August 21 – National Senior Citizen’s Day

Happy Senior Citizen’s Day!

Some of the best relationships children have are with their grandparents or other senior citizens. Enjoy a few picture books which celebrate that happiness!

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Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Patridge written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas (1995)

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is a young boy who lives next door to an old folks home. He knows all the people who live there, but his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Deacourt Cooper because she has four names just like he does. Wilfrid and Miss Nancy share their secrets with each other. When he overhears his parents talking he finds out that Miss Nancy has lost her memory. Wilfrid makes it his mission to find out what a memory is and to help her find hers. Wilfrid makes Miss Nancy a basket of memories filled with seashells, a puppet, a medal, and a fresh warm egg straight from under the hen. Each item in the basket, helps Miss Nancy remember something that makes her feel happy and warm.

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The Two of Them written and illustrated by Aliki (1987)

The little girl in this story was loved more than anyone can know by her grandfather. He is there to watch her grow and help her learn new things. He sang her songs and told her stories from long ago. ‘Some he made up, and some were about his love for the little girl.’ And she loved him more than all the things he ever made for her. As time passed, the little girl grew older and her grandfather grew older too. Soon she was taking care of him. She would sing him songs and tell him stories from long ago. ‘Some she made up… and some were of her love for him.’ And when he died, she was not ready. But she knew that she would watch the changing seasons without him, and remember.

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Chicken Sunday written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco (1998)

Patricia Polacco tells us a story from her childhood. After her Babushka died, Miss Eula Mae Walker, her neighbor became her gramma. Miss Eula had a ‘voice like slow thunder and sweet rain’ and every Sunday she took her two grandsons, Stewart and Winston, and Patricia to church with her where they would marvel at her beautiful voice. On the way home from church, they stopped in front of Mr. Kodinski’s shop window and admired the hats. Afterwards, they all went home for a chicken dinner with all the trimmings. Just before Easter one year, the children decide to get her a very special hat she’d had her eye on. They didn’t have enough money, so they decided they would ask Mr. Kodinski if they could do some work to earn the money for the hat. But just as they approached his back door, some older boys ran past throwing eggs at his door. When he opened the door, and saw the three of them standing there, he assumed it was them. To make it up to him, Patricia showed Stewart and Winston how to decorate eggs they way her grandmother had taught her. They brought a basket of Pysanky eggs to Mr. Kodinski, who was so taken by the gesture that he agreed to let them sell decorated eggs in his store. The children sold every egg in one day. Just as they were about to ask about buying the hat for Miss Eula, Mr. Kodinski came to them with a wrapped hat box. He knew that Miss Eula had admired the hat, and he wanted to give it to her. Miss Eula was so surprised, big tears ran down her cheeks. That Easter, Miss Eula wore that beautiful hat and sang her beautiful solo in the church. Back home she told the children that she could die happy now, and that after she was dead she wanted them to boil a chicken and pour it over her grave. It’s an act of love that Patricia and Stewart and Winston did that very first year she died, and have done many times since then.

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