Books About Dads

father's day books There is no one right way to be a dad. There are countless ways that dads connect and relate to their kids and Father’s Day lets us celebrate all those special ways. This round up of 27 books includes a wide spectrum of books about dads so there is sure to be a book or two that is a great fits your family. Some of these books are new to us and some we reviewed years ago.  All book lists include affiliate links.

dad and pop

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers by Kelly Bennett is a simple but powerful book about a little girl with two dads. One is her biological father and the other is her step father. She compares and contrasts them but in the end the fact remains they both love her. This book doesn’t go into custody agreements, how old the little girls was when she met her now stepfather, or why her parents divorced because that’s not what this book is about. This book is about bonds between a child and the men who love her. If your child isn’t familiar with families that include step parents this is a good book to explain them.your daddy was just like you

 

Your Daddy Was Just Like You by Kelly Bennett is a sweet story about what a little boy’s daddy was like when he was a boy, as told by his grandmother. Maybe it’s just my kids but they always want to know ” What was daddy like at my age?” and pester my in laws for details. This book isn’t just a reflection of that phenomena it is also a wonderfully gentle way to let young kids know that all the things that make their dads awesome took time to develop. Bravery, athletic ability, academic excellence … all these things came in time and everyone even their dad got frustrated at times. Sweet book.father's day books3

Looking for Sleepy by Maribeth Boelts is a perfect bedtime book. I really think it’s brilliant. I was gifted it and it probably wouldn’t have jumped off the book shelf to me if I had been browsing at the book store but I am so glad it ended up in our hands. The book is about a little bear and his papa bear getting ready for bed. They go through their bedtime routine, starting by looking for sleepy hiding under toys, in the bath , in his pjs, in the bedtime stories etc… I love the dad in this book. I love how he’s patient and kind and the illustration on the page where they are reading in bed and his toddler’s hand is awkwardly on his head cracks me up. My favorite part though is that when the toddler asks Papa to stay a little longer while he falls asleep Papa does. I enjoy books that are reassuring and provide a sense of security for young children at bedtime and this does that with ease. Awesome book!

Snuggle Puppy

Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton. This author is a preschool parents dream, short and easy to read melodic books with illustrations to die for. The story is simply a little love song about all the ways the dog loves the puppy, simple and touching. As an educator something I love is that the dogs don’t have an obvious race , they don’t even have an obvious gender which is perfect. My son always thinks it’s a dad though. I think that is the perfect valentine! My son didn’t warm up to this book right away, but now not only does he love it he is very very specific that only I can read it to him . It’s become a big favorite in our house. {Originally reviewed in 2009 }

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Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle is a story about the more involved fish fathers in the sea. Mister seahorse isn’t the only fish that takes care of his eggs until they hatch , in the book we meet other dads that do too. I didn’t realize how many people don’t like this book until I read some reviews on amazon when ordering the book a few months ago. Many parents are off put by the father fish who announces he is “babysitting” his own baby fish. It never really bugged me even though when a parent says that in real life it irks me. All the positive daddy fish outweighs that one comment for me.

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This Is the Van That Dad Cleaned by Lisa Campbell Ernst gave me a good chuckle, I only have one child and my car seems to multiply sippy cups, cheddar bunny crumbs and a mess on its own! This book is about a dad with a van, a clean van and 3 kids who ruin that very quickly. The siblings act like siblings teasing and fighting while making a growing mess in their poor dad’s clean van. The book is a poem that keeps growing and growing like the mess. In the end the kids are the ones that clean up the mess and I like that, in our house like the book even the baby helps clean up. {originally reviewed in 2009}father's day book daddies and their babies

Daddies and Their Babies (Black And White) by Guido Van Genechten is a simple black and white board book pairing animals dads with their offspring. The book teaches the proper name for the animal babies ( like piglet for a hedgehog and calf for a rhino) but the power in this book is much more subtle than that. The power is simply in having a book with daddies and babies without a mama around. So often daddies are just added in for a family book but there are tons of books all about mommies and babies. I like the simplicity of this book and the message that babies and daddies belong together.

