With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time for a roundup of kids books for dads. Find some snuggle time and sit down to read together with these great finds.
Why Should Dads Read With Their Children?
More often than not, especially with younger children, we think of Moms reading with the kids. However, dads need to share this time with their kids as well. Studies have shown that dads interact differently than moms when reading books with their children. This can have an impact on language development as it turns out that dads use more abstract complex language when they are reading with their kids. They also link the ideas from the book to real life experiences which can help the child generalize the ideas in the book. Along with the language learned, this time can be used as a bonding and sharing time for fathers and their children.
Books to Connect and Build Relationships
In honour of Father’s day, I’ve compiled a list of books for young children focused on fathers.
- Owl Moon, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr
With illustrations by Caldecott award winner John Schoenherr, this lovely book takes you through a walk in the woods with a father and his daughter. They are on a stroll to listen for the owls in the night. Engage in the joys of nature as you read aloud this beautiful book
- Papa, Please get me the moon, written and illustrated by Eric Carle
If you love Eric Carle’s work, then you will enjoy this book. A determined dad will go to great lengths to get the moon for his daughter. Text is simple enough for the child who is beginning to read but also a great book to read aloud with your child
- If I Didn’t Have You, written by Alan Katz and illustrated by Chris Robertson
A father and son dream up all sorts of things that they could do if they did not have the other. In the end, though, they realize they prefer to have each other. A funny yet tender book for ages 4-8.
- When Dads Don’t Grow Up, written by Marjorie Blain Parker and illustrated by R.W. Alley
For the young at heart dad, a fun look at how dad can join in the play with the little ones.
- My Dad Thinks He’s Funny, written by Katrina Germain and illustrated by Tom Jellett
For the dad who loves a good joke or two (and maybe even ones we have heard before!), this book is sure to either have you laughing as you read or rolling your eyes. Even older children (up to 8 years) will enjoy this one.
- I Need All of It, written by Petra Postert and illustrated by Jen Rassmuss et al.
For those who remember the joys of collecting childhood trinkets and the parents who find them in the wash.
- How to Surprise a Dad, written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
From the New York Times bestsellers How to Babysit Grandpa and How to Babysit Grandma comes a book full of surprises for dad.
- My Daddy Rules the World, written and illustrated by Hope Anita Smith
The award-winning poet, Hope Anita Smith, celebrates fatherhood through a series of poems told through the voice of a child.
- Jabari Jumps, written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
A patient and encouraging dad helps his son face up to and overcome his fears in this poolside tale.
- Made for me, written by Zach Bush and illustrated by Gregorio de Lauretis
The joy and awe of having a newborn child and watching him grow is told in this endearing book.
- Night Job, written by Karen Hesse and Illustrated by Brian Karas
Newbery medalist Karen Hesse pays tribute to hard-working fathers everywhere.
- My papi has a motorcycle, written by Isabel Quintero and Illustrated by Zeke Pena
With changes happening in the immigrant neighbourhood around her, Daisy knows that the love between her and her dad will stay strong.
- A Different Pond, written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui
A fishing trip with his son leads into a story from two different worlds, as a father tells his son about his home life back in Vietnam.
- Things to do with Dad, written and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi
A nearly wordless picture book about a son who realizes that his dad’s boring day of chores might not be so boring after all. Let your creativity loose as you craft your own words to the story.
- Dad and the Dinosaur, written by Genifer Choldenko and illustrated by Dan Santat
A story about learning to be brave with the help of dad beside you – even when you lose your dinosaur!
At home downtime
As we are at home more at this time, it can be a great chance to connect with our children through reading. Celebrating the role that father’s play in our lives, these books can be a great gift for Father’s Day.