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Thursday Three: Dads

Posted by Pam on June 18, 2009 at 9:33 AM in Picture BooksRecommendations
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Father's Day is right around the corner, and while I can't suggest the best DVD to buy for Dad - though I'm pretty partial to Lost - I can recommend three picture books to share.

I Love My Pirate Papa
written by Laura Leuck, illustrated by Kyle Stone
Here's a nice story about a boy who loves his daddy, who happens to be a pirate. The rhyming text outlines a day on the high sea with plenty of pirate antics. A sample: "I love my pirate papa! He's the bravest buccaneer. He helps me put my earring on and buckles up my gear." The illustrations are clever and interesting with lots of funny bits to catch in the pictures. Little pirates will eat it up.

You Can Do Anything Daddy!
by Michael Rex
A boy's version of the would-you-do-anything-for-me books. Like The Runaway Bunny without the separation issues. As the father tucks his son into bed, the boy asks his dad if he would save him from bad guys. Bad guys who get more elaborate as the bedtime ritual goes on. As the challenges escalate, the illustrations show how one middle-aged dad would save his son from robot gorilla pirates from Mars. The cartoon illustrations are fun and lively, and it's also a nice touch that the boy never looks concerned as he's carried off, but has a slight knowing smile. A great book that gives a guy's touch to "I love you so much."

Building With Dad
written by Carol Nevius, illustrated by Bill Thomson
First of all, this book opens top to bottom instead of side to side. You may wonder why, until you open the first full page of picture and text and! You're treated to this perspective looking up to a man with a boy on his shoulders. The next page is a bulldozer, starting right from the pile of dirt on the ground. Then a dump truck dropping rocks that seem to almost spill off of the page and into your lap. And on and on. Rhyming couplets tell of being on the construction site with dad while they are building the kid's new school. Definitely would be a hit for truck lovers, but the fantastic illustrations will create adult fans too.

For tons of great ideas, check out Book Dads, an amazing website featuring books with a positive view of fatherhood. And, of course, use the comments here to share and find more favorite picture books about dads.


Steven writes...

Thanks so much for mentioning Book Dads and for giving us two new book ideas.

Kim writes...

When my son came along, it became really obvious to me (because he noticed) that dads can be hard to find in picture books! I can't tell you how many times I've changed a mother animal to a father animal while reading.

Most of these aren't explicitly about the father-child relationship but I think of as "father books":

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Hoptoad by Jane Yolen

Luke on the Loose by Harry Bliss

Pete's A Pizza by Steig

Annie and Snowball series by Cynthia Rylant

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Who's that Knocking on Christmas Eve by Jan Brett

Apples to Oregon by Hopkinson

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