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Daddy and I… by Eloise Greenfield is a great little board book about the every day things that a toddler son may help his dad with.  From painting, to shopping to stopping for some hugs this book is great for toddlers to see all the things that make up being a dad and caring for your family. It also has a great lesson about children pitching in to help keep a family going too.

father's day poppa

Papa, Do You Love Me?by Barbara M. Joosse is a lovely look at a young boy trying to test his father’s unconditional love for him. The son throws scenario after scenario at his father and his father calmly replies to each one. There are a lot of books with this same premise but this one stands out. It’s set in Africa and the father and son are Maassi this element offers rich teaching opportunities as well as an opportunity for readers to connect with a culture separate from their own.

father's day books toddlers

Daddy Hugs (Classic Board Books) by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband two years ago for his first father’s day and my son hated it. However in the years since it’s become a favorite and nothing beats a board book for when toddlers get to that destructo stage. Also like Katz’s “Mommy Hugs” this book grows with your child. Now at 2.5 my son likes to find the number on the page and read it to us before we read him the text. { Reviewed in 2010}

father's day books ultimate list

The Ten Best Things About My Dad by Christine Loomis didn’t leave much of an impression with me until I hit #8, which says “When I am sad he hugs me close . He never says “Don’t cry”. ” That page won me over, and made this book stand out for me. I love that it’s promoting sensitivity in both the dad and little boy! I think anything that shows such care is worth a look.

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Dad’s Bald Head by Paul Many made all of us laugh when I read it during a family lunch last weekend. My husband shaves his head so , so much of this book was familiar to all of us.The story is about a dad who decides to shave his head and his son who isn’t so sure about this new development. It’s sweet, funny and realistic about how kids do and don’t transition to our changes. My favorite part was the passionate kiss the mom plants on her husband after he shaves his head. Not just because I thought it was sweet, it is nice to see parents having romantic though appropriate moments in children’s books. I want my son to see I love my husband and I show it in all different ways. { Reviewed in 2010}

piggy

Piggy and Dad Go Fishing by David Martin is a funny story about a father and son ( who are pigs) that don’t quite have it in their hearts to fish in the traditional way. First Piglet is unable to get the worm on the hook and can’t bring himself to put the hook through the worm so they use bread… eventually they ditch the poles all together and just throw bread at the water, followed by donuts. I love the silly side to this book but the serious message about parents following their kids lead at times. Really fishing and so many other activities aren’t about the activity as much as the time spent together.

father's day books fgrt

Daddy’s Song by Leslea Newman was a big hit with my son. The book is a lullaby that a father sings to his daughter before bed. It’s whimsical and at times down right funny. The illustrations by Karen Ritz keep up with the whimsy and make it all seem like a silly dream. Then the end of the book brings us all back to reality with the most important message, that even if all these silly things did happen and turned the little girls world topsy turvy, that her dad would be there and still love her. Big thumbs up from us for this sweet but not sappy book!

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 Molly and Her Dad by Jan Ormerod was a great find. Molly doesn’t see her dad often because he lives a plane ride away and when he comes to take care of her things aren’t perfect at first. There are so many little things about this book I like. I like that there are details like baby photos of Molly and both her parents together. I like that Molly tells her dad how he is doing things wrong and doesn’t warm up to him immediately and I like how he doesn’t get mad. I think this is a pretty realistic portrayal of children’s emotions when spending time with a parent they don’t see often but still have a great relationship with.

my daddy is a giant

My Daddy Is a Giant by Carl Norac is an ode to a larger than life daddy. My kids took this book at face value, that the dad was a giant and liked how the earth trembled when he ran and the clouds rested on his shoulders. I took it as one little boys perspective of who and how how big his dad is. Dads are invincible in a child’s eye and this book captures that.

because I am your daddy

Because I Am Your Daddy by Sherry North is a cute rhyming book about all the things a dad would do for his daughter if he had various jobs. The rhyming text works well but the illustrations by Marcellus Hall steal the show. They are fun and detailed enough for kids to loose themselves in them. I like the idea of a parent imagining with their child, it’s such an important skill and is often pushed aside as not worth doing. Lovely book.

father's day tale of two daddies

A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager is a book about a little girl with two daddies. She is playing with a friend who is asking her how it works to have two daddies. He asks her the type of questions any young child might and she answers them as they play together. I like this book and it’s companion A Tale of two mommies because it addresses the sorts of questions young kids have about same sex families and most of all it explains how similar all families really are no matter who is a part of it. I love that the illustrations are done from the perspective of the young children only showing the adults from about knee level and down. Cute, bright book and my daughter loves it.

