Being a good dad is no easy feat. Fathers can make such an indelible impact on the lives of their kids. If your kids have a dad or father figure who adores them, they’ll love these sweet picture books about fathers. You’ll meet dads who can do all sorts of stuff just to make their kids happy.
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37 Excellent Picture Books About Fathers
Here are 37 heartwarming picture books about dads:
Published: July 14, 2015
Ask me what I like?
What do you like?
A father and daughter walk through their neighborhood, brimming with questions as they explore their world. With so many things to enjoy, and so many ways to ask—and talk—about them, it’s a snapshot of an ordinary day in a world that’s anything but. This story is a heartwarming and inviting picture book with a tenderly written story by Bernard Waber and glorious illustrations by Suzy Lee.
Dad By My Side
Published: May 8, 2018
Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond.
When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week.
Because I’m Your Dad
Published: April 16, 2013
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.
Published: April 26, 2011
Mitchell was four years, one month, and five days old when he got his license. He may need a little boost getting into the driver’s seat, but once he’s behind the wheel, his car sure goes fast! Left turn, right turn, slow down for speed bumps – Mitchell is a pro. And he loves the way that horn sounds! There’s just one problem: Mitchell and his car have a slight disagreement about what type of fuel should go into the tank. . . . With warmth and sly wit, Hallie Durand follows a young child obsessed with all things automobile, while Tony Fucile’s comical illustrations convey the well-tuned bond between an obliging father and a high-octane child.
Published: April 2, 2019
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.
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
Published: May 6, 2014
These are things Nelly loves to do…but they’re always better with Daddy Gnu!
With fun-to-read rhyme, a little silliness, and a lot of warmth, Anna Dewdney—the creator of the beloved llama llama books—tells the story of a daughter and her daddy and their wonderful day together.
Published: May 14, 2019
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.
Made for Me
Published: March 1, 2018
Of all the children that ever could be,
You are the one made just for me.
From a child’s first uttered “Dada” to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Available in hardcover, board book, and Spanish language formats, this book is perfect for new dads, baby shower gift-giving, and Father’s Day gift-giving. Written by a dad for dads, it’s guaranteed to touch the hearts of all dads (just read the reviews).
How to Cheer Up Dad
Published: March 20, 2014
Little Jumbo just can’t understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn’t be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take–after all, Little Jumbo’s dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad’s bad day around with some of his–ahem, his dad’s–favorite things.
Published: May 1, 2012
“Two birds of a feather, a chick and her dad, lived by the shore, in a radical pad. A legend in surfing, Chick’s dad ruled the Roost. Chick’s dream was to learn every move he produced.”
So begins the story of a little chick and her dad who take to the beach so she can finally learn how to surf. At first Chick’s mood is foul as she struggles through some gnarly waters, but soon she is catching waves on her own board and even doing righteous tricks, just like her rad dad!
Published: April 27, 2010
Daddies . . . They can be funny and lovable and really, really silly.
My Papa is a Princess
Published: September 1, 2018
Cuddle up with Dad for this sweet book about a father as seen through his daughter’s eyes. When Papa braids her hair, he’s a hairdresser; when he hangs her drawings on the wall, he’s an art collector. But no matter what happens, he is always her papa, and that’s the most important thing of all!
Old Bear and His Cub
Published: November 11, 2010
Old Bear loves Little Cub with all his heart. He makes sure that Little Cub eats all his porridge, takes a nap during their snowy walk, and wraps his red scarf tightly around his ears. Little Cub doesn’t want to be told what to do, but he always listens to Old Bear because he knows that Old Bear loves him so. But when Old Bear catches a cold, it’s Little Cub who knows just what to do to make Old Bear feel better. This winning story shows just how much Old Bears and Little Cubs love one another–with all their hearts.
Daddy Long Legs
Published: May 2, 2017
Daddy drives Matthew to kindergarten in his old green car. “See you this afternoon,” says Daddy, as he kisses him goodbye. But Matthew stops him from leaving and asks, “What if, this afternoon, the old green car doesn’t start?” Thus begins a series of what-ifs that Matthew poses in response to every one of Daddy’s ideas about how he will manage to return and fetch him, each one more fantastic than the last: he’ll come by tractor, by teddy bear, by the wings of birds, by a tiny boat, even by dragon! Finally, Daddy says he’ll use his own two long legs, the ultimate reassurance that he’ll come back for Matthew, no matter what!Author Nadine Brun-Cosme’s endearing picture book offers warm comfort to young children that their parent can always be counted on. With gentle and imaginative humor, the father’s increasingly wilder ideas about how he will make his way to his son prove the steady and unwavering certainty of a parent’s commitment to a child. The whimsical artwork by Aurélie Guillerey plays lightly with the father’s flights of fancy, keeping the tone of the book just right for a storytime read-aloud. Filled with the love between the boy and his father, this is a perfect book choice to address separation issues common to kindergartners and preschoolers who have difficulty saying goodbye to their parents.
