With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to break out the smiles and hugs, to praise the ones who make every day a happier and safer place. To help you celebrate, here are 10 perfect books to share with the fathers and father figures in all our lives.
Illustrated by Olivia Duchess
There is an extraordinary bond between a girl and her dad, and Pierce Freelon celebrates that special relationship and how the simple act of playing brightens the whole day.
A celebration of the love #girldads share with their daughters, musician Pierce Freelon’s picture book debut is a joyous anthem brought to life by Olivia Duchess’s beautiful and adorable illustrations.
A daddy and daughter can’t let this perfect day go to waste—so what will they do and where will they go?
Play hopscotch in the park or build a pillow fort and stay inside?
Shoot the perfect alley-oop or host a tea party on the half-court line?
Frolic like princesses or find a big tree to climb?
If life gives them puddles, they’ll jump and splash and play!
by Joe Cepeda
Although we don’t always realize it, there are a few things we can always count on our dads for. We count on their support. We count the ways in which they make things better. But the one thing we can’t count is how much they love us.
For fans of Guess How Much I Love You? and Just Me and My Dad comes a heartwarming story perfect for Father’s Day about a son and his papá who love to measure everything, including their love for each other.
Rafa and his papá love to count and measure together. They know how many branches they climb to their favorite spot, they know how high their dog Euclid can jump, and they know how far they can run. But there’s one thing Rafa can’t count or measure because it is infinite: the love that he and his papá share.
Pura Belpré Honor illustrator and author Joe Cepeda celebrates curiosity and shows the tender and playful relationship between father and son on every inch of the page. With a subtle nod to introducing concepts, from real objects to the abstract, readers feel the immeasurable love of this Latinx family as Papá delights in spending time with Rafa.
by Ame Dyckman
Illustrated by Charles Santoso
Dads don’t always know what we want them to do, but, in the end, they always do what we need, even if it is something we didn’t know we needed.
From popular author Ame Dyckman and rising star Charles Santoso comes the laugh-out-loud story of a father desperate to destroy the dandelion marring his perfectly manicured lawn, and his daughter’s fierce attempts to save it.
When Daddy spots a solitary weed in his lawn, he’s appalled (along with all of his neighborhood friends). But his daughter Sweetie has fallen in love with the beautiful flower, even going so far as to name it Charlotte. Racing against time and the mockery of his friends, Daddy has to find a way to get rid of the errant dandelion without breaking his little girl’s heart.
Illustrated by Abby Carter
No two parents are the same, not even the ones that live in the same house. Share this picture book that highlights all the ways dads do things differently.
Daddy sure doesn’t do things the way Mommy does! Just in time for Father’s Day, this hilarious picture book takes a high-spirited look at the way dads put their own spin on different parts of a child’s life — from going to a birthday party to bathtime. Alan Sitomer’s debut picture book is inspired by his own experiences as a father and winningly complemented with delightful art by Abby Carter.
by Ahmet Zappa
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Cover design or artwork by Dan Santat
Isn’t it the best when dad lets us run around and do all the fun, wacky stuff that we normally can’t?
Perfect for Father’s Day and all year round, here is the breakout book celebrating all the silliness and sweetness that a dad can share with a child, illustrated by bestselling and award-winning artist Dan Santat!
Because I’m your dad, you can have spaghetti for breakfast, French toast for dinner, and rocky road ice cream in the bathtub!
In a text that’s both playful and loving, a father expresses his hopes and dreams for a one-of-a-kind relationship with his child. The book’s ending, a moving tribute to the author’s father—legendary rock star Frank Zappa—guarantees intergenerational appeal, and award-winning artist Dan Santat (The Adventures of Beekle) brings the fun and endearing scenes to life with whimsical monster characters.
Because I’m your dad, I will do all of these things for you and more . . .because that’s what my dad did for me.
It’s hard to understand that dads are people too, that they have feelings and can feel sad the same way we do. Just because dad isn’t always smiling doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.
An emotional and tender picture book that accessibly explores depression within a family, through the use of color.
I’ve always been my dad’s little sunspot.
But one day, his world was no longer bright and yellow—it was a deep, dark blue.
As one father embarks on an emotional journey, his daughter will navigate life lived in and around his depression. Most days the sun won’t be able to peek through the clouds. But with each new wave of change, love will always bond them together.
This poignant and important story, with its use of color to indicate the ups and downs of one family’s emotions, is an accessible way to discuss mental illness with young readers.
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Father-son bonding is a special time in a young boy’s life, and nothing is more special than that trip to the barbershop.
Now with a refreshed cover, this heartfelt companion to the top-selling I Love My Hair is a must-have addition for every bookshelf.
A young boy named Miles makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father — but he’s afraid that the haircut will hurt! With the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut.
With this board book format, here is a much-needed story about a milestone moment for toddlers, featuring African American families and a loving father-son relationship that is perfect for Father’s Day and all year round.
Though it might not seem like it, our dads are often cooler than we think, sometimes it just takes a second look.
Chuck Whipplethorp has a lot to live up to. He is Charles Whipplethorp the Fifth after all, named after his seriously cool ancestors who were explorers, soldiers, and scientists—his grandpa even discovered a new species of insect! One day Chuck looks at his stay-at-home dad, huddled over his laptop, and asks: “Dad . . . when I grow up, am I going to be as boring as you?” With a little help from his nurturing father, Chuck finds his own source of strength and individuality through creativity, and helps him to discover that “greatness” comes in many forms.
The Great Whipplethorp Bug Collection offers a multigenerational family portrait with humor and heart, while unpacking gender roles and acknowledging the universal desire young readers feel to belong and make a mark in the world.
Cats can be dads too! Just ask Waffles and Pancake, whose special Saturday with Dad-Cat just might change their lives forever.
Inspired by his beloved CatStronauts series, Drew Brockington is going back in time to when everyone’s favorite Catstronaut, Waffles, was a kitten! Fans of Narwhal and Jelly and Elephant & Piggie will love this fun, cat-tastic early graphic novel series.
One very special Saturday, Dad-Cat decides to take Waffles and his sister Pancake to the big city to go to the science museum! While they’re there, the kittens see extraordinary things, like dino-cats, hairballs in 4D, and even the planetarium. But as the kittens learn about constellations and Neil Pawstrong, they get separated from Dad-Cat. Oh no!
Will the kittens be able to find their (possibly invisible) Dad-Cat? Or will they get stuck living in the museum and eating star tots and tuna melts fur-ever?! This early graphic novel series is chock-full of educational facts about space—perfect for young readers.
by Shawn Amos
A little something for the older kids: Sometimes working on a project with your dad is the best way to have a *deliciously* fun summer.
It’s a summer of family, friendship, and fun fiascos in this semi-autobiographical novel that’s as irresistible as a fresh-baked cookie.
Eleven-year-old Ellis Johnson has the summertime blues. He dreamed of spending the summer of 1976 hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica. Instead, he’ll be sleeping on a lumpy pullout in Dad’s sad little post-divorce bungalow and helping bring Dad’s latest far-fetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: opening the world’s first chocolate chip cookie store. They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a ramshackle A-frame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers.
But of course, nothing is as easy as Dad makes it sound, even with Grandma along for the ride. Like she says, they have to GIT—get it together—and make things work. Along the way, Ellis discovers a family mystery he is determined to solve, the power of community, and new faith in himself.
Partially based on Shawn Amos’s own experiences growing up the son of Wally “Famous” Amos in a mostly white area, and packed with humor, heart, and fun illustrations, this debut novel sings with the joy of self-discovery, unconditional love, and belonging.