated by Cludia Navaro


As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to lovingly take the lead in their cozy shared autumn traditions.


Poetic prose paired with evocative illustrations by Mexican illustrator Claudia Navarro make for a beautiful celebration of life and a gentle introduction to the death of a loved one.


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Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.

 

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