38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents


48 pages
ISBN 1-55037-748-5
DDC j793





Illustrations by Deirdre Betteridge
Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


Held together by a thin storyline, this book is really a craft, game,
and cookbook rolled into one. The premise is that the narrator’s
parents are going away overnight and she and her two siblings will be
babysat by their grandparents. As the parents leave, Dad instructs the
children to “Take care of your grandparents. Don’t let them get
bored.” The children take their father’s words seriously, and
commencing with supper on Friday evening and concluding the next
afternoon, they fill their grandparents’ time with a series of
activities that cover the three mealtimes and all the waking hours in
between. They make pita pizza, pancakes, “Belly Button” soup,
chocolate cake, plus biscuits for the family’s canine pet.
Leisure-time activities involve a variety of card games, such as “Go
Fish” and “Crazy Eights,” as well as simple crafts like newspaper
hats and puppets. Step-by-step instructions for completing the various
activities are clear, and most of the materials needed for the craft
projects will be found in the average home. Readers can follow the book
from start to finish, or they can browse by utilizing the contents
pages, which group the activities into sections such as “Fun and
Games” and “All Pizza Supper.” The idea of having children and
their grandparents interact meaningfully is a good one, but, by trying
to be three books in one (perhaps four, if the “story” aspect is
included), 38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents simply falls short by
not offering enough in any of its target areas. Not a first-choice


Hunter, Dette., “38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31521.