Suggested Reading List for Fathers and Children (page 5)
The following books are not intended to be a definitive selection of books for fathers to read with their children. It is a varied selection that shows the great diversity of books that are now available showing fathers and children together in a variety of situations. These books include selections for all ages and family situations.
Why Do You Love Me? by Martin Baynton, Greenwillow Publishers, 1990
This story follows a father and son on a walk through the woods. The child wants to know why his father loves him. Is it strength, speed, kindness, bravery? The answer is yes to all these qualities, and more. When the little boy falls out of a tree, he wants to now if his father still loves him, even when he is naughty. When assured he does, he wants to know why he should be good. Dad comes up with just the right answer.
A Perfect Father's Day by Eve Bunting, Clarion Books, 1991
Susie has the perfect Father's Day planned and the perfect father to share it with. When she tells him she is taking him out to lunch, he lets her pick the place, offers to drive, and pays for their meal. To each offer she replies, "Certainly." They go on to the duck pond and park. Dad is a good sport about every activity, even keeping the secret Susie confides in him about his birthday cake. Will you love this book? Certainly.
Not Like That, Like This by Tony Bradman, Oxford University Press, 1988
Dad takes Thomas for a walk. As they pass an iron fence he cautions him not to get his head stuck and then proceeds to get stuck himself. The story becomes a counting book as one old lady, two men, three park keepers and so on try to help get dad out.
The Trouble With Dad by Babette Cole, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1989
Dad doesn't enjoy his boring job so he spends his free time inventing robots. The hilarious illustrations show Dad's unique grass cutter, hush-a-bye baby improver, and one to help old ladies across the street. When baby brother plays with the multi-laser-twister-operator and turns them all on at once it creates pandemonium.
Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnicle Hines, Clarion Books, 1986
A loving portrait of a dad who picks up Corey from daycare, takes him along to do grocery shopping, even plays jokes on him by asking the checker how much 'this sack of potatoes' cost. At home, they prepare dinner and set the table. When Mom gets home he makes antlers with his hands so she can say, "Hello, Dears." After dinner dad transforms into Bathman, swooping Corey off to the tub. Filled with examples of loving interaction between father and child.
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer, Western Publications, 1977
This talented author/illustrator has created a delightful 'little critter' in a series of books showing a loving family. In this book, he goes camping with his dad who patiently lets him try to pitch the tent, launch the canoe, and help with the dinner. Watch for the spider and cricket included on every page.
Emma's Pet by David McPhail, E.P. Dutton, 1990
Little bear Emma wants a pet of her own. Her cat is not cuddly, neither is the bug she finds. A mouse is cuddly, but it wasn't big, a bird was too busy and a snake was too cuddly. Emma is sad until she spots the biggest, softest, cuddliest thing she has ever seen, her father, who agrees to be hers always and they share a hug.
The Daddies Boat by Lucia Monfried, Dutton, 1990
Everyone on the island looks forward to the ferry on Friday bringing mostly Daddies home for the weekend. The child telling the story explains how during the week, the two of them play cards, go on picnics and walk to the beach. When Friday arrives, they plan a special dinner, put flowers on the table and go to meet the boat and Mommy. Mommy on the boat is the surprise as the illustrations don't show the adult faces until that point, leading the reader to assume the figure at home with the child is Mom.
Reading by Jan Ormerod, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1985
The toddler on the cover starts to crawl across the end papers, heading for daddy, who is reading a book. With just a few words or text the toddler crawls over, under, around and through to dad who ends up sharing his book.
Tom & Pippo Read a Story by Helen Oxenbury, Macmillan, 1988
What a first line, "I like to look at a book, but best of all I like to look at books with Daddy." Daddy always sets aside his newspaper and shares stories with Tom who then shares them with his toy monkey, Pippo. The book ends with "I hope one day Pippo can read on his own." A sentiment that Daddy shares, but until it happens, he lovingly reads to his child.
Daddy Has a Pair of Striped Shorts by Mimi Otey, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990
This little girl notices that her father dresses in poor taste, which she finds embarrassing. But she also notices that he supports the PTA, likes to know who her teacher is, and believes in family night at the cafeteria. It's important to him to know her friends and their parents and to help her with the butterfly stroke. As a preacher, people seem to like him, and she realizes that she does too.
My Dad, The Magnificent by Kristy Parker, EP Dutton, 1987
A little boy makes a new friend and tries to impress him by exaggerating what his father does. When the friend meets Dad, he doesn't measure up until the boy explains that they do spend Saturday together. From fixing pancakes for breakfast to washing the car Dad makes every activity special. He inspects newly brushed teeth at bedtime saying, "Close your mouth before you hurt my eyes with those shiny teeth." The child truly feels his dad is magnificent.
I Love My Daddy Because by Gaylord Porter-Gaylord, Dutton, 1991
Given from the point of view of a preschooler who lists all the reasons why she loves her dad. The illustrations show animal dads caring for their young. An Emperor penguin keeps his little chicks warm and safe, a lion takes a nap with his cub, a giraffe helps his child reach something.
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer, Clarion Books, 1986
This award-winning novel packs a powerful punch in just 80 pages. One tragic day, Joel and his best friend Tony are given permission to go on a bike ride in the country but they are 'on their honor' not to go near the river. Joel had hoped his father would say no, relieving him of looking like a chicken. The boys set off and Tony soon challenges Joel to swim to a sandbar. Once again not wanting to look cowardly, Joel dives in. Tony is caught in the current and drowns, despite Joel's effort to save him. Terrified, Joel goes home after being unable to find Tony and takes refuge in his room. It is his father's love, helping them both cope with wrong choices that makes this book outstanding.
Winter Holding Spring by Crescent Dragonwagon, Macmillan, 1990
A tender book showing how 11-year-old Sarah and her father get through their first year following her mother's death. Together, they share their feelings, good and bad, as they tend her garden, see that in all things there are endings and beginnings.
Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary, Morrow, 1977
Children relate well to Ramona Quimby, a child who has so many experiences common to their own. In this book, Ramona's Dad loses his job quite suddenly. The story shows how the family copes with the changes this brings, especially when Mom goes off to work. Ramona has also decided that Dad needs to stop smoking and launches a campaign, causing more tension. But, throughout the book, the deep love and concern shown for all family members makes this a special book.
Alias Madame Doubt by Anne Fine, Little, Brown, 1988
The three children in this story have figured out who their large overdressed new baby-sitter really is: their father in disguise. Their mom must not discover what her ex-husband is up to, so the kids must pitch in and help 'her' keep up the household.
My Dearest Mouse: The Wind in the Willows Letters by Kenneth Grahame, Pavilion Books, 1988
Dads could read this for their own pleasure. The Wind in the Willows began as a series of letters written by the author to his only child, 7-year-old Alistair, during the summer of 1907. They had often shared animal stories a bedtime, and he used that as the basis for his letters. It is a wonderful written example of a father's love for his child.
Reprinted with the permission of Reading is Fundamental, Inc. ©2007 Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
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