UCB Parents Recommendations

Kids' Books about Daddy

Advice and recommendations from the UCB Parents mailing list. This page is brought to you by UC Berkeley Parents Network

Back to: Arts & Entertainment

I'd like to find a really great book about Dad(s), especially for a boy. I've seen lots of books about a mother's love for her child but so far haven't found one about a Father's love. Any recommendations?
You didn't specify an age range, and you may have already seen "My Daddy," a board book that pays homage to the ordinary things dads do that inspire awe in their little sons ("My daddy can ride a big two-wheeler.") It's widely available - I've seen it at Barnes & Noble and Borders, for example. It made my teenage stepdaughter puke (she is definitely not in a phase where she's awed by her dad) but my toddler loves it, so much that I decided to make him a personalized version. I bought a small spiral bound sketch pad (the kind with heavy watercolor paper, about $8) and some clear "Contac" adhesive paper (about $2, the shelf liner stuff) at Rite Aid, and used a bunch of photos I took of him and his Dad. I glued the photos to the "book" and slapped the clear adhesive paper over it to make it droolproof- the contac paper is very forgiving and can be moved easily if you mess up -- and wrote captions in block letters. My version is a little bit satiric ("My Daddy Teaches Me Things I Need To Know" (photo of Dad using the TV remote)) but you can certainly be more serious, and you can also incorporate other family members ("My Daddy Gave Me My Cool Sister" - photo of sister). It was very easy to do - once I had the photos it took at most an hour to put it together, although you could certainly spend a lot more time on it if you wanted. (It occurs to me now it would be even easier to just use a photo album.) Leave some pages blank so you can add more later, too. Have fun! Fran
--"A Special Kind of Love" (can't remember the author, sorry) dad & son make
kites & stuff out of boxes, and "love" is gotten at through activities.
--"Octopus Hug" by Laurence Pringle--mom goes out to dinner, dad & son &
daughter play rambunctiously together--more full of fun than "love," but
again, love is there in the activities.
--"Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam Mcbratney--the two rabbits talking &
comparing the size of their love for each other are a father & son pair (i
--Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch gets an honorable mention because
although almost the entire book is about a mother & son, at the end, the
grown-up son goes home & sings to his own daughter.


Note from Myriam: A Special Kind of Love is by Stephen Michael King

I can think of two off the top of my head (and I'm sure there are even more than that out there!):

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Illustrated by Anita Jeram, published by Candlewick Press of Cambridge, Massachetts

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?by Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Barbara Firth, published by Candlewick Press of Cambridge, Massachesetts

These two are GREAT books about Dads and I used them in my classrooms when I was a 1st grade teacher, and now that I'm a Mommy, I still use them. Hope this helps! April

To Kill a Mockingbird is an all time Dad-ish classic. Stevie
You didn't mention how old your son is, so this suggestion may or may not be appropriate... I bought the "dual" book "What Mommies Do Best / What Daddies Do Best" by Laura Numeroff for my daughter when she'd just turned 2 years old. It's one of those books that, when read in one direction is about mommies, and when read in the other direction is about daddies (although I think I saw each one individually at Barnes and Noble recently). Anyway, my daughter loves it, and we've read it multiple times a day almost every day for the past 5 months (I'm not kidding)! What I really like about the book is that the things that the mommies and daddies do best are identical and therefore not gender-stereotyped (e.g., both bake a cake, give piggy-back rides, give goodnight kisses, give lots and lots of love, etc.). I think the book is great for both little girls and little boys, especially since all the characters in it are animals and some are dressed in skirts and others in pants. Hope others enjoy this as much as we have... Reyna
Kevin and his Dad by Irene Smalls-Hector, Michael Hays is a sweet little book about a young African American boy and his father doing chores at home. Daddy is a Doodlebug is by Bruce Degan (of Jamberry fame) and is very silly and funny. Myriam
You don't say what age child you've got, but one series of daddy and son books that I love for the 2 - 4 year old set is the Little Bear books by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth. There's Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?, Let's Go Home, Little Bear, and one or two more. They are wonderful, gentle, caring books. Richard
In addition to the ones already mentioned, here are three more: Just Like Daddy by Frank Asch (suggested ages 4-8) My Daddy by Susan Paradise (suggested ages 3-6) Daddy, Would You Love Me If... by Carla Dijs (pop-up preschool book) Shoshana and Leor
I have two books: Grandmas are for Giving Tickles, and Grandpas are for Finding Worms. I noticed on the back of these books that there is also a Mommies are for... and Daddies are for... book by the same author/illustrator. I don't know what age group you are looking for. It your child is a young toddler to pre-schooler, I'd recommend these. They are lift the flap books and very sweet--definitely celebrating the capacity of non-mothers to be nurturing caregivers for young children. Also ethnically diverse characters. Alisa
We got "My Dad" by Anthony Browne at Black Oak recently -- wonderful illustrations and great messages ("he's alright my dad...") about dads as heros. My son loves it Kathleen
Here're a few I don't remember being mentioned: _Animal Dads_- Shows how different species of animal dad's nurture their young.
_The Penguin Quartet_- A bunch of emporer penguin dad's decide to go to NYC and
play jazz while babysitting their "eggs". Woody Allen has a "cameo".
_What Dads Can't Do_- was recently in the scholastic catalogue. Cute. Dads can't cross the street without holding someone's hand... Sophie
UCB Parents Home Page UCB Parents Recommendations UCB Parents Advice

The opinions and statements expressed on this page are those of parents who belong to the UC Berkeley Parents Network and should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of California, Berkeley.