Our Grandparents

Our Grandparents

  • 1695

By: The Global Fund For Children

Grandpa, Bibi, Yeye and Grann . . .

This striking album captures the intergenerational relationships between children and grandparents around the world. The brief text and striking photographs bring their joy and affection into focus.

Includes a touching foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book helps support The Global Fund for Children's grantmaking toward community-based projects benefiting children around the world.

Look Inside the Book:

Author Bio:

Global Fund For Children

The Global Fund for Children develops innovative titles that help young readers expand their appreciation of the multicultural world in which they live. Each book depicts positive images of children, promotes multiculturalism, and integrates the children's perspective into the text.

Read more about The Global Fund for Children.

Awards & Honors:

  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • Pennsylvania Center for the Book Baker's Dozen

Editorial Reviews:

Curriculum Connections - School Library Journal

Photographs have the power to transport us to another time or place and can provide glimpses into others’ lives. They offer gestures and expressions to contemplate, unfamiliar settings to explore, and stories waiting to be told.

In classrooms, photo-essays with a multicultural focus present opportunities to initiate conversations about different countries and peoples and challenge students to consider experiences and relationships that are personal and universal. These recent photo-essays published for children focus on family and shared experiences, and offer a peek into cultures far from home.


Pictures of mothers from around the world holding infants and children in their arms, on their backs, and in their laps; comforting them; bringing them to school; and helping them with homework illustrate Marla Stewart Konrad’s Mom and Me (Tundra, 2009; PreS-Gr 2). Large, colorful photographs present both urban and rural scenes of parents helping children, and children helping parents carry water, weave, and feed livestock. Ask your students to identify the different activities they see children engaged in with their mothers in these inviting images.

Maya Ajmera, Sheila Kinkade, and Cynthia Pon detail another relationship that knows no borders in Our Grandparents (Charlesbridge, Feb. 2010; PreS-Gr 2). In this photo-essay, dozens of striking pictures of older adults playing, reading, listening, and exploring with their grandchildren in places as diverse as Greenland and Japan and Pakistan and Cuba illuminate this special bond. Labels on the photos and a simple map identify the countries where the scenes were snapped. Konrad’s Grand, to be published in April, 2010 (Tundra), offers additional images remarkable for their detail and diversity. From both books, readers will glean information about the homes, treats enjoyed, and leisure activities of the people photographed. Ask readers to point out some familiar and unfamiliar foods or styles of dress they see.

School Library Journal

In the foreword, Archbishop Desmond Tutu states the overall theme of the book - grandparents receive the gift of seeing the world, once again, through the eyes of children and have a responsibility to teach their grandchildren "Love. Compassion. Integrity. Perseverance." Clear, colorful photographs show the two generations engaged in a variety of activities and invite careful observation. The pictures are clearly labeled with the name of the families' countries and highlight common threads, e.g., "listening," in Tibet, India, Mexico, and USA. Spare text defines the actions represented. The book concludes with "Five Things to Do with Your Grandparents."

Kirkus Reviews

In the foreward to this attractive photo collection of grandparents and their grandchildren, Bishop Desmond Tutu states: "We make sure that the wisdom of our ancestors is passed on to the next generation." Written in the voice of today's grandchildren, the simple sentences that form the body of the text accompany engaging photographs of the world's children sharing stories, celebrating holidays, feeling happy, safe and loved, and learning from one another. Sometimes wearing traditional clothing, sometimes dressed in contemporary wear, kids and their grandparents from Peru, China, the United States, Russia, Morocco, Kenya, Yemen and other countries smile out from the photographs. A few look serious, as a child points out something on the computer to a Japanese grandparent and a Pakistani grandparent reads a picture book to his young grandson. Some proceeds go to The Global Fund for Children, but the real contribution will be to further the relationships of the young and young-at-heart viewers of this book. Translations of "Grandma" and "Grandpa" in different languages and a map reinforce the international breadth of this charmer.

Washington Parent

Grandparents and grandchildren the world over play, hug, listen and learn in this beautifully photographed picture book. The text is minimal, with the focus on the images of the oldest and youngest members of an extended family. Each double-page spread introduces something that grandparents and grandchildren do together, with the accompanying photos offering various cultural interpretations of that activity. For example, "Grandparents explore the world with us," includes photos of grandfathers and grandchildren examining a computer in Japan, riding a sled in Greenland and exclaiming over a large lizard in the United States. The message of this book is heartfelt and important: Though different in appearance and native country, we all are united in love.

Book Links

Beautiful photographs accompany this book's statements about familial interactions common around the globe, such as "grandparents explore the world with us." Words such as love, listen, play, and celebrate are highlighted in vivid colors, encouraging recognition and participation during subsequent read-alouds. A map labeling the featured countries and the different words for "grands" enrich the exploration too.

ForeWord Reviews

Whether it's Opa and Oma in Germany or Ojiichan and Obaachan in Japan, all of our grandparents are alike: they love us, they explore the world with us, they tell us stories, and more. In this book, dozens of children are pictured with their grandparents in playful, celebratory, traditional, and educational settings. Regardless of race or creed, children will relate to all of these families, from those sledding in Greenland to those lighting a menorah in the United Kingdom. Not only will this book foster an appreciation of other cultures, but it will also teach children about the special role grandparents play in our lives. At the end of the book, there are suggestions of "Five Things to Do with Your Grandparents," from recording memories to planning an adventure. Additionally, a foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu highlights, from personal experience, the roles and responsibilities of grandparents, and their ability to shape the lives and minds of their grandchildren. For ages nine to twelve.

Miami Family Magazine

Featuring vibrant photos of grandparents with grandchildren, often in pairs, from more than 30 countries, with an additional dozen or more profiling varied cultural realities in the USA, this affectionate book demonstrates the joy and respect experienced across generations. Using multiple languages, the words for grandmother and grandfather are highlighted between the title page and Tutu's Foreword.

Additionally, this book is both supported by and, with its sales, supports the work of the Global Fund for Children, a nonprofit organization "committed to advancing the dignity of children and youth around the world, by teaching the value of diversity." Also, backmatter includes a world map, identifying the countries represented in the photos, and a couple of pages of Things to Dotogether. A variety of skin tones, assorted backgrounds in the photos, as well as captivating activities, or simply the involvement in being present to each other, are all further demonstration of active language used in the text to engage readers. As one moves through this charming book, one can be compelled to remember one's own grandparents and the enchantment of those experiences, or be energized to launch a similar opportunity.

Library Media Connection

"Grandchildren are a wonderful gift," Desmond Tutu begins in the foreward to this book. As grandchildren bring a joy and energy to the world of their elders, so do their grandparents bring experience, guidance and love into a child's young life. It is the latter that this picture book celebrates. The text is spare. After a two-page photographic guide to the many names by which grandparents are known throughout the world, the book's double-page layout contains photographs of grandparents and grandchildren, each accompanied by a single sentence about the special relationship between them. Over two dozen cultures are represented, although the USA is the only one making multiple appearances. The final pages are given over to a double-page map colorfully identifying the countries from which the photographs have come and suggestions of "Five Things to Do with Your Grandparents." This is a very nice tribute to share with grandchildren of a very young age and grandparents of, well, somewhat greater maturity.


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ISBN: 978-1-57091-458-4

ISBN: 978-1-57091-459-1

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 32

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