Celebrate the father figures in your life! With so many great dads and grandpas in children’s literature—sensitive, funny, encouraging, and strong, they help emulate the real-life ones we love. At Stratford, we feel that the time a parent spends reading with his child is one of the most consistent links to that child achieving positive literacy scores throughout his or her schooling. It’s a time that not only helps children academically, but strengthens the bond you have with them that creates memories to last a lifetime. Children will always remember bedtime stories and the lessons that these stories bring.
Our book picks below are perfect for dads to share with children on Father’s Day.
Preschool and Kindergarten
My Cat Looks Like My Dad Written and illustrated by Thao Lam
Bright paper-collage illustrations create comparisons in which the narrator talks about their family–especially the striking similarities between Dad and the cat. Both have orange hair, love milk, start their days with stretches, appreciate a good nap, and are brave (some of the time). A surprising twist at the end reveals the narrator’s unexpected identity, also hinted at with clues in the art throughout the book. Warmth and whimsy in the illustrations add a playful balance to the story’s deeper message about the love that makes a family a unit, no matter how unusual it may look from the outside.
You and Me, Me and You by Miguel Tanco
A father and son walk together, discuss life among a busy city, play, and spend time with each other in this book that honors the special bond between a father and his son. The story illustrates how dads can be present and are always there for their sons.
First and Second Grade
Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko, Illustrated by Dan Santat
A boy keeps a toy dinosaur in his pocket to help him be brave like his dad, but when the dinosaur goes missing, dad knows just what to do. This story warms hearts and teaches kids how to be brave and face their fears. Choldenko reminds us all of the awesomeness of dads to come through, and Santat brings both the fear and bravery that this book underlines to life.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
A little girl has her daddy help her find the perfect hairstyle that will show off her beautiful, natural self. It’s a special occasion, so she wants to look her best. Tender and empowering, this book is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.
Third and Fourth Grade
Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary, Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
Romona’s father has just lost his job and things are tense in the Quimby house. Romona decides to help as much as she can, even by reducing her Christmas wish list. But the bills are piling up, and Romona wonders if life will ever go back to normal.
Dog Diaries Book: A Middle School Story by James Patterson, Illustrated by Richard Watson
Packed full of doggy humor and fun illustrations, Dog Diaries is a story told in the perspective of Junior the dog. This book tells the story of how Junior was adopted from the pound and came to meet his new pet human, Rafe. Rafe and Junior are immediately best friends, and the two of them find themselves in a big predicament after a little, teensy mishap at the dog park. It is up to the two of them to prove they aren’t the mess everyone thinks they are by winning the local dog show. The only problem is… they have both miserably failed their obedience school class.
Fifth Grade and Middle School
The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
Maggie is an “A” student, not to mention defending science fair champion. But her father’s health is failing; he quits his job, and her mother must go back to work. Her father’s symptoms of multiple sclerosis become more severe. Maggie decides that if she can win the science fair and become champion, then she can find a cure for her father. Full of tender moments and light-hearted fun, this book is a poignant debut about growing up.
Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
From the author of Pippi Longstocking comes a tale of a girl named Ronia and her dad and his band of robbers. Ronia learns the ways of the group, but she prefers to be alone in the forest. One day she meets a boy named Birk who happens to be the son of her father’s arch enemy. Ronia and Birk become friends leading to even more tension between the rival bands. This coming of age story will have fathers and daughters discovering that sometimes it’s the daughter who has the wisdom to offer her father.
About Keira Pride
Keira Pride is the Head Librarian at Stratford School, the leading independent private school founded with a vision of creating a unique, multi-dimensional, educational foundation for children. As Stratford’s Head Librarian, she manages the library services department across campuses throughout Northern and Southern California.