Father’s Day can make a child feel pressured to present a gift to Dad. Likewise, it can make parents feel pressured into planning extravagant activities. This Father’s Day, trade the craziness for cozy cuddles over a good book. Here are some suggested books that focus on the loving bond shared between fathers and children.

1. Daddy Hugs or Daddy and Me
By Karen Katz

Karen Katz has authored several board books that fit perfectly in the hands of even the youngest readers. With introductory counting lessons and flaps that encourage fine motor skills, these books are great for dads and babies to experience together.

2. Guess How Much I Love You
By Sam McBratney

Putting your love for your child into words can be difficult – maybe impossible. Somehow, Sam McBratney finds a way for one father to prove his love in his depiction of two Nutbrown Hares competing with loving analogies. It’s worth delaying bedtime just a few minutes to read this playfully competitive story of fatherly love.

3. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
By Eric Carle

In typical Eric Carle fashion, this book combines a touching storyline; bold, beautiful pictures and a simply disguised educational component. Monica asks her father for the moon, and although he obliges, the moon’s lunar calendar of waxing and waning makes it difficult to fulfill his daughter’s wish. Unfold the vibrant colored pages to reveal the magical ending.

4. My Dad Is the Best Playground
By Luciana Navarro Powell

Who needs slides and swings when you have Dad? Kids and parents alike will love to read and reread this short, yet satisfying board book. Filled with creative illustrations, the adorable and endearing story about the everyday family is relatable and enjoyable.

5. My Father Knows the Names of Things
By Jane Yolen

A little boy describes with pride all the amazing things his father knows –from the names of fishes to different shades of blues. The whimsical illustrations demonstrate the wonderful caring relationship between father and son. Watch Casey read the book below in this episode of Can I Read to You?

6. My Dad
By Anthony Browne

This book, from the 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, is a beautiful tribute to dads everywhere. Brown uses the familiar voice of a child who can’t wait to share his dad’s extraordinary feats. Incorporating patterns in pictures (the father is always shown in his plaid robe) and metaphors (his dad can “eat like a horse” and “swim like a fish”), this book is an instant favorite.

7. Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
By Anna Dewdney

There are so many wonderful things that Nelly Gnu can do, but doing them with her dad makes them even more wonderful! Kids will appreciate the warm drawings as they develop a stronger sense of togetherness with their fathers, as experienced by Nelly and her father.

8. The Night Before Father’s Day
By Natasha Wing

Natasha Wing has found repeated success with her “The Night Before…” series, and this book is no different. See how one family prepares for Father’s Day and how they celebrate the day together.

9. A Wild Father’s Day
By Sean Callahan

Follow the antics of a family on Father’s Day after Dad receives a card from his kids that reads, “Have a Wild Father’s Day!” Kids will get a kick out of the fun ways they play together; however, the book ends with a calming and heartfelt message.

10. Just the Two of Us
By Will Smith

Actor, musician and now author Will Smith puts the love for his children in book form. You may recognize the lyrics, and they sound just as sweet without the accompanying music.

For more great books to read with Dad, see our full Father’s Day Booklist.

More Ways to Celebrate Dad

About Danielle Steinberg

Danielle Steinberg

Danielle received her Masters in Education which led her to a spot on the PBS Parents team in 2011. She now works full time as a producer of content and social media for PBS Digital Studios and continues to work as a web producer for PBS Parents.

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