Storytime with Jessica – Grandad


Last week I wrote about grandmothers and this week it’s all about grandfathers. Some of us have special relationships with our grandparents. They can be the person who takes us to swimming every week or the person who tells us scary stories around the camp fire. Maybe they are the person who fixes our broken toys, teaches us to ride or makes our favourite dessert. They could be a person we only see on our birthday or on a video call. Whatever our grandfathers are to us today we are going to celebrate the special bonds that exist between grandchild and grandfather.

The Books

Book cover for Grandpa's Space Adventure

Grandpa’s Space Adventure by Paul Newman and illustrated by Tom Jellett

Grandpa and his grandson explore a new fear – the dark. But through Grandpa’s hilarious jokes and tall tales, his grandson discovers the amazing things you can see at night-time.

The main character of our story is afraid of the dark. So, to help he and his grandfather camp out in the backyard and we hear all about his grandfather’s trip to the moon. The book is filled with tall tales, humour, puns, and the sweet relationship between grandfather and grandchild as they navigate fears. One of the benefits of being a grandparent is shown here – the ability to stretch the truth in gentle and fun ways. The wonderful illustrations add to the story and the humour of the tale. This book is part of a series that all show the special grandfather-grandchild relationship.

Grandpa is Great by Laine Mitchell and Alison Edgson

My grandpa is happy, He’s kind and so fun. I love my dear grandpa, He’s my number one. Share the baby animals’ fun with their grandpas as they race, dance, make things and play games together.

Just like everyone in our lives Grandpas do not fit into a box – they could be studious or sporty, they could drive trucks or build wedding cakes. This book celebrates those differences and will hopefully give children a chance to see their grandfather as well as seeing other grandfathers. Books like this help build our world view and our understanding of differences being something important but also something that is good.

Book cover for Grandpa is Great
Book cover for Dan's Grandpa

Dan’s Grandpa by Sally Morgan & Bronwyn Bancroft

Dan and his Grandpa had a special friendship. ‘Don’t worry, Dan,’ Grandpa said one day. ‘No matter what happens I’ll always be with you, looking after you.’ A gentle story about death, mourning and the very special place of Grandparents.

One of the sad facts of life is that we lose people we love. And grandchildren may lose their grandparent or may have already lost a grandparent. This is a book about Dan, whose grandpa died recently. He is still mourning – and seeing his grandfather in all of the special places that they shared. Books like this help us discuss our grief and the process of mourning. This is a very common thing in our lives but it can be very difficult to talk about and books give us a shared way to start that conversation. In addition to Sally Morgan’s lovely words we have Bronwyn Bancroft’s stunning illustrations in this very meaningful book.


Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Grampa duck said, “quack quack quack quack,”
And only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks…
Three little ducks…
Two little ducks…

One little duck went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Grampa duck said, “quack quack quack quack,”
But no little ducks came swimming back.

Grampa duck went out swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Grampa duck said, “quack quack quack quack,”
And all five little ducks came swimming back.

And for those older grandads, or just ones who enjoyed Dad’s Army, here is Clive Dunn singing about being a Grandad…


Taking inspiration from Grandpa and his journey into space you can make a lovely picture to gift to your grandfather. As always, the more children do themselves the more ownership they have of the craft, the prouder they will be of it, and the more special it will be as time passes.

Image of Grandad rocket craft

What you need:

  • black card/paper (note: this could be done on canvas that has been painted black for longevity),
  • coloured paper for the rocket,
  • orange or red paper for the fire,
  • metallic textas,
  • glitter glue,
  • scissors, glue, pencil, etc.

What you do:

  1. Trace around child’s hand on the orange or red paper to make the fire. Cut out.
  2. Draw a rocket ship. Cut it out.
  3. Glue the hand print and rocket onto the black card.
  4. Write your grandad a suitably pun-ny message.
  5. Draw some stars and decorations using the glitter glue and metallic pens.
  6. Gift it to your Grandad.