• Picturebooking Prof

In Honor of Father’s Day: Our Favorite “Daddy” Books!



As you might expect, we have a LOT of books in our house. Some of the perennial favorites of my boys are those that feature a daddy—they are both daddy’s boys, which is fine by me because they do have a pretty great daddy! So, in honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I thought I’d share some of our favorite daddy-themed books. Note that these are listed in no particular order. 😊

Daddy Hugs
  • Daddy Hugs, by Karen Katz (Little Simon, 2007): This little board book was my first-born’s first Father’s Day present to his daddy—he was 4 months old at the time, so he didn’t have much say, but the sweet interactions between daddy and baby in this simple counting book can’t help but make him (or me) smile, even still.

I Love You, Daddy
  • I Love You, Daddy, by Jillian Harker and Kristina Stephenson (Paragon Books, 2016): Another little board book that is frequently pulled off the shelf for the before-bed read aloud routine, often paired with its companion, I Love you, Mommy. Both of these books highlight the important balance of listening/learning to a parent and having fun, and depict a warm, loving relationship between parent and child.

Just Me and My Dad
  • Just Me and My Dad, by Mercer Mayer (Random House, 1975): Yes, this is an oldie, but an oh-so-goodie. My 4-year-old loves anything from the classic Little Critter series, and this is one of his favorites. It depicts the adventures (or, mainly, the misadventures) of a father-son camping trip. With my oldest set to go on his first real camping trip with his daddy, uncles, and grandpa in September, I have a feeling we’ll be reading a lot of this one in the coming months!

Thank You, God, for Daddy
  • Thank You, God, for Daddy, by Amy Parker, illustrated by Frank Endersby (Tommy Nelson, 2011): Our family is Christian by faith, and we love how this book frames all of the wonderful things about daddies in the context of being thankful to God for the blessing of a great dad. My littles love the image of the lion dad and cub with matching superhero capes!

We're Going on a Bear Hunt
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Micheal Rosen and Helen Oxenbury (Simon & Schuster, 1989): Another more classic title, and not necessarily as in-your-face “daddy” themed as some of the others on this list. But I included this one because it is all about a dad playing with his kids—they go on a “bear hunt” together (imaginary, of course), and encounter all kinds of obstacles and adventures in the process. My littles love going on “bear hunts” (or any other sort of imaginary adventure) with their daddy!

Mother Bruce
  • Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins (Scholastic, 2015): If you know this book, about a bear who goes from wanting to eat some eggs to being the “mother” to the ducks that hatch from them, you might be wondering why on earth it’s included on this list. Well, first, it does have a theme of caring for littles, although not in the same loving-tender spirit as many of the above books. But mainly, I include it because my husband’s name is Bruce, and we laugh hysterically at some of the hilarious situations in this book and how they parallel some of the realities of parenthood. It’s not all hugs and rainbows, folks!

  • Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1963): Ending with a classic here. Obviously, this reading primer includes many vignettes that are not dad themed, but the title “Hop on Pop” scene really does exemplify being a father to two preschool/toddler children. I’m sure my husband sometimes wishes he could shout, “STOP! You must not hop on Pop!” But he generally is a good sport and surrenders to the reality of being a trampoline for a few years. They always say these years are gone in the blink of an eye, right? Some days, we’re counting on it! 😉


Happy Father’s Day, Bruce! And Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing Dads out there! If you have any other favorite dad-themed books, I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!

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