Must Read: How to Babysit a Grandpa/ma books

February 2016

by rebecca stewart

Confession: Every now and again there comes along a children’s book that I want for my collection. Not my daughter’s. Mine. Ooh, that sounds bad, like I need a return trip to kindergarten. I promise I’m very good at sharing.

Pinky promise.

To the point, though, is just such a book (two, actually) that came on my radar over a year ago. I’d been eyeballing the How to Babysit a Grandpa and How to Babysit a Grandma books for so long (okay maybe not so long, they are relatively new to the scene...but I digress) that when my parents were collecting Christmas lists this past year, these were first on the list. For me.

They get me.

So, on Christmas Day, my girl and I sat side-by-side as my parents presented this gift for the two of us, no big shocker here, it was the books.

Happy dance!

Though my kiddo is definitely on the older end of the spectrum for the age appropriate-ness of it all, she loves these books. I love these books. In fact, this weekend she’s super excited to unleash her now expert Grandparent-sitting skills on my parents. And they are equally excited to be “babysat by a pro.”

Let’s talk books.

How to Babysit a Grandpa and How to Babysit a Grandma are actually two in a series of How to… books by children’s author Jean Reagan. The Grandpa portion of the series involves grandpa coming to the babysitter’s house to be “grandpa-sat,” while How to Babysit a Grandma involves a sleepover at grandma’s house.

Both books take your kiddo, step-by-step, on the all the how to’s of grandparent-sitting. Everything from how to make a great greeting/entrance, to appropriate snacks, things to play – to my personal favorites of covering naptime and bedtime.

Note: ‘How to play with a grandpa’ includes building a pirate cave – that both of you can fit in. Clearly a must when building such awesomeness.

I adore everything about these books, especially the bits and pieces that has the kiddo reassuring grandpa/ma, like:

  • If she’s missing your mom and dad, tell her, “They’ll be here tomorrow, bright and early.”
  • When your mom and dad leave, pat your grandpa’s hand and day, “Don’t worry. They always come back.” Then right away, ask him if he’s hungry.

My girlie bug loves spotting “cameo” appearances by “Grandpa” and grandson in the How to Babysit a Grandma book and recognizing how so many of these things are really for the kiddo – like those reassurances mentioned above or when Grandma and granddaughter are getting nestled in for the night when grandma asks, “Should we leave the night-light on? The hall light on? The door open?”

Answer, “Yep, yep, yep.”

And, of course, she can’t wait to put her skills to the test.

These books are a great read (with fun, bright illustrations) for you and your kiddo or for grandparents and their grandchildren. Lots of fun ideas for those precious moments together.

About the books:

How to Babysit a Grandpa

written by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

Copyright 2012

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 0375867139

ISBN-13: 978-0375867132

Hardcover 32 pages

Recommended for ages 5-8, grades K-3rd

How to Babysit a Grandma

written by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

Copyright 2014

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 0385753845

ISBN-13: 978-0385753845

Hardcover 32 pages

Recommended for ages 5-8, grades K-3rd

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