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Turlock author shares tradition of The Grandma Box
The Grandma Box pic
Debbie Brown will read her book "The Grandma Box" at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lightly Used Books in Turlock. - photo by Photo Contributed


What: “The Grandma Box” by Debbie Brown reading and book signing

When: 1 p.m. reading, book signing from 1:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Lightly Used Books, 141 N. Center St. in Turlock

Turlock children’s book author Debbie Brown and her two granddaughters Nicole and Caitlin will be sharing something special with the public on Saturday — something that usually only the three of them get to see — the Grandma Box.

This container of toys, trinkets and keepsakes is the focus of Brown’s book “The Grandma Box” — and a real life tradition the author has with her granddaughters. Brown will be reading her book in person at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lightly Used Books, located at 141 N. Center St. in Turlock, and Nicole and Caitlin will be on hand to show the items in the original Grandma Box.

“In this day of communication with computers and cell phones, I thought this would be something different,” Brown said of the Grandma Box. “When I brought it out, I felt it was the first time we really communicated.”

Brown started her Grandma Box by putting things like marbles, seashells, a magnifying glass, bubbles and jacks in a shoebox. Then she brought the box of items with her when she traveled to see her granddaughters in Bakersfield.

“They opened all the little boxes of things and picked up the lavender and said, ‘Oh, grandma’s favorite,’” Brown said.

The Grandma Box is now a staple of Brown’s visits with her granddaughters, and it travels wherever they go together. The book tells of the items in the box being used at the beach, in the mountains and in grandma’s yard.

Brown, a second grade teacher at Walnut Elementary School, wrote a story about the Grandma Box for her granddaughters. But the story — and the idea of a Grandma Box — have gained popularity and Brown created a kit to help others start their own tradition.

The book and a starter Grandma Box kit can be purchased at Angel Baby children’s store located at 2802 W. Monte Vista Ave. in Turlock. "The Grandma Box" is also available online through Tate Publishing ( and

Brown is currently working on a second children’s book, this one will be about tattling.