A Stopwatch From Grampa

Loretta Garbutt uses subtlety and sensitivity to explore the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) in this moving picture book story of loss. It features a gender-neutral main character (no first name or pronouns are given) making the story universally relatable. This is a perfect choice for fostering discussions with children about their emotions, particularly the feeling of loss. It also offers a poignant representation of an intergenerational relationship between a grandfather and grandchild. Carmen Mok’s expressive and thoughtful illustrations employ a limited color palette to convey the character’s emotional trajectory. There are curriculum applications here in social-emotional development as well as character education lessons in caring and resilience.

Birdie’s Beauty Parlor

Birdie and Grandma are having a girls’ day! But Grandma’s all worn out now. Birdie has a solution: a makeover! It’ll give Grandma a chance to relax. Birdie insists that Grandma lie down because this beauty parlor has a lot of moving parts―chinny-chin-chin hair removal, long stretches of blush, slashes of lipstick, and eyeshadow. Earrings, scarves, the works! Birdie knows best: she owns this beauty parlor!

Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-Niimi’idim

When Uncle and Windy Girl attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Uncle’s stories inspire visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers–all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow.

The Return

A young woman gets on the bus and rides out of the big city. She arrives in the countryside, where she is as big as a giant, looming over a tiny house, a garden and her tiny grandmother. The cabbages and the apple trees are far below. Her grandmother smiles up at her in her yellow hat. The young woman bends down to give her little grandmother a big kiss, and then she smells her grandmother’s cooking. She has returned home. When they sit down at the table, the young woman has shrunk to a child-like size, and the two share a meal together in the garden. In this gentle, wordless story Natalia Chernysheva beautifully captures the feelings of coming home to comfort and memories and of returning to our childlike selves.

Thukpa for All

Tsering can’t wait to taste his grandmother’s delicious noodle soup. He invites a string of friends and neighbours home. But as preparations get underway, there is a power cut and the house is plunged into darkness. Will Abi be able to put together the much-anticipated thukpa? Told from a blind child’s perspective, this tale by Praba Ram and Sheela Preuitt is accompanied by Shilpa Ranade’s stunning illustrations.

Birdsong

When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of arts and crafts. Can the girl navigate the changing seasons and failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions.

Grandpa’s Top Threes

Henry loves talking with Grandpa, but Grandpa has stopped listening. Mom says to just give him time. But Henry wants to talk to Grandpa now. So Henry tries his favorite game: Top Threes. And something amazing happens: Grandpa starts talking again. Out of a tale of favorite sandwiches and zoo animals, outings and trains, emerges a moving story about love, loss, and the wonder of grannies and grandpas.