By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 7, 2012
Father’s Day is almost upon us. Why not celebrate by reading a few books about the proud papas who brighten our days? So snuggle up with your little ones and thank your lucky stars for the doting fathers in their lives.
By Kristy Dempsey; illustrated by Henry Cole
This book is radical, dude. Seriously, Kristy Dempsey delivers a tidal wave of fun with this tale of a young would-be surfer chick yearning to rip the tides like her righteous dad. When she wipes out, she becomes more determined than ever. Cole’s sunny funny painted illustrations add humor yet a mellow yellow vibe.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc. | May 1, 2012
Darth Vader and Son
If “Luke, I am your father,” is a familiar phrase and let’s face it, who hasn’t heard it, then you’ll love this hilarious sendup to single fathers trying desperately to be nurturing dads. The book poses the question if Darth Vader had been a real pop to Luke, what might have happened? Told in a comic way with light-hearted illustrations, you’ll laugh until you cry.
All Ages | Publisher: Chronicle Books | April 18, 2012
The Night Before Father’s Day
By Natasha Wing; illustrated by Amy Wummer
Wing employs “’twas the night before” as a clever convention in this rhyming story of a family working together to surprise Dad on Father’s Day. I especially appreciated the handy mom who could check the oil while leading her kids as they clean up the garage and wash the car. You should check out the other “night before” books from this bestselling series.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Penguin Group | May 10, 2012
The Barefoot Book of Father and Daughter Tales
Retold by Josephine Evetts-Secker; illustrated by Helen Cann
This dreamy and eclectic collection of tales (in German, Dinka [Sudanese], Danish, French, Muskogee, English, Indian, Italian, and Arabian) explores the father-daughter bond. I love how Barefoot Books consistently presents imaginative short story collections with an original spin. This book also includes two audio CDs beautifully narrated by Allan Corduner.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Barefoot Books | June 28, 2012
Daddies Do It Different
By Alan Lawrence Sitomer; illustrated by Abby Carter
You know how daddies inevitably put on their children’s clothes a little bit amiss? Maybe the shirt is on backwards or the socks don’t match. That’s just one of many silly examples in this amusing take on how daddies like to do things differently from mommies. Mommies may sigh and nod their heads along in agreement at the daddies who just want to have fun!
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children | April 17, 2012
Just Because You’re Mine
By Sally Lloyd-Jones; illustrated by Frank Endersby
In this very sweet tale about the power of unconditional love, Little Red Squirrel peppers his father with questions about why he loves him. At the end of their exquisite water-colored journey through the woods, his father finally tells him, “I love you just because you’re mine.”
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HarperCollins | December 27, 2012
If you’re looking for more grown-up options for the fathers in your life, may I suggest What I Would Tell Her (edited by yours truly), a touching anthology of father’s essays about their relationships with their daughters and the impact fatherhood has made on their lives. Don’t forget your hankie; it’s a tearjerker!
Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies The May Queen, Because I Love Her, What I Would Tell Her, and Crush. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Daily Candy, 7×7, Red Tricycle, and San Francisco Book Review. Nicki has been reading to her daughter every day since she was born. For more information, visit: https://nickirichesin.com/.