Families Around the World Books for Children

Abuela’s Weave, Omar S. Castaneda.(1993) Lee & Low Books, New York.
A young Guatemalan girl and her grandmother grow closer as they weave some special creations and then make the trip to the market in hopes of selling them. A story rich in culture, history and family tradition.

A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead, Nancy Luenn.(1998)Northland Publishers, Flagstaff, Arizona.
After her beloved grandmother dies, Rosita hopes to be reunited with Abuelita as she prepares a gift to give her when her family celebrates the Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos). The story is told in both Spanish and English.

Grandfather’s Dream, Holly Keller. (1994) Greenwillow Books, NY.
After the end of the war in Vietnam, a young boy’s grandfather dreams of restoring the wetlands of the Mekong Delta, hoping that the large cranes that once lived there will return. Everyone, except the child, Nam, tries to discourage the grandfather from his dream.

Grandfather’s Journey, Allen Say. (1993) Houghton Mifflin Co., NY.
Moving reminisces of Allen Say’s grandfather’s early years in Japan, his growing up in America, and his return to his homeland. Grandfather dreamed of returning to see California, but a war began, ending that dream. Allen Say went to California in his grandfather’s stead. And, like his grandfather, when he is in one country he invariably misses the other.

Grandfather’s Story, Brenda Lena Fazio. (1996) Sasquatch Books, Seattle, Washington.
A dream reminds grandfather of how much he has yet to share with his grandson. The story is an eloquent and powerful tale of memory and love. The illustrations resonate with the simplicity of the Japanese poem that inspired the story.

Grandmother’s Song, Barbara Soros. (1998) Barefoot Books, Brooklyn, NY.
In the mountains of Mexico, a grandmother passes the seasons with her granddaughter. The granddaughter grows up and when her grandmother dies she teaches her own children the lessons taught by her grandmother. “My Little ones, listen well. Grandmother’s spirit is all around us. She is in the wind and in the trees…….. She is always there when we are with warm friends, when we taste delicious food, and whenever there is carefree laughter or salty tears are shed. No matter where we are, grandmother is never far away.”

Mei-Mei Loves the Morning, Margaret Holloway Tsubakiyama. (1999) Albert Whitman & Co, Morton Grove, IL.
A young Chinese girl and her grandfather enjoy a breakfast of rice porridge and pickled vegetables. They later enjoy a morning ride on Grandpa’s bicycle to meet friends in the park, sharing the sound of their songbirds and the graceful movement of tai-chi.

Sitti’s Secrets, Naomi Shihab Nye. (1997) Aladdin Picture Books, Illustrator Nancy Carpenter.
An American girl remembers her Palestinian grandmother and the time they shared during a visit to Palestine. Lovely illustrations and a well communicated sense of emotional connection between distant worlds.

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