Father's Day is this Sunday, so why not take some time to read with Dad? While you're waiting for your delicious celebration lunch, fit in a picture book, a chapter or two, or even some poems about some really cool dads.
If you're looking for a cute series set in space, pick up Archie Takes Flight (#1 in the Space Taxi series). When "Take Your Kid To Work Day" rolls around, Archie discovers that his dad has a very unusual taxi route--in space! His alien customers certainly make life more interesting, as does a unique cat, and an evil overlord plotting to take over the universe!
A Different Pond (2018 Caldecott Honor) is one of my favorite recent Caldecott books. This father-son story captures the hard work and sacrifices of an immigrant father and his son. Bao Phi and his father are not fishing for fun in the pre-dawn hours; they are fishing for food to put on their table. While they wait patiently for the fish to nibble at their bait, his father tells him about a similar yet different pond in Vietnam.
The Favorite Daughter is one of my top favorite Allen Say stories; like his others, this is based on his family life. Yuriko is teased because of her name and her mixed heritage, which is apparent with her blonde hair and Japanese facial features. When she tells her father that she wants to change her name, he patiently and lovingly helps her realize her special qualities and heritage.
Short science fiction (ish) novels can be hard to come by, which is why I enjoy Fortunately, The Milk so much. When a father heads out on an ordinary day to get milk for the family's cereal, he is suddenly kidnapped by aliens and taken onto a wild travel through space! (Or he is just telling a tale?)
Poetry collections are awesome additions to a nightly bedtime read aloud ritual, so why not mark Father's Day with My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads? Each poem captures a different father, drawn from different situations and ethnicities.
I grew up loving the Ramona book by Beverly Cleary, and have reread them a number of times in my adulthood (rereading childhood favorites can be a dangerous thing!). Ramona and Her Father (1978 Newbery Honor) is probably my favorite one, and remains rather contemporary and timeless in its depiction of a parent's unemployment on a family (especially around Christmas time).
Tell Me a Tattoo Story was one of the sweetest and most memorable reads from 2016. There's not much action: it basically consists of a father telling his son about the significance of his tattoos. The bond between the dad and his son is tender and universal, with the father's elaborate tattoos making it unique.
Happy Father's Day!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library