This year, as always, our team has found some incredible Father’s Day gift ideas for every type of dad. But, as a total book nerd, I love the idea of giving Dad a children’s book that celebrates dads too. Of course, it’s equally for the kids as for their father, but to help make bedtime reading memories for both of them is one awesome gift.
Especially with those kid-handwriting inscriptions inside the front covers.
So, here are my own top picks for great children’s books about dads that are all new, since Father’s Day of last year.
Run out to your local bookstore, or make good use of that Amazon Prime shipping. From silly and sweet to seriously moving, these books make for a thoughtful and still affordable gift from the kids this year.
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I’m totally smitten with the quirky-cool My Dad is Amazing board book by Sabrina Moyle & Eunice Moyle of design and letterpress shop Hello! Lucky. Although it’s perfect for preschoolers, the great design and fun writing can age this book up too, so even your tweens and teens give it as a fun, happy gift for Dad.
No, Pet Dad by Elanna Allen is not about fur babies. (Thank goodness.) Instead, it’s a fun romp of a story about a curly-haired girl and her dad. Plum wants a pet, but Dad doesn’t So, Plum decides her dad will be her pet. And she’s got him all figured out.
If an adorable tribute to Daddy is what you’re looking for, then grab a copy of With My Daddy by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey. This is part of a series, but it stands alone just fine too. The spunky main character imagines all the things she loves doing with her dad, from swimming in the pool together to getting a big hug when she’s scared, making it a really lovely children’s book for a dad on Father’s Day.
Okay so we cheated just a little with My Dad Rules the World: Poems About Dads, because it came out just before Father’s Day last year — which means you may have missed it. Written and exquisitely illustrated by two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning poet Hope Anita Smith, this collection of heartwarming poems from a child’s point of view celebrates fatherly love reflected in ordinary activities from haircuts in the kitchen to playing catch to bedtime stories. There’s even a letter to a military dad abroad, because being a loving, committed dad doesn’t mean you can be there for every bedtime story, either.
You’re going to want to include a box of tissues if you give the new book Made for Me (also at very top) by Zack Bush and Gregorio De Lauretis to Dad on Father’s Day this year. With lines like, “Of all the children that could ever be, you are the one made just for me,” it’s a tear-jerker. You’re going to love this big, lumberjack of a dad as he celebrates all the tender moments of fatherhood in this heartwarming book.
Earlier this year, we shared A Different Pond as one of the best picture books of 2017, period. This collaboration between graphic novelist Thi Bui and poet Bao Phi is the moving, heart-tugging work you’d expect. Through the experience of an early morning father-son fishing trip, this book beautifully depicts the difficulties many immigrant families experience. It’s earned many awards and starred reviews, and if the dad in your life is a lover of literature and culture, or if you have a recent immigrant experience in your own family, this might be the right book for him.
French artist Audrey Maman went viral with her #Soosh artwork on Instagram, and the result is the charming picture book Dad By My Side. A perfect children’s book about dads for Father’s Day gifting, it captures a larger-than-life dad and his tiny daughter, together fighting off monsters from under the bed, playing make-believe, just taking a nap, and all the other daily-life moments that add up to a magical childhood.
If you’re looking for a children’s book for grandfathers this Father’s Day, I highly recommend Drawn Together by Minh Lê and Dan Santat. Here, a young boy visits his grandfather, but they don’t speak the same language. The situation is frustrating, but they discover that by drawing together they share a common language after all. This story of reaching out and making an effort to understand someone different from you is a beautiful one for your bookshelves, Father’s Day gift or not.
Eric Carle is of course an icon in children’s literature, and I Love Dad is a nice reboot of his work. Each page tells something different that you love about Dad — from being easy to talk to, to catching you when you fall. The sentiment is a little…trite (I’ll say it), but the art is classic, making it a solid children’s book about dads for Father’s Day. Plus, you can have a little fun finding the very hungry caterpillar on each page.