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Death or Aging of a Grandparent

Alexander, A. A Mural for Mamita. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 2002. (SA)

This story is told in both English and Spanish in this single edition. A Hispanic girl, Luz, shares her memories of her grandmother who died with cancer. With a suggestion from Luz, the family paints a mural to honor and remember Luz' grandmother.

Aliki. The Two of Them. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1979. (PS/SA)

This story of a loving relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter is written in verse. The text and illustrations tell of cherished memories following the grandfather’s death.

De Paola, T. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. New York: Putnam, 1973. (PS/SA)

A small boy’s loving rituals with his great grandmother are terminated by her sudden death. He experiences the emptiness and later accepts the fantasy that she is upstairs with stars.

Hodge, J. Finding Grandpa Everywhere. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 1999. (PS/SA)

After Grandpa dies, a young boy finds that memories of him and his love live on everywhere he looks. The boy is at first confused when he is told that "Grandma lost Grandpa," and he is determined to help Grandma find Grandpa. Eventually, the boy realizes that Grandpa has died and that his memories can be found in many places.

Johnston, T. Grandpa’s Song. New York: Dial Books, 1991. (SA)

Grandpa is bigger than life and when he sings the whole house quakes. He teaches his grandchildren the “best song in the world” about Grandpa’s sweet voice, but then he begins “feeling fuzzy” and forgetting things. When his birthday comes, the children sing for him and remind him about the “best song in the world.”

Marshall, B. Animal Crackers. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 1998. (PS/SA)

When her grandmother starts forgetting things, has to go to a nursing home and then dies, a young girl tries to remember the good times they shared. One of the good times was that the grandmother would hide animal crackers in her house for the girl to find. This would be a good book to read aloud as there are few illustrations, but the story is well told.

Martin, A. and Archambault, J. Knots on a Counting Rope. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1987. (SA)

A beautifully illustrated story of a Native American grandfather and grandson. The grandson asks the grandfather to once again tell him the story of his birth which they retell together. Despite the grandson's request, the grandfather cannot promise that he will always be with him, but he does promise that his love will always surround him.

Miles, M. Annie and the Old One. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1971. (SA)

A Navajo girl, Annie, is upset about her grandmother’s announcement that when the new rug is taken from the loom, the grandmother will go to Mother Earth. Annie tries a variety of ways to keep the rug from being completed before she finds an acceptance of the Old One’s eventual death and begins to do her part to weave the new rug.

Plourde, L. and Cockcroft, J.  Thank You, Grandpa.  New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2003.  (PS/SA)

With warm and evocative illustrations, this story is of the relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter.  They take nature walks through the years and the seasons and the girl learns about saying thank you for the small wonders that they experience together.  One day the girl walks alone and says her thank you to her grandfather for all that he has given her and promises to never forget him.  A simple and poignant story told sensitively and illustrated beautifully.

Ross, K and Ross, A. Cemetery Quilt. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1995. (SA)

When Josie travels to her grandmother’s house to attend her grandfather’s funeral, she learns of a family tradition, the cemetery quilt. And she learns to commemorate her grandfather’s life as well as those of other deceased relatives.

Thomas, J. R. Saying Good-Bye to Grandma. New York: Clarion/ Ticknor & Fields, 1988. (SA)

When a seven-year-old Suzie’s Grandmother dies she goes back with her parents to the small town where Mother grew up to attend Grandma’s funeral. This is a sensitive exploration of grief as well as a loving picture of a family drawn together. Marcia Sewell’s pastel illustration captures both sorrow and joy.

Wright, B.R. The Cat Next Door. New York: Holiday House, 1991. (SA)

After Grandma dies the annual visit to her summer cabin is not the same, but a visit from the cat next door reminds of how things used to be and comforts a grieving grandchild.

Zebrowski, M. Babka's Serenade. Omaha, NE: Centering Corporation, 2002. (PS/SA)

A girl's grandmother, Babka, dies and the granddaughter finds comfort and connection to her grandmother by working and being in Babka' garden. The illustrations are especially bright, engaging, and effective.

Zolotow, C. My Grandson Lew. New York: Harper & Row, 1974. (PS/SA)

Six year old Lewis remembers many special things about Grandpa who died four years earlier. Since Lewis never asked, Mother never told him of Grandpa’s death. Both share their loving memories and find this less lonely than remembering him alone.

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