Last month children’s publisher Scholastic released their 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report. For the past three years, Scholastic has researched and reported on the reading behaviors of kids. Of particular interest this year is the finding dads play a huge role in whether their children develop good reading habits and a lifelong love of reading.
Many of the numerous benefits of reading to your child are largely academic in nature, and include the acquisition of better language development and skills upon entering school, an improved understanding of the world, more refined social skills as well as higher academic achievement in later years. However, in my opinion one of the most important and least discussed benefits is that it is a wonderful way for dads to bond with their child.
Below are thirty books I either own or looked up at my local library. They are all children’s books appropriate for children ages birth to eight and all feature dads in the story. Imagine how great that bond can be when you read books about dads where your child can relate even more to the story? Have you read books about dads to your children? What am I missing and what can you add to this list?
1.) Baby Dance by Ann Taylor – While Mom is napping, Dad comforts his baby daughter and soon they are dancing and singing their way through this action poem. A great addition to board-book collections.
2.) Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements – A book paying tribute to a dad’s unconditional love and patience. It’s nice to see a book promoting the positives of a father-child relationship.
3.) Clever Daddy by Maddie Stewart – A simple, happy rhyming picture book in which the child presents his ‘Clever Daddy.’ Each double page spread shows father and son playing in different ways.
4.) Daddies Are For Catching Fireflies by Harriet Ziefert – Although based on a more traditional view of dads, this is still a fun book with beautiful watercolor artwork and lilting text. My daughter loves lifting the flaps throughout this book to see what great things dads do for their kids.
5.) Daddy Can You by Monte White - Mr. White is one of the published authors who also reviews books for Book Dads. This is a beautifully illustrated and terrific read for dads. “Daddy, can you…balance a soccer ball on your nose and pose? Nothing is more fun then spending time with Dad!”
6.) Daddy Hug by Tim Warnes - Daddy Hug takes your kids through a journey of the animal kingdoms diverse types of Dads. Simple adjectives and words introduce all types of Daddies and roll into the next animal adjective with the flow of a song.
7.) Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz – A very cute book for daddy and baby to cuddle and read with!
8.) Daddy Is A Doodlebug by Bruce Degen – A charming picture book full of clever wordplay and distinctive illustrations sharing a boy’s point-of-view of some of the favorite activities he shares with his dad.
9.) Daddy Mountain by Jules Feiffer – A lighthearted and fun read especially for the toddler who also enjoys climbing their own version of the ‘daddy mountain.’
10.) Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman - This is a lovely book which shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children and that there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together.
11.) Dad’s Bald Head by Paul Many - A fun read with great illustrations, this is a picture book detailing a son’s journey of understanding change as dad shaves off what’s little left of his hair.
12.) Gorilla by Anthony Brown – This book gets rave reviews from everyone who reads it. It tells the story of a little girl who wants to have her very own gorilla as a pet. An excellent read for dads to share with their daughters.
13.) Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney – This is a must have for every parent. It was the first book I ever read to my daughter and I choked up half way through reading it.
14.) Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli – The story is about a little girl who wants to go higher than a giraffe, a building, and so forth. A fun read for all of us with kids who just love to go higher and higher on those swings at the playground!
15.) How Many Stars In The Sky? by Lenny Hort – A beautifully illustrated story of how a father and son deal with a night without mom.
16.) Just Like Daddy by Cecilia Johannson – We got this book at our local library. My daughter loved the board book version where she could hold the book and feel the furry parts of the animals on each of the pages.
17.) Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems – Mo Willems is a favorite in our house and this is a fun book which truly encapsulates what it means to be a young child. Like Willems other books, this is a fun one to read out loud to the kids.
18.) My Daddy and Me by Jerry Spinelli – Dogs are the characters representing a celebration of fathers and sons in this tale of a dad’s love for his kids.
19.) My Dad is Great by Gaby Goldsack – There isn’t a dad out there who wouldn’t love reading this book as it shares all the ways dads are great.
20.) My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein – If you grew up with a dad who told terrible jokes and bad puns, you’ll love this book about a dad who thinks he’s really funny.
21.) Oh Daddy by Bob Shea – A funny book which shows how really silly dads can be. My daughter loves this book just as she loves her own silly daddy.
22.) Owl Moon by Jane Yolen - A classic by award-winning children’s author, Jane Yolen, this is a sweet yet not overly sentimental tale about a nighttime owling trip taken by a girl and her father.
23.) Papa and Me by Arthur Dorros – A beautiful bilingual expression of a full day of a father and son spending time with each other. This is a book to be enjoyed by dads and sons everywhere.
24.) Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild – A story about the unconditional love of a father for his children. I haven’t read it with my daughter yet, but I’ve been told to be prepared to read this over and over again.
25.) So Much by Trish Cooke – This is the perfect bedtime book because it ends with the baby going to sleep after having an incredible day spending time with family at daddy’s birthday party.
26.) Tell Me One Thing, Dad by Tom Pow – A warm story about a daughter trying to stretch out bedtime by asking her dad lots and lots of questions.
27.) The Daddy Book by Todd Parr - One of the favorites in our home, this is a book about all the different and “cool” daddies in the world. Each turn of the page reveals different types of daddies interacting with their kids – or just being a daddy.
28.) The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins – I love this book as it shows the importance of the dad’s role in bringing up their children. A beautiful book.
29.) The Ten Best Things About My Dad by Christine Loomis – The young narrator tells the reader all the best things he loves about his dad. An excellent read for both dad and the kids, as dads get to think about their dads too.
30.) What Dads Can’t Do by Douglas Wood – A very fun tongue-in-cheek read! The illustrations are amusing, and kids will enjoy working out the reasons why dads can’t do so many things (such as giving their kids a bath without getting all wet!).