This is a compilation of previously reviewed books that don’t focus on Father’s Day so much as have good representations of dads in them. From the natural world of seahorses and penguins, to something that has become Daddy’s job at our house; bedtime and cleaning out the car, all these books offer positive portrayals of fatherhood.
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 bookshelf 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!
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.
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 a 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.
The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins is a good non-fiction book written like a story about penguins and more specifically about how the father penguin cares for the egg. The illustrations in the book are wonderful and will likely appeal to younger children as well as the target 4-6-year-olds audience that the text is geared towards. I have used this in a Pre-K class and by the end of the year, the children were ready and able to sit and pay attention to the whole book.
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.