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66 Excellent Picture Books About Dads

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.

Top 10 Dads Books

Jabari Jumps book
#1
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
#2
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
#3
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 By My Side book
#4
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.

How to Cheer Up Dad book
#5
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.

Dad and the Dinosaur book
#6
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.

Monster & Son book
#7
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

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.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#8
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.

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.

Because I Am Your Daddy book
#10
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.

Books About Love & Dads

If My Love Were a Fire Truck book
#1
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.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#2
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.

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Daddy Honk Honk! - 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.

  2. With My Daddy - A young girl describes all of the wonderful feelings she has while spending time with her father, knowing that they love one another no matter what.

  3. Made for Me - 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.

  4. You and Me, Me and You - The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city's bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father's Day gift and a year-round "I love you," parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

Want to see even more books about dads and love?

How about books about love?

Books About Parenting & Dads

Jabari Jumps book
#1
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.

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

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.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Made for Me - 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.

  2. You and Me, Me and You - The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city's bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father's Day gift and a year-round "I love you," parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

  3. Great Job, Dad! - A contemporary felted creation celebrating Dad's many jobs from the co-creator of Cozy Classics. Being a dad is eleven jobs in one! This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A receptionist scheduling important meetings (for playdates), an architect designing buildings (or pillow forts), an inspector (of diapers!) . . . When Dad gets home from his day job at the office, he never knows which job will be waiting for him, but he knows it'll be fun! Each rhyming spread features intimate, familiar, comforting and humorous depictions of family life through a wholly original -- and amazing! -- needle-felted lens.

Want to see even more books about dads and parenting?

How about books about parenting?

Books About Bedtime & Dads

Monster & Son book
#1
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

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.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#2
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.

Pirate's Lullaby book
#3
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."

Honorable Mentions
  1. Interrupting Chicken - Little Red Chicken wants Papa to read her a bedtime story, but interrupts him almost as soon as he begins each tale.

  2. Everybody's Somewhere - Where exactly do people go when you can’t see them? Everybody’s Somewhere, the thoughtful children’s book from award-winning author Cornelia Maude Spelman, reassures young kids that everyone-moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, and more —are somewhere, even if you can’t see them. Whether your family enjoys it as a story for naptime, bedtime, or any time in-between, Everybody's Somewhere will become a beloved bookshelf classic.

Want to see even more books about dads and bedtime?

How about books about bedtime?

Books About Family & Dads

Made for Me book
#1
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.

Hair Love book
#2
Hair Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to do his daughter’s hair in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestseller Vashti Harrison. Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her–and her hair–happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair–and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere

Great Job, Dad! book
#3
Great Job, Dad!
Written and illustrated by Holman Wang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A contemporary felted creation celebrating Dad's many jobs from the co-creator of Cozy Classics. Being a dad is eleven jobs in one! This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A receptionist scheduling important meetings (for playdates), an architect designing buildings (or pillow forts), an inspector (of diapers!) . . . When Dad gets home from his day job at the office, he never knows which job will be waiting for him, but he knows it'll be fun! Each rhyming spread features intimate, familiar, comforting and humorous depictions of family life through a wholly original -- and amazing! -- needle-felted lens.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Just Like Daddy - Who wouldn't want to be just like Daddy? He's strong, kind, and practical--and he knows how to have fun! Even if he messes up, it's never a big deal. Plus, he handles scary monsters (well, spiders), keeps his eyes open on the roller coaster (mostly), and puts on silly voices when he reads a bedtime story. This heartwarming picture book shows why Daddy is the BEST.

  2. Dandelions - This heart-warming picture book explores the bond between a father and his daughter. One day, a little girl notices her father mowing the lawn — in the process destroying her favourite flowers: the dandelions. She rushes out to stop him, but she’s too late, they’re all gone. There’s nothing for it: