A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Fathers and Father’s Day
“Dad, Daddy, Pa or Pop …”
No matter what you call him, June is the month in which we celebrate our fathers and fatherhood. Believe it or not, Father’s Day wasn’t made an official holiday until 1972 even though celebrations of fathers date back to the early 1900’s. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907. And in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington began her campaign for a national Father’s Day after having heard a Mother’s Day sermon at church. Many events honoring fathers were held in the years that followed, but it took a struggle of over five decades for its designation as a national holiday to become a reality. Finally, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
All the Little Fathers by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Marilyn Faucher
All the animal fathers are looking after their children in this newly illustrated version written by the author of the classic Goodnight Moon.
Beard in a Box by Bill Cotter
A little boy believes that his dad’s beard is what makes him so awesome. In an effort to be “just like dad,” he orders a beard growing kit and in the end learns a valuable lesson. The humorous illustrations and captions add to the story’s appeal.
Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa, illus. by Dan Santat
This story, written by the son of the late rock musician/composer Frank Zappa, is really a tribute to his own childhood. It’s the story of a promise of a father to his child, to do for his child just as his own father had done for him: telling funny stories at bedtime, making the best Halloween costume ever, eating ice cream in the bathtub, and building mud forts in the backyard. Whimsical illustrations by Caldecott Award winning artist Dan Santat depict fun loving monsters as the central characters.
The Best Part of Daddy’s Day by Claire Alexander
Bertie the beagle dreams of becoming a builder just like his dad but for now he must go to school while his dad goes to work. At the end of the day they both realize that the best part of their day is coming home and spending time together. The watercolor illustrations depict a loving relationship between father and son.
A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor, illus. by Emily Hughes
A young bear cub and his dad make a trip to the river to cool off on a hot summer day. The obstacles are many, and the little bear does his best to try and impress his father. Mishaps occur, and lessons are learned. This is a sweet, endearing story of father and son.
Dad School by Rebecca Van Slyke, illus. by Priscilla Burris
A young boy contemplates the school that his dad must have attended in order to become such an awesome dad. Just what was the curriculum like at Dad School? Learning how to fix boo-boos, how to make yummy snacks, how to throw their kids up in the air and catch them, and how to play Go Fish while paying the bills are just a few of the classes young Lucas imagines. This story provides an amusing take on fatherhood!
Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka
Oliver and his dad have spent the summer together having fun, but when the first day of school rolls around, it’s Dad, not Oliver, who has the first day jitters. This story in which the roles are reversed to include a confident and ready child and a nervous parent makes for a fun read.
Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe, illus. by Jessica Warrick
Dad saves the day when Darcy’s playdate is cancelled. A Darcy-Daddy Day follows and the fun ensues.
How to Surprise a Dad by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish
A brother and sister provide instructions on how to surprise a dad and plan a special party for him. This is the latest addition from the author/illustrator team that created the best-selling How to Babysit a Grandpa and How to Babysit a Grandma.
I Want My Daddy! By Tracey Corderoy, illus. by Alison Edgson
Dad comes to the rescue quite a few times in this charming story of father-son bonding. This is the companion volume to I Want My Mommy! The illustrations are large and full of action.
Just Like Daddy by Ovi Nedelcu
This charming picture book paints an ironic comparison between the daily activities of a preschooler and those of his father. The child greets each event with wild enthusiasm, and the illustrations are colorful and vivid. Dad is of course much more serious and somber portrayed via a dull and darker palette. However, in the end, when the weekend comes, the family spends time together … in living color!
My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure by Claudia McGehee
This memoir is based on the true story of Rockwell Kent III and his artist father who spent seven months together on a painting expedition on the remote Fox Island off the coast of Seward, Alaska in 1918. Adventures abound along with a sense of wonder and discovery. The love between father and son is woven throughout the story.
A Perfect Father’s Day by Eve Bunting, illus. by Susan Meddaugh
This story, originally published in 1991, has been reissued in a new paper-over-board gift edition with foil cover accents. Four-year-old Susie plans the perfect day for her father, and it just happens to include all of her own favorite things. Author, Eve Bunting, has led an incredible career as the writer of a wide variety of books for children. She has created more than 100 books for children and has won numerous awards for her work.
Superhero Dad by Timothy Knapman, illus. by Joe Berger
Written in verse, a small boy describes the many ways in which his dad is a superhero dad. The cartoon-like illustrations include bright colors and comic book motifs. The mutual devotion of father and son makes this a perfect choice.
With Dad, It’s Like That by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illus. by Magali Le Huche
While Mom is at the movies, Dad and daughter Clare spend an evening together with Dad in charge … and Dad does things a little differently. This is a tender story about a dad who’s still a kid at heart. Originally published in France in 2012, this is the first U.S. edition.