If your Father's Day plans include some down time with the kids, why not pick up a few titles that celebrate the special bond between father and child? We have so many terrific books about fathers that I had a hard time whittling down my list to a manageable size!
I'm happy to see more worthwhile books that acknowledge the positive contributions that stepparents can bring to a child's life; Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and Stepfathers is a sweet and affirming tribute to the importance of a young girl's father and stepfather in her life.
The Favorite Daughter is probably my top favorite story by Allen Say; based on his real-life experience with his daughter, this sweet story about a young girl struggling with her biracial heritage and her father's patience and gentle guidance is a gem.
We just received Lily's Cat Mask only a few days ago, and it's already a hit with our patrons (who can resist that cover?). Lily adores her cat mask and takes it everywhere, which is a problem when she starts school. Luckily, Dad comes up with a great solution! This is also a great story about a biracial child (mom is Caucasian, dad is African-American).
Tell Me a Tattoo Story was one of my favorite 2016 picture books. There's not much story; just a dad telling his son about his tattoos, all of which represent important times in dad's life.
If it weren't for the fact that the author and illustrator of Town is by the Sea are both Canadian citizens and residents, I would rank this near the top of my 2017 Caldecott picks (requirements for the Caldecott and Newbery include US residency). It's longer and more sophisticated than your regular 32 paged picture book, but this story about a young boy thinking about his father deep in the coal mines is poignant and beautiful.
Want some chapter books about great dads? Consider these awesome reads:
Fortunately, the Milk is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman stories. A father's tale about being abducted by aliens while picking up milk for his children's breakfast is funny, charming, and a great light science fiction read for beginning chapter book readers.
There are very few books that I reread; I just have so many books that I want to get to that rereading is not a priority. However, I often reread Ramona and Her Father during the Christmas season (it begins in September and ends with the sisters participating in a Nativity play). Although this was published 40 years ago, the upheaval of Mr. Quimby's unemployment and the family's struggles remain relevant, balanced against powerful family moments, both big and small.
Road Trip is a sequel of sorts to Field Trip, but it doesn't matter which book you read first. The father-son relationship is more prominent in Road Trip, which is why I'm featuring it; like many father-son relationships during the preteen years, Ben and his dad don't always see eye to eye. When they embark on a road trip to rescue a border collie puppy, their relationship is tested and strengthened during the trip's crazy adventures. This is written by real-life father and son authors, Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen (the chapters alternate between Ben's perspective and family dog Atticus's perspective), which adds a fun touch.
Happy Father's Day!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library