Best Kids Books About Dads

28 Books Dads Will Enjoy Reading With Their Kids

Updated Jan. 19, 2019

If you're looking for a great book for your next storytime or looking for a great book to gift to a dad, you've come to the right spot! Dads have a special relationship with their kids and snuggling up with a good book can create for some priceless memories. Whether you're looking for books about rocker dads or docker dads, cool dads or ghoul dads, this list contains some of our favorite books about dads.

How to Cheer Up Dad book
#1
How to Cheer Up Dad
Written and illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A hilarious book about parent and child relationships for fans of Ian Falconer and Jon Agee–a perfect gift idea for Father’s Day and beyond! Little Jumbo just can’t understand why his dad is having such a bad day. It couldn’t be the raisins Little Jumbo spit out at the ceiling or the bath he refused to take–after all, Little Jumbo’s dad knew he hated raisins and had already taken a bath that week! Luckily, Little Jumbo is such a thoughtful elephant that he decides to turn his dad’s bad day around with some of his–ahem, his dad’s–favorite things. How to Cheer up Dad is a standout debut featuring a charmingly oblivious little elephant with serious pluck and staying power. It turns the parent-child roles upside down is a great book for dads and the kids who make them laugh.

Jabari Jumps book
#2
Jabari Jumps
Written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fantastic book about conquering your fear. The illustrations are so fun—I love all of the different angles and perspectives the illustrator shows Jabari's situation from and how that really pulls you into the story. Jabari's dad is patient and understanding, and doesn't tell Jabari to just hurry up and jump, but waits for him to be ready and coaches him through a technique that might help him be ready to make the leap.

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Enemy Pie book
#3
Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara Calahan King
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.

If My Love Were a Fire Truck book
#4
If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds and illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons. The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

Dad and the Dinosaur book
#5
Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Little Nick looks up to his dad (Big Nick) so much—he doesn't seem to be afraid of anything and so Little Nick comes up with a little helper (his dinosaur!) to help him be just as brave as his dad. Even though his mom tries to help him earlier on, the fact of life is that sometimes a child is just more receptive to one parent than another in any given moment, and the bonding moment this son and his father have as they go in search of what Little Nick needs most is just lovely.

A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears. Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers. His dad was not afraid of anything. Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner). With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again. Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

Dad By My Side book
#6
Dad By My Side
Written and illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they're playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#7
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Monster & Son book
#8
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author's incorporation of language such as "chase you into bed" and "gobbled down a snack" that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur...discovering that monsters and humans aren't so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#9
I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

How to Surprise a Dad book
#10
How to Surprise a Dad
Written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the creators of the New York Times bestsellers HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDPA and HOW TO BABYSIT A GRANDMA comes a charming HOW TO book that's all about surprises! So you want to surprise your dad? You’re in luck! The pages of this book are full of tips on how to become a super dad surpriser, including tips for things you can make, do, or find—just for your dad. Be sure to read up on: · Yummy treats and presents for a dad · What to do if he starts getting suspicious · How to prepare for the big moment (where to hide everyone, and how to practice whispering “Surprise!”) From the author-illustrator team behind the New York Times bestselling HOW TO... series comes an adorable, funny, surprising celebration of dads!

Daddy Honk Honk! book
#11
Daddy Honk Honk!
Written and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An arctic fox adopts a baby goose in this heartwarming read-aloud perfect for dads and their little ones When Aput the fox finds an abandoned goose egg, he has no idea what’s in store for him. He doesn’t know anything about babies and he certainly doesn’t know what to do when the gosling hatches and mistakes him for its daddy. So he decides to find the gosling a home. But with each page turn, Aput learns more about caring for a baby and, with a little help from his friends, he discovers what a baby needs most is love.

Because I Am Your Daddy book
#12
Because I Am Your Daddy
Written by Sherry North and illustrated by Marcellus Hall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

How much do fathers love their children? Enough to fly them to school in a plane? Enough to dig for the biggest dinosaur the world has ever known? From exploring dark caves to leading a marching band to even being a space alien, a father’s love is unconditional, and he will do anything to make sure all of his child’s dreams come true. The dynamic duo of Sherry North and Marcellus Hall team up once again to treat parents and children to a story that celebrates affection with imagination. Because I Am Your Daddy is a great read-aloud book at storytime or a soothing book at bedtime, and an ideal gift for new fathers on Father’s Day.

My Dad Used to Be So Cool book
#13
My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Written and illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A perfect baby shower gift for new dads in your life! Keith Negley's playful and emotional art tells this story of a new father who is no longer the cool guy he once was. He looks back wistfully on his crazy times playing in a band, riding a motorcycle, and getting tattoos. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he's the coolest guy in the world.

