Grandpa’s Top Threes
Wendy Meddour, Author
Daniel Egenéus, Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Sep. 3, 2019
Suitable for Ages: 2-5
Themes: Multigenerational Families, Grandparents, Love, Loss, Hope
Opening: “Henry was talking…But Grandpa was gardening. Again.”
Henry loves talking with Grandpa, but Grandpa has stopped listening. Mom says to just give him time. But Henry wants to talk to his grieving 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.
Why I like this book:
This is a heartwarming story about love, loss and the strong bond between a grandson and his grandpa. When Grandpa is lost in grief for his wife, Henry comes up with a clever game to help him move forward and return to living.
Wendy Meddour’s sweet story is a perfect share with children who may be dealing with a death of a grandparent or family member for the first time. It is respectful, honest and fun as Henry and Grandpa move from talking about their top three sandwiches to talking about granny’s top three things and sharing their memories. The ending is a surprise. I love the simplicity of the text as it encourages children to read the book on their own.
Daniel Egenéus’s expressive and playful watercolors show Grandpa coming out of his funk, engaging with Henry and living life again.
Resources: This book is a lovely resource for both children and parents to use to help children deal with grief. Play Henry’s top three game. It’s fun and catchy.
Wendy Meddour was a lecturer at Oxford University before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of numerous picture books, but Grandpa’s Top Threes is her Candlewick Press debut. She lives in the U.K.
*Review copy provided by publisher.