Intergenerational Understanding: what books are there for children about older people?

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Author: Laura Treneer

At Faith in Later Life we like to be able to help signpost and suggest resources for other places. One of our church champions asked  recently if we knew of any great children’s books that teach children about older age from a Christian perspective? This may be particularly relevant as we think about Christmas presents for grandchildren.

What a great question! We put out the question on our Twitter and through our networks. Here are some of the responses that came back:

Mel Lacy, who is the Director of Growing Young Disciples, responded ‘I think the only place you see this is in Christian kid’s books that refer to grandparents. There’s some good examples of this and they are usually positive. Mostly about prayer & spiritual leadership, less about spiritual maturity or discipleship. I guess some of the missionary biographies for kids also tell the story of older saints and their service of God.’

Ali Campbell, a consultant on youth and children’s ministry at The Resource  suggested ‘Been thinking on this and – no, not really. Although, with Christmas coming up, I’d recommend @GMcCaughrean’s
take on the Jesse Tree. A contemporary story, of an old wood worker and an inquisitive child which weaves in the Jesse Tree narrative’, here from Eden.

Alison Keddilty suggested reading Max Lucado’s The Oak Inside the Acorn, then steering the conversation to consider what oaks we know and how they can help us grow to be strong oaks too.

In 2020 Marion Husband was inspired to write a book for a friend who showered her grandchild with knitted gifts. It was awarded first prize for the Scottish Association of Writers 2020 and is published by Malcom Down, a Christian publisher, who writes this about it:

“Granny was far more important than she realised as she knitted wonderful gifts for her grandchildren. Although her memory was fading, the love from her family didn’t, it grew stronger. ‘Granny Came to Visit‘ is an original story, told through the eyes of a child who has a very loving relationship with his Grann. The theme throughout is of kindness, with Granny wanting to shower the child with gifts. Although Granny often forgets things, the central message conveyed is that sharing our emotions and caring for others leads to happiness.”

We know there also re great books about grandparenting, like Anita Cleverly’s book on Faithful Grandparenting,  and so many great stories to share about intergenerational living, like this story of intergenerational encouragement on our blog .

The charity TruthBeTold bring children and those in care homes together, using intergenerational storytelling to share the love of Christ. Founder Gemma Gillard spoke at one of our monthly church champion training sessions  (and you can sign up as a church champion for older people to hear about future events like this).

1 in 4 of today’s pre-school girls, and 1 in 5 pre-school boys will live to be 100 years old, according to @ONS. Perhaps we need to start talking about ageing a lot earlier,

Do you know of any great books for children about that teach children about older age from a Christian perspective? If you do, or if you’ve even written one, we’d love to hear from you!