Papasaurus book
#14
Papasaurus
Written and illustrated by Stephan Lomp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Babysaurus loves playing hide-and-seek with his Papasaurus. But one day, no matter where he looks, he can't find him, so Babysaurus turns to his prehistoric friends for help. Where can his Papasaurus be? Of course, Papasaurus has been right there all along, and when Babysaurus needs a little help, Papasaurus is ready with a big kiss and more games. This colorful and reassuring book is a fresh twist on a perennial theme that will win the hearts of little ones and their papas alike.

Just Like Daddy book
#15
Just Like Daddy
Written and illustrated by Ovi Nedelcu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A vivdly illustrated day in the life of a little boy and his daddy, this charming picture book paints a gently ironic comparison of how the day unfolds for each of them. The toddler is filled with glee as he tackles each new challenge, while the dad faces his day with a a more grown-up combination of perseverance and resignation--yet he finds himself inspired by his son's open-hearted optimism. Spreads alternate between perspectives--the little boy's excitement at driving his toy car around compared with his father trying to navigate traffic, for example. The tension is resolved by a transcendent final spread that shows what makes it all worthwhile. In its unvarnished yet loving acceptance of the travails of being a working parent, Just Like Daddy is a perfect Father's Day gift for today's dads.

Made for Me book
#16
Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush and illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child's first uttered "Dada" to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, "You are the one made just for me," Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together--forever.

Beard Boy book
#17
Beard Boy
Written by John Flannery and illustrated by Steven Weinberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young Ben wants to be just like his awesome dad—bearded. Ben wants a beard. All the most boss people in his town have them. The baker, the barbers, the butcher, they’re all bewhiskered—even the old lady who waits at the bus stop has one. Most of all though, Ben wants a beard just like his dad. He tries his best to start on some scruff, but nothing works quite right. And when his dad explains he might have to wait ’til he’s older for a beard of his own, he decides to take some more permanent action—with a marker that is. In the end, Ben and his dad find the perfect solution in this hilarious and heartwarming picture book celebrating the bond between father and son.

Pirate's Lullaby book
#18
Pirate's Lullaby
Written by Marcie Wessels and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is such a great bedtime book. I am inspired by the playful father who makes getting ready for bed such an adventure for his little mate. Marcie Wessels' rhyming is extremely well done, and Tim Bowers' illustrations invite each father and son who read the story to join in the fun. It's a perfect addition to any dad's bedtime library.

"Yo ho ho! It's bedtime, but first it's mutiny! This little pirate will do anything to avoid going to sleep. Read along in fun pirate lingo as our young swashbuckler stows his toys in his "treasure chest", searches for his best "mate" (peg-legged Captain Teddy), plays a game of "walk the plank", and reads a few bedtime stories from "Davy Jones's Locker". Will Papa Pirate ever get his little one to catch "forty winks"? Young pirate fans will love this funny, rhyming bedtime story as they laugh along with the little pirate's plots to stay up. It's sure to get every young reader into his "bunk" night after night."

The Wall book
#19
The Wall
Written by Eve Bunting
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

When a Dad Says "I Love You" book
#20
When a Dad Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best. Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear! From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer Bell, a sunny, cuddly testament to the bond between father and child.

The Best Kind of Kiss book
#21
The Best Kind of Kiss
Written by Margaret Allum and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A child lists many varieties of kisses, ending with a favorite.

Knuffle Bunny book
#22
Knuffle Bunny
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind? Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

Night Job book
#23
Night Job
Written by Karen Hesse and illustrated by G Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When the sun sets, Dad’s job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night while the rest of the city is asleep? There’s the smell of lilacs in the night air, the dusky highway in the moonlight, and glimpses of shy nighttime animals to make the dark magical. Shooting baskets in the half-lit gym, sweeping the stage with the game on the radio, and reading out loud to his father in the library all help the boy’s time pass quickly. But what makes the night really special is being with Dad. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse’s quietly powerful story of a boy and his father is tenderly brought to life by G. Brian Karas in this luminous tribute to an enduring, everyday sort of love.

Boats for Papa book
#24
Boats for Papa
Written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Buckley and his Mama live in a cozy cabin by the ocean. He loves to carve boats, each one more beautiful than the last, out of the driftwood he finds on the beach nearby. He sends them out to see and if they don't come back, he knows they've found their way to his papa, whom he misses very much.

Lena's Shoes Are Nervous book
#25
Lena's Shoes Are Nervous
Written by Keith Calabrese and illustrated by Juana Medina
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a big day! Today, Lena starts kindergarten. She is very excited. But there’s just one problem... Lena’s shoes are nervous. Lena doesn’t want to miss out on her first day of school, but she can’t go without her favorite shoes! How can she convince them to be brave?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.