09/07/01
National Grandparents Day
    by John Cech

It's National Grandparents Day this Sunday, and if youre a grandparent, or you know of one or two who might be looking for a quick course in grandparents lore, then Kids and Grandparents, an Activity Book by Ann Love and Jane Drake from Kids Can Press may be just the thing. It s a compilation those bits of knowledge that we used to learn simply from hanging around our grandparents -- stories, games, jokes, recipes, songs, sayings, crafts. But with families usually so dispersed, and with a generation of boomer grandparents taking on that august mantel without having lived in close proximity to their own grandparents, so much of what Love and Drake call the traditional fun that grandparents used to know about has been lost, or is in real need of some refreshing. And this book is a good place to start to prime the pumps of memory, or to learn those new tricks that we older creatures arent supposed to be able to pull off.

You might have your grandchildren start the day by bringing you and your grandspouse breakfast in bed: Berry Good Orange Juice, a Granola Sundae, and perhaps some cinnamon toast (all the instructions are here). Then there s time for some gardening with the youngsters, maybe tending the giant squash or turning a pumpkin into Grandpa Bills Soup for lunch, and afterwards you can gather the kids together for a quick game of Yoki -- you ll really impress a grandchild if you can show them all the moves -- from Yoki in the Kaiser, to Tank in da Soda, to Sadoo, and Saday. Most kids dont know how to play marbles any more, and this is the chance for a grandparent to shine up those long-forgotten milkees and pure-ees. those steel-ees and boulders and draw that magic circle. And in the evening, there are riddles and tooth pick puzzles, card tricks and parlor games. But the best thing about the book is its opening chapter about the many ways that one can engage young people with the stories of their families, like making memory books, relative maps, and family calendars. My personal favorite is perhaps the simplest of all: just take a grandparent, add a grandchild, and a shoebox full of family pictures, mix them together and let them sit for an evening.

Today's book is: Kids and Grandparents, An Activity Book, by Ann Love & Jane Drake. Illus. by Heather Collins. Niagra Falls, NY: Kids Can Press.

Copyright 2001 by John Cech

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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:24:30 EDT


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