Surely everyone remembers a time where they crawled into their grandpa’s lap to read a story. Even though grandpas can be quirky and not always affectionate, we all know that grandpas love us. Douglas Wood’s new picture book When a Grandpa Says “I Love You” explores the many ways that grandfathers express their love for their grandchildren without saying it, for we all know that often actions speak louder than words.
This adorable picture book recounts endearing and relatable moments of loving grandpas – from a winking panda to a lazy porcupine and all sorts of animals in between. The content is affectionate towards children, but also filled with tiny moments ensured to make every grandpa chuckle, like when Wood writes:
“A grandpa can say “I love you”
by letting you help him weed the garden.
And pick the tomatoes.
And water the roses.”
These subtle jokes ensure a pleasurable reading experience for the entire family, particularly in combination with Jennifer A. Bell’s illustrations.
These vibrant illustrations depict various animal pairings of grandpas and their grandchildren, with the likes of koalas, turtles, rabbits, owls, and many more. The intricate detail can be appreciated by persons of every age – from one to one hundred – while the animals and whimsical scenes are sure to capture the attention and imagination of every small child. After all, who wouldn’t love to see an elephant tea party or a baby hippo attempting a somersault?
Overall, the quirky language and attention-grabbing illustrations provide a good-hearted, endearing book for all ages. It is sure to spark many giggles between grandpas and grandchildren, and will certainly be a most-requested book in grandpa’s lap for years to come.
Reviewed by Reagan Anderson & SaraGrace Lee