Brick by Brick
Published: May 5, 2020
Papi is a bricklayer, and he works hard every day to help build the city, brick by brick. His son, Luis, works hard too–in school, book by book. Papi climbs scaffolds, makes mortar, and shovels sand. Luis climbs on the playground and molds clay into tiny bricks to make buildings, just like Papi. Together, they dream big about their future as they work to make those dreams come true. And then one Saturday, Papi surprises Luis with something special he’s built for their family, brick by brick.
Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me
Published: December 17, 2013
Every morning, I play a game with my father.
He goes knock knock on my door
and I pretend to be asleep
till he gets right next to the bed.
And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.”
But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.
Papa, Do You Love Me
Published: April 21, 2005
This follow-up to the best-selling Mama, Do You Love Me? (over one million copies sold in 15 languages!) captures the universal love between a father and child. Set in Africa and featuring the Maasai culture, the beautiful watercolor illustrations, lyrical text, and enduring message are sure to make this another instant classic.
Mitchell Goes Bowling
Published: September 10, 2013
Mitchell liked to knock things down.
That’s just how he rolled.
One Saturday, when Mitchell almost knocks down his dad, his dad catches him and puts him in the car. And when they step into the bowling alley, Mitchell feels right at home. Pizza! Giant crashing noises! Special shoes! But as Mitchell picks up the biggest ball and quickly learns the word gutter, and when Dad does a little kick with his leg and earns a big X on the scoreboard, Mitchell starts to get peevish. How can Mitchell get a chance to do a steamin’-hot-potato-dance too? With wit, warmth, and comedic charm, Hallie Durand and Tony Fucile roll another strike with this tale of a lovably rambunctious child and his doting dad.
Published: May 29, 2018
A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all?
No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!
Tell Me a Tattoo Story
Published: April 12, 2016
A bestselling author-illustrator duo join forces to create a modern father-son love story. The father tells his little son the story behind each of his tattoos, and together they go on a beautiful journey through family history. There’s a tattoo from a favorite book his mother used to read him, one from something his father used to tell him, and one from the longest trip he ever took. And there is a little heart with numbers inside—which might be the best tattoo of them all. Tender pictures by New York Times bestselling illustrator Eliza Wheeler complement this lovely ode to all that’s indelible—ink and love.
My Dad Is Amazing!
Published: April 3, 2018
“My dad is cooler than a million popsicles, tougher than a rhino wrestler, cuddlier than a ton of bunnies!” This bright, funny tribute to fathers is perfect for young readers who want to understand the unique joy, value, security, love, and fun that their dad brings to their lives. They’ll be reminded in the most joyful way that . . .
Things to Do with Dad
Published: April 11, 2017
Can a young boy figure out how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity in this nearly wordless picture book?
A morning of fun with Dad takes a turn for the boring when a long to-do list interferes. At first content to let Dad cross things off his list, the boy in the story soon realizes that the whole day will be spent on chores — unless he can come up with a solution. In his singularly expressive, kid-friendly style, author-illustrator Sam Zuppardi crafts a colorful celebration of the fun that can be had with just a little imagination — and a trusty green crayon.
My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Published: July 5, 2016
Keith Negley’s playful and emotional art tells this story of a new father who is no longer the cool guy he once was. He looks back wistfully on his crazy times playing in a band, riding a motorcycle, and getting tattoos. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he’s the coolest guy in the world.
My Father Knows the Names of Things
Published: April 27, 2010
My father knows the names of things. . . . And teaches all the names to me.
From each bird that sings, to every kind of cloud, to all of the planets, the father in this story knows the names of them all–and takes the time to impart his knowledge to his child. As they walk together outside, the father points out which mosses are the fuzziest and which insects are the buzziest, which flowers are the tallest and which beetles are the smallest. Jane Yolen’s lyrical text is complemented by Stephane Jorisch’s soft artwork, a pairing that is touching without being overly sentimental, which makes this the perfect choice for fathers and children to share.
Papá and Me
Published: April 22, 2008
In Papá and Me, a young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish and English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. In this beautiful bilingual picture book, Arthur Dorros portrays the close bond between father and son, with lush paintings by Rudy Gutierrez. Fans of Abuelo; Abuela; and La Isla will be thrilled by this multigenerational picture book that emphasizes the overall message of love between a parent and child.
