I not only recommend these children’s pictures books as enjoyable well-illustrated, stories for young children, I also recommend them as Father’s Day gifts. Why? It’s not always easy to put into words the importance of the loving bond between father and child. Use these books, which celebrate that bond, to illustrate your affection for the special dad or granddad in your life.
1. Guess How Much I Love You: The Pop-Up Edition
Since its publication in 1994, millions of copies of Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram have been sold. Now, the tender story of the love between father and son as embodied in the tale of Big and Little Nutbrown Hare has been beautifully recreated in a pop-up edition. The paper engineering by Corina Fletcher complements the story perfectly. Because this book not only celebrates the love between father and child but also shows how much impact a father's love can have on a child, I recommend this book as a Father's Day gift for a very special dad. Candlewick Press published the pop-up edition in 2011. The ISBN is 9780763653781. Read my review of Guess How Much I Love You: The Pop-Up Edition
2. Papa, Do You Love Me?
In Africa, a young Maasai boy asks, “Papa, do you love me?” After a loving response from his father, the boy goes on to pose many “what if” questions to confirm that his father’s love will remain steadfast at all times. I recommend Barbara M. Jossee’s Papa, Do You Love Me?
for four- to eight-year olds. I would also recommend it as a Father’s Day gift to honor a father who has spent a lifetime providing parental love such as that shown in the book. Chronicle Books published the picture book in 2005. The ISBN is 0811842657. Read my review of Papa, Do You Love Me?
3. Every Friday
Henry Holt and Company
Many of our favorite memories of childhood center on family traditions. Every Friday, a picture book written and illustrated by Dan Yacarino, celebrates one such ritual. The narrator of the story, a young boy, recounts how he and his father, who live in the city, go out for breakfast at their favorite diner every Friday morning. They take their time walking to the diner, enjoying one another’s company and all the sights of a busy city. At the diner, the boy says, “While we eat, Dad and I talk about all sorts of things.” It’s no wonder that Friday is the little boy’s favorite day of the week. Every Friday features appealing illustrations with a 1950s retro look. Henry Holt and Company published Every Friday in 2007. The ISBN is 9780805077247.
4. A Day with Dad
A Day with Dad celebrates the bond between a young boy and his father that can't be broken by divorce. Although Tim and his mother have moved to a new town, his father is coming by train to spend the whole day with him. Tim takes great pleasure in introducing his father to everyone they meet. Together, Tim and his dad share hot dogs at a hot dog stand, a movie, and pizza. By then, it is getting dark. When it is time for his father to leave, Tim is reluctant to see him go. Tim's dad invites him onto the train. Then, his dad introduces Tim to everyone on the train. While Tim is sorry to see his father leave, he knows his dad will be back to visit him soon. Candlewick Press published A Day With Dad in 2008. The ISBN is 9780763632212.
5. I Love My Daddy
In I Love My Daddy, the focus is totally on the bond between father and child, in this case, a bear and his cub. Sebastien Braun is the author and illustrator of this the children's picture book for young children. The book features double-page spreads showing the two bears with a simple sentence embedded in the artwork. The story begins in the morning with "My daddy wakes me." It goes on to tell about all of the things the cub's daddy lovingly does for him and ends with the cub expressing his love for his daddy. This gentle story will appeal to two- to four-year-olds as would be a good gift to honor dads who are actively raising their children, either with a spouse or alone. HarperCollins published the book in 2004. The ISBN is 9780060543112.
6. Daddy, Papa, and Me
Tricycle Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press
Daddy, Papa, and Me is a board book about a day in the life of a toddler being raised by two males, Daddy and Papa. Written in simple rhyme, the story is about a day full of active play in a loving family. It ends with the toddler still full of energy and Daddy and Papa in need of a rest. The cheery mixed media illustrations and the rhythmic text will appeal to little ones, while the book would also be a nice gift for a gay couple. Tricycle Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, published the book in 2009. The ISBN is 9781582462622.