It is important for children to learn to appreciate the diverse contributions to society made by older people. Positive attitudes are not learned quickly, they develop over time, and attitudes affect behavior throughout their lifetime. (Jantz et al 1977)
As most families these days are nuclear families, thus most children may not get an opportunity to spend time with their grandparents. There is some evidence that children who consider older people as unproductive may begin to fear growing old themselves (Seefeldt et al 1990). These are a couple of reasons as to why the intergenerational books hold importance in the lives of our young children.
Fortunately, today there are many books published for young children with older characters. Intergenerational books teach children to value the contributions of the elderly and eliminate stereotypic thinking. Children also need to understand that growing old is an important part of the life cycle and that it can also be a productive period of life.
Sandra McGuire (1993) has reviewed much of the literature for children that portrays relationships between young and old, and she suggests books be made available that depict aging as a natural and life long process.
Some of the intergenerational picture books for young children are:
There are many more such books available for young children!
- The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flowndy
- Grandpa's Face by Eloise Greenfield
- Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
- Abuela by Arthur Dorros
- Something for Nothing by Phoebe Gilman