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How to Babysit a Grandpa

How to Babysit a Grandpa (Book Cover)
Babysitting a grandpa is fun—if you know how!
Within the pages of this book, you will find essential tips for being a good grandpa-sitter, including:
  • how to play with a grandpa
  • things to do on a walk
  • snacks grandpas like to eat

So the next time your grandpa rings the doorbell, you'll know exactly what to do. (Be sure to have the crayons, shark toys, and ketchup ready!)

See the video on how this book is translated into braille for the blind.

My book is dedicated to my two children, John and Jane and their Grandpa John and Grandma Janice.

"What do you enjoy doing with your grandpa?" I asked this question to many kids, grandkids, and adults who used to be kids and grandkids. And I watched my own kids as they played with their grandpa. I also asked specific questions to generate a variety of answers:

  • What do you do on a walk?
  • What do you do if it rains? When it's cold?
  • What snacks do you share?
  • What games do you play?
  • What's the best way to wake up a grandpa?
  • How do you greet him when he arrives? How do you say goodbye?

This "research" generated a long, long list to include in the book. Of course, there wasn't room for everything, so I chose my favorites and then created a story about these shared activities.

Oh, and there were some fun activities I wanted to include, but they just didn't work for the story. One grandpa and grandson always fancy-up their burritos by lighting candles and singing "Happy Birthday," even when no one has a birthday. Fun, huh? But I just couldn't fit this into the story.

I then consulted actual How to Babysit guidebooks at the library to see if I'd left anything out. Yes, I had. I added a scene about what to do as the parents leave and a scene about tidying up before they come home.

After Knopf Books for Young Readers bought the manuscript, I worked with my fabulous editor, Allison Wortche, to strengthen the story. Then Knopf found the perfect illustrator, Lee Wildish. He brought the story to life by creating two delightful characters that are bursting with humor and heart. Thank you, Lee!

I'm so pleased that this grandpa book has morphed into a HOW-TO series, with a total of six books contracted, so far.

Illustrations by Lee Wildish