Father’s Day is on the way! The kids are making cards, gluing and painting various things, and planning how to surprise Daddy with breakfast in bed.
We like to celebrate with more than just huge messes in the kitchen though, so I’ve put together a list of some new and classic children’s books perfect for celebrating Dad’s special day. Some we own, some we’ve borrowed from the library, some come recommended from other families, and some just caught my eye for whatever reason. All of the these are guaranteed mess-free!
I Love My Daddy by Sebastien Braun
Tee “gave” this book to her daddy on his first Father’s Day, and it has been a favourite bedtime story for years. This sweet picture book follows a day in the life of a bear and his cub and captures the gentle love between them.
Darth Vader & Son / Vader’s Little Princess Deluxe Box Set by Jeffrey Brown
Brown’s humourous comics reimagine Darth Vader as a devoted dad to young Luke and Leia in the kinds of situations that parents everywhere will recognize. This particular box set includes a slipcover and two unique, frameable art prints that any Star Wars-loving dad will appreciate.
Papa Papa /Mama Mama Flip Board Book by Jean Marzollo & Laura Regan
We have both these board books, and I love that they’re now together in one reversible volume. Each book contains luminous portraits of animal families and simple, rhyming verses highlighting how parents show their love for their children.
My Dad Loves Me! by Marianne Richmond
“My dad protects me. My dad naps with me. My dad teaches me.”
This sweet board book uses adorable animal dads and baby duos to model all the loving things that fathers do with their children.
The Berenstain Bears: We Love Our Dad! by Jan and Mike Berenstain
Papa Bear does so much for his family, so Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear plan him a special day off for Father’s Day. You can’t go wrong with the Berenstain Bears!
My Dad is the Best Playground by Luciana Navarro Powell
This fun book celebrates the playfulness of dads. A swing, a climbing wall, a trampoline, a merry-go-round… dads make awesome playgrounds! And then at bedtime, dads are awesome at snuggling too.
Daddies Are for Catching Fireflies by Harriet Ziefert & Cynthia Jabar
Daddies tickle their children’s feet, teach them to swim, fix their toys, catch fireflies, and so much more. Younger children will love this lift-the-flap book about all the wonderful things daddies do for their children.
Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter and his dad go on a camping trip, just the two of them together. The pair pitch their tent, go fishing, build a campfire, cook dinner, and tell stories. A fun classic!
Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman & Georg Hallensleben
This sturdy board book features warm and simple illustrations of baby animals and their affectionate daddies. A celebration of the love between fathers and their children.
The Daddy Book by Todd Parr
Daddies come in all shapes and kinds. Some wear suits, others wear 2 different socks. Some bake cookies, others buy doughnuts. But regardless of their differences, they all have one thing in common: love for their children.
Kisses for Daddy by Frances Watts & David Legge
“No!” said Baby Bear. “No kiss for Daddy.”
When Daddy asks for a goodnight kiss, grumbly Baby Bear refuses. As they go through their bedtime routine, Daddy attempts to cheer up Baby by showing how other animals might kiss goodnight (snappy, watery crocodile kisses, upside down bat kisses).
My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein & Tom Jellett
“Hello, Hungry. Pleased to meet you.”
This entertaining book celebrates Dad’s goofy sense of humour and the dad jokes we like to groan about (but secretly love).
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, & Henry Cole
This heartwarming story about fatherhood has two daddies! Inspired by the true story of two male penguins at New York City’s Central Park Zoo who build a nest and – thanks to an observant zookeeper – hatch an abandoned egg and raise a penguin chick together.
I Love You, Daddy by Jillian Harker & Kristina Stephenson
Little Bear is getting older, and that means he’s ready to try new skills like climbing trees and gathering honey. Daddy Bear helps and encourages him to be brave and try new things.
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
Male seahorses carry their babies in a stomach pouch until they’re ready to be born. Follow Mister Seahorse as he meets Mr. Stickleback, Mr. Tilapia, Mr. Kurtus, and other fish fathers who care for their eggs and babies. Carle’s colourful tissue paper collages draw young children in, and acetate pages show fish hiding among the rocks and vegetation.
My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith
16 simple and easily accessible poems celebrating fatherhood and the precious moments between fathers and their children, lovingly illustrated with torn paper collage images.
Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse & Barbara Lavallee
“You came from your mama, whom I love,
your grandpapas and grandmamas, whom
I honor, and from me.
You are my Tender Heart, and I love you.”
Set in Africa and featuring the Maasai culture, this lyrical sequel to Mama, Do You Love Me? celebrates the universal love between a father and child.
Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino
Deep, jewel-toned colours and beautiful mixed media illustrations represent the vastness of the ocean and the whales living in it. Little Blue is nervous about his first migration to the whales’ summer feeding grounds, so he has lots of questions. His Papa’s wise replies help comfort and reassure him.
Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz
Count along with this classic board book. Interactive text and brightly coloured and patterned illustrations appeal to busy babies and toddlers.
It’s Great Being a Dad by Dan Bar-el & Gina Perry
In this fun picture book, a friendly group of mythical creatures get into the silliest troubles. Fortunately, Dad shows up to help fix things and get everything back on track.
Things to Do with Dad by Sam Zuppardi
A book of very few words, the charming illustrations show that even mundane chores can be made fun when you have love and imagination.
Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko & Dan Santat
Nicholas wants to be brave like his dad, but when he loses his toy dinosaur, he can’t help feeling frightened. Then Nicholas’s dad teaches him that everyone gets scared sometimes, and it’s okay to ask for help. A father-son story about bravery and facing your fears.
Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon
Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” Late night funny man Jimmy Fallon shows us how.
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