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My Daddy by Susan Paradis . This book is a look at daddy from a little boy’s worshiping point of view. We see all the things his dad can do, and how the little boy wants to do these things too. In many of the illustrations we see the daddy doing something like mowing the lawn and the son is watching with a toy mower. This book was just ok for me, there was nothing wrong with it , it just didn’t move me the way some of the others have.

father's day books daddy book

The Daddy Book by Todd Parr is a great book about all the different kinds of daddies there are. Children always love to yell out when the daddy in the book does something their dad does and it’s sweet to see young children make those connections. My 3 year old was so excited to see a bald dad on one page followed by a dad who likes to have tea parties because she saw her dad in both these pages. Colorful as always and just the right length for 2-4 year olds even though older kids will enjoy it as well.

dad ttt

My Dad Is the Best Playground by Luciana Navarro Powell  is a sweet board book that my children can relate to very very well. The book is about a dad rough housing with his young children in a playful way. The story isn’t complicated, it’s simply all the different ways that the children and father play from bucking bronco to trampoline to daddy carrying the sleeping children off to bed. Get ready for some rough housing after you read this!

tango

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson is a much debated book. It’s the true story of two male penguins in central park zoo who didn’t have any interest in the girl penguins but definitely liked each other. When the zoo keepers noticed that they were in every way a matched pair they also noticed that they prepared for a baby just like the other penguins. Time after time they were sad until they were given an egg to care for. Just like all families love and care is what matters when creating a family and baby Tango and his two daddies have thrived . My son loved this book and asked me to please go see the penguins when I was in NYC. I didn’t have time to but I wish I had. Their story simplifies a very debated topic and I think it’s a great book not only to explain how all families are different but also how love and care are really what makes a family even for penguins.

father's day

Father’s Day by Anne Rockwell . I really liked this book, it is about a class full of students writing stories about their dads at school and ending with a party where they present the books to their fathers. What I enjoyed was the diversity of this book , it covered all different kinds of dads and children and all the things they most enjoy doing together. My son was rather attached to the dad and son playing soccer , and I had a mean craving for chocolate after reading the page with a dad and daughter making fudge! A wonderful activity after reading this book would be to write your own story!father'sdaybooks2

Daddy Hug by Tim Warnes got a great yes vote from my 11 month old who enthusiastically signed ” more” after I turned the last page. Using a bunch of animals to illustrate all the things daddies are like strong, scruffy, hungry, tender… the author with the help of  illustrator Jane Chapman create a nice read aloud that walks the line between silly and touching very very well. I like this book and like how no matter what your daddy may be you will find him in this book.

father's day books pig and piglet

Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild. I was so happy to discover that this author wrote a daddy book to compliment “Piglet and Mama” which I reviewed and loved for Mother’s Day. Papa pig and piglet are playing and piglet thinks she may have made her daddy very angry and worries about his love for her. The other farm animals help by reassuring piglet and finally she finds Papa pig and the other animals were right he does love her more than anyone in the whole world.

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Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Ulburg is a touching look at father’s and son’s and the complex relationship that develops at the same time as tackling bigger themes like discrimination and baseball.  A father and son share a love of baseball and specifically of Jackie Robinson. This book handles these multiple themes very well and will likely create a few lumps in your throat as you read the sometimes achingly honest text. I really liked this book and how it linked different kinds of discrimination, adversity and the way the human spirit can triumph over both.

a father like that

A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow touched my heart. I have always been lucky to have a dad who was involved and present in my life, but this book is about the opposite. A little boy is telling his mom about what he wants in a dad, because he doesn’t have one. The book covers so many things dads do or don’t do, and while the dream dad isn’t perfect he is fair, loving and kind. I was tearing up as the book neared the end because I was wondering how the mom who was hearing all of this was going to react. Throughout the list of things the dad would do there were things for his mom too, mostly her being able to take a break and rest. Which made me feel sad that a little boy would have to worry about his mom, but I am sure that is all too common. The end pushed me over the edge, and my son who was drifting off to sleep while I was reading popped up and wiped my tears which made me cry harder because he was taking care of me. It ends with his mama saying that even though he may never have a father like that , that one day he can be a father like that. Great book for all families.