20 children's books starring dads

Published on Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Last updated on Tuesday, 31 December 2019

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Father's Day is just around the corner, put 1 September in your diary, and this is a great time for dads and children to cuddle up and share a story.

A book is the gift that keeps on giving, so whether you buy or borrow, here are 20 titles that celebrate dads and reward young readers.

Board books for babies and toddlers

  • My Dad Is The Best Playground by Luciana Navarro Powell
    Written for ages zero to two, this title shows Dad as a care-giver and a friend, but also as a fun swing, bouncy trampoline and joyful merry-go-round. Welcome to the best playground ever!
  • If My Love Were A Fire Truck: A Daddy's Love Song by Luke Reynolds and Jeff Mack
    This book is a rollicking read, full of action and adventure, but it's also a rhyming lullaby from father to son. It celebrates this special bond with some space travel, oceaneering and fireworks to ensure Father's Day goes off with a bang!
  • My Dad is Amazing! by Sabrina Moyle and Eunice Moyle
    From the creators of the greeting card and design studio, Hello! Lucky, comes this cool board book. Young children will love the smiling yeti and colour pop on every page, preschoolers will appreciate the fun writing, and hip dads will dig its design credentials.
  • Nelly Gnu And Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney
    Fans of Dewdney's Llama Llama books will love meeting Nelly Gnu! This cute animal is building a playhouse with her daddy and encounters some small hiccups along the way. With rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, littlies and biggies will enjoy this book.
  • My Two Dads And Me by Michael Joosten and Izak Zenou
    Combining style, substance and humour, this title celebrates same-sex families and follows a little person's day with their two dads. It's a giggle all the way from breakfast to bedtime.

Picture books for preschoolers

  • I Love Dad With The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    Here, the most famous caterpillar in book history shares the pages with a variety of colourful animal dads and babies. This small, heart-felt book is the perfect gift from child to parent, and everyone will have fun spotting Mr Caterpillar on each page.
  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
    Jabari is definitely ready to spring off the diving board. Well, sort of ready. So begins this sweet tale about overcoming fears and how a supportive dad can help their child achieve great things. Go Jabari!
  • A Perfect Father's Day by Eve Bunting
    If you're looking for inspiration on 1 September, then look no further. Four-year-old Susie has Father's Day covered and plans to share Dad's company – and also his treats!
  • With My Daddy: A Book of Love and Family by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
    Witek and Roussey are the brains behind the Growing Hearts series and this book is a perfect match for their bestseller, In My Heart: A Book Of Feelings. With My Daddy shows much fun can be had with a dad (swimming, riding, imagining!) and also how supportive he can be.
  • Drawn Together by Minh Lê and Dan Santat
    This award-winning book moves the focus from dads to grandads and shows how a shared love of art and storytelling can cross any language barrier. With a profound message, it shows diversity and depth.

Other children's books to explore

There are lots more father-focused books, and these deserve a special mention too:

  • The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
    This is a quirky read about a kid who swaps his dad. It's a bit fishy, and funny!
  • When Daddy Travels by Harriet Ziefert and Emily Bolam
    This lift-the-flap book is a great one for children whose dads who work away from home.
  • Some Dads by Nick Bland
    Move over Very Cranky Bear, because this silly, rhyming book is about all different kinds of dads.
  • My Dad Thinks He's Funny and My Dad Still Thinks He's Funny by Katrina Germein and Tom Jellett
    The original and the sequel contain enough Dad jokes for two Father's Days, so get ready for giggles.
  • You And Me, Me And You by Miguel Tanco
    For ages six and up, this book captures poignant moments between a father and son to add real meaning to the relationship.
  • My Dad Used To Be So Cool by Keith Negley
    He might not play in a band or ride a motorbike nowadays, but to the young child of his, this dad is still cool.
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Thi Bui
    More than just a father and son fishing trip, this is the story of one family's journey from Vietnam to America.
  • My Father Knows The Names Of Things by Jane Yolen
    Dad knows the fuzziest moss, the buzziest insect and lots, lots more in this zippy, rhyming read.
  • Things To Do with Dad by Sam Zuppardi
    The day is looking boooooooring until a boy's trusty green crayon adds 'FUN' to Daddy's to-do list.
  • I Love my Daddy by Sebastien Braun
    With painterly illustrations and simple text, this book contains bears and is sweet as can be for youngsters.

Books are a beautiful way for parents and children to cuddle up and create memories on Father's Day and every day. Enjoy!

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