Saturday Is Dadurday
Published: May 14, 2013
imi and Dad’s favorite day came after Friday . . . they called it DADURDAY.
For Mimi, the best day of the week is always Saturday, because she gets to spend it with just her Dad. Every “Dadurday” begins the same way–Mimi and Dad make silly-shaped pancakes, read the comics section of the newspaper and make lists of fun things to do together. But when Dad gets a new work schedule, “Dadurday” is ruined. Can Mimi find a way to still make it a special day for her and dad?
My Dad Thinks He’s Funny
Published: April 9, 2013
When his son says “I’m hungry,” Dad says, “Hello, Hungry. Pleased to meet you.” Before slicing a cake for dessert, Dad announces, “There’s my piece. What’s everybody else having?” Tell Dad your foot hurts? “No problem. You’ve got another.” How is he feeling? “With my hands.” So when nothing’s up but the sky, or when jumping in the shower sounds dangerous, it may be a good time to share this book with someone who doesn’t need sugar because, well, they’re sweet enough already.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle
Published: May 14, 2019
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.
But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.
My Dad Is Big And Strong, But…: A Bedtime Story
Published: April 17, 2012
Every night it’s the same old thing, with dad refusing to go to bed. He wants to play, read stories, even sleep with me, and when he makes his pleading face, I always give in and read him another story. But that’s it, since enough is enough. When it get’s really tough, I tell myself, “Have courage. We’re almost there.”
A boy’s playful account of trying to put his dad to sleep gives children a delightful heads up on what a pain they can be at bedtime, while affirming the tender bond between father and son.
A joyful, sweet, laughter-inducing book that children will clamor to read again and again!
Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad
Published: May 5, 2015
Meet Rory the Dinosaur. He loves spending time with his dad, but today he wants to go on an adventure all on his own. Rory can’t wait to tell his dad about all the things he’s doing by himself, like crossing rivers and finding shelter from the rain. But little does Rory know, his father is never far behind. There’s nothing Rory’s dad won’t do for his intrepid son. Liz Climo celebrates the bond between father and child with her adorable, deceptively simple illustrations in this timeless story of a child’s quest for independence.
How to Surprise a Dad
Published: March 24, 2015
So you want to surprise your dad? You’re in luck! The pages of this book are full of tips on how to become a super dad surpriser, including tips for things you can make, do, or find—just for your dad.
When Dad’s Don’t Grow Up
Published: March 15, 2012
An endearing celebration of dads who are young at heart
Just in time for Father’s Day, this playful book follows four father-child pairs as they spend happy, silly times together, popping bubble wrap and watching cartoons and taking part in shoppingcart races. These are dads who aren’t worried about looking goofy or getting their hair wet – dads who still remember what it’s like to be little. Don’t be fooled. They may look like grown-ups on the outside, But underneath they’re just like you . . . Kids!
Daddy Honk Honk!
Published: May 9, 2017
When Aput the fox finds an abandoned goose egg, he has no idea what’s in store for him. He doesn’t know anything about babies and he certainly doesn’t know what to do when the gosling hatches and mistakes him for its daddy. So he decides to find the gosling a home. But with each page turn, Aput learns more about caring for a baby and, with a little help from his friends, he discovers what a baby needs most is love.
Me and My Dad!
Published: May 1, 2007
#1 New York Times Bestseller “My dad is the best daddy bear there could be. We’re together forever — my dad and me.” Little Bear and his dad do wonderful things — exploring high mountains, swimming in the rain, and telling stories as the stars come out. Best of all, they do everything together! With spirited illustrations, this book is a warm, funny celebration of the special bond between father and child. Perfect for Father’s Day!
I Love My Daddy Because…
Published: January 1, 2004
“I love my daddy because he plays with me. . .”
This book begins with a heartwarming scene between a human parent and child, but moves on to loving care in many animal families. “He sings me songs,” says a gray wolf cub. “He keeps me safe and warm,” says a young penguin. Children will love reading about how baby animals spend time with their dads, and daddies everywhere will love celebrating Father’s Day—or any occassion!—with this adorable gift from their little ones.
Published: May 1, 2005
How many daddy hugs does it take to say I love you?
The Way to Treasure Island
Published: August 31, 2021
Matilda and her dad are very different. Matilda is fast and Dad is slow. Matilda is tidy and Dad is messy, and Matilda is quiet and Dad is very, very loud.
They’re off to find treasure on a distant desert island, but Dad keeps getting distracted. Soon, they’re lost and Matilda is getting crosser and crosser… Will they ever find the way to treasure island?
There they are: 37 of the best picture books about fathers! Which of these have you read and loved? What did I miss?
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