Grandma’s Purse – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: Grandma’s Purse

Author & Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley-Newton

 Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018

Ages: 3-5

Themes: grandparents, purses, inter-generational relationships


Today my grandma Mimi is coming to
visit. When Mimi comes over, she always
has a new treasure to share.


When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–candy, hairpins, to tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!

Why I like this book:

Somehow an ordinary day and an ordinary purse are transformed by that special bond between Grandma and grandchild. This is a colorful magical read about that grandkids will love sharing with their grandpas and grandma’s. It is vibrant, lively, colorful and full of happiness.

Every child likes to share a Mary Poppin’s moment with a grandma. Each item either highlights something about Grandma Mimi, and especially her love for her grandchild. 

Vanessa’s illustrations are bright and bold with rich patterns, that reflect Grandma Mimi and her spunky granddaughter perfectly. This story just oozes love.

This is my favorite illustration:


Don’t miss the interview I did with Vanessa this week.

Ask your students to chat with a grandparent, parent or other caregiver and find out what they keep in their purses, backpacks or pockets! Write or draw the list.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

What unusual thing do you keep in your purse or backpack? I keep a Swiss army knife and a Lara bar!


This entry was posted in Black history Month, Book recommendation, Diverse Children's Books, diversity, Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Grandma’s Purse – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Barb says:

    What a cute story! My little granddaughter loves to go through my purse and my grandson sometimes peeks into my backpack to see if I’ve brought him a present! 🙂

  2. Joanna says:

    I think it is wonderfully universal, this story, Barb.

  3. Gabi Snyder says:

    I love the vibrant illustrations in the artwork! Is it mixed media — collage and watercolor? The patterns are gorgeous. The concept of finding the extraordinary/magical within the ordinary really resonates with me. Great pick!

  4. I really love stories about intergenerational relationships. Grandparents are special and have so much to teach. I think everyone can relate to this story!

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    This story is spot on. Kids are often fascinated by what comes out of grandma or grandpa’s bag/suitcase. Little things can be such treasures, and it’s all bound together by love. Beautiful!

  6. My library has this book on order. I have it on hold when it arrives. I love the animated illustrations and the sweet storyline. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Joanna says:

      I was so lucky that my library hold came through yesterday so I was able to review the same week as my interview, which is what I love to do.

  7. Patricia Nozell says:

    What a fun story & the illustrations are so vibrant! Can’t wait to discover the treasures hidden in Grandma’s Purse!

  8. So love the smeared lipstick spread!

  9. After hearing Vanessa speak at RMC-SCBWI, I am looking forward to this one! Love the art, colors, lively spirit!

  10. I love books with a grandma and grandkids. This one looks beautiful. I look forward to getting a hold of it.

  11. I love your line: Every child likes to share a Mary Poppin’s moment with a grandma.
    So true. Thinking back to my childhood, I do remember a few treasures my grandmother always kept in her purse–my favorite being an engraved, compact mirror. She used to cuddle me close so I could see both of our faces pressed close in the reflection. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for sharing it.

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