Father’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate dad than to give him a book (or two or three!) that he can snuggle up and read with the ones who made him a dad! Even better if its a book that stars a dad, because there really just doesn’t seem to be enough of those around.
Here are our 25 favorite children’s books starring dads…
1 | BECAUSE I’M YOUR DAD BY AHMET ZAPPA
Because I’m your dad, you can have spaghetti for breakfast, French toast for dinner, and rocky road ice cream in the bathtub. Filled with fun repetitive text and whimsical illustrations, this book is about all of the silly things dads do with their kids. Plus it makes monsters seem a little less scary!
2 | HIKE BY PETE OSWALD
Follow along as a father and child wake up, pack up their things, and head into the mountains. Once there they embark on a hike where they take in the beautiful scenery, overcome challenges, and make a contribution to the forest by planting a tree together. Once home, feeling closer than ever, they document this day in a generations-old family album.
3 | DAD BY MY SIDE BY SOOSH
This sweet father-daughter story beautifully illustrates how much they enjoy each other’s company. Dad By My Side is sweet and sentimental, with the most beautiful and unique illustrations.
4 | MY DAD HAS A BEARD BY KELLEN ROGGENBUCK
If you have men in your life with beards (and even if you don’t), you will love this book. It is witty and fun for parents, and colorful and engaging for kids.
5 | NELLY GNU AND DADDY TOO BY ANNA DEWDNEY
If your preschool-age child loved the Llama Llama books, this book about playtime with Nelly Gnu and her daddy will be another favorite. With fun-to-read rhyming text, it tells the story of a dad and his daughter building a playhouse and the memorable day spent together.
6 | DADDY, PAPA, AND ME BY LESLÉA NEWMAN
A wonderful book about a baby and his two dads and all the things they do together, from hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight.
7 | MIGHTY DADS BY JOAN HOLUB
An action-packed construction story about the ways dad cheer on and support their kids. “Excavator Big helps little Vator dig. They go scoop, scoop, scoop.” The perfect pick if your little one enjoys trucks.
8 | HAIR LOVE BY MATTHEW A. CHERRY
A story of a dad valiantly helping his daughter style her hair just right for an extra-special day. An ode to loving your natural hair and the special bond between fathers and daughters.
9 | MY DAD USED TO BE SO COOL BY KEITH NEGLEY
Let’s face it, you were probably cooler before you had kids. My Dad Used to Be so Cool is the story of a dad who used to play in a band, ride a motorcycle, and lots of other cool things. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he’s the greatest!
10 | IF MY LOVE WERE A FIRE TRUCK: A DADDY’S LOVE SONG BY LUKE REYNOLDS
A bedtime rhyming love song from fathers to their sons. “If my love were a racing car, it would rev and rattle and vroom.”
11 | DADDY HUGS BY KAREN KATZ
Baby and daddy can cuddle and count along with this hug-and-read book perfect for dad’s first Father’s Day.
12 | MADE FOR ME BY ZACK BUSH
Nothing quite prepares you for the joy of having a child, and this book is filled with tender moments that tie a father and his new child. “Of all the children that ever could be, you are the one made just for me.”
13 | HOW TO CHEER UP DAD BY FRED KOEHLER
Little Jumbo’s dad is having a bad day but he has no idea why. (It couldn’t be the raisins he spits at the ceiling or the cereal dropped on the floor.) But Little Jumbo decides to cheer up his dad with some of his favorite things!
14 | RORY AND THE DINOSAUR: ME AND MY DAD BY LIZ CLIMO
Rory the Dinosaur loves spending time with his dad, but wants to go on his own adventure one day when his dad is busy! Little does he know that his dad is there every step of the way to make sure nothing goes wrong.
15 | WITH MY DADDY: A BOOK OF LOVE AND FAMILY BY JO WITEK
With My Daddy is a whimsical picture book about a little girl who loves to spend time with her daddy. Being with him makes her feel “brave,” “adventurous,” and “daring.” And when she gets scared, nothing calms her down like a hug from her dad.
16 | MY DAD IS AMAZING BY SABRINA MOYLE
Featuring bright, colorful artwork and a mythical yeti, My Dad is Amazing is a tribute all the things that make dad the greatest! He is “cooler than a million popsicles” and “cuddlier than a ton of bunnies” after all.
17 | WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT BY HELEN OXENBURY
A tale of a brave dad and his children going on an adventure and the obstacles they come across along the way. “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it! Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” A classic story with fun repetitive text that will have your little one wanting you to read it over and over again.
18 | YOU MADE ME A DAD BY LAURENNE SALA
A touching story about fatherhood and they bond fathers share with their children, from before they were born and as they grow up. It’s so tender you’re likely to tear up reading this one.
19 | KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE BY MO WILLEMS
Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the laundromat, but Knuffle Bunny is left behind! Oh no! With fun and expressive illustrations on a muted background, this is a hilarious story about what happens one day when dad’s in charge.
20 | MY DAD LOVES ME! BY MARIANNE RICHMOND
A story about baby animals and their dads, My Dad Loves Me illustrates some of the sweet ways a dad shows his love to his children.
21 | I LOVE MY DADDY BY SEBASTIEN BRAUN
This sweet board book celebrates the relationship between a child and a father. Follow a day in the life of a bear and his bear cub, as baby bear narrates the story, telling all the things his dad does for him.
22 | YOUR BABY’S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA BY JIMMY FALLON
Written by Jimmy Fallon, a quest to make sure your baby’s first word will be . . .”Dada!”
23 | BABY DANCE BY ANN TAYLOR
“Up to the ceiling, down to the ground, backward and forward, round and round.” This adorable book can be sung to the tune of “Hush Little Baby” and features a daddy singing and playing with his baby. Such a sweet one that babies are sure to love.
24 | JABARI JUMPS BY GAIA CORNWALL
Jabari has completed his swim lessons and is ready to jump off the diving board. He even tells his dad it looks easy but then…he gets nervous. Maybe if he takes a rest (he is a little tired) and does his stretches, he’ll be ready. During a little chat, Jabari’s dad assures him it’s OK to be scared and offers him a new perspective that gives Jabari just the boost he needs to climb the tall ladder and jump!
25 | I LOVE DAD WITH THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR BY ERIC CARLE
Celebrate dad with a little bit of help from The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Featuring the loveable Eric Carle illustrations, I Love Dad is a classic choice for Father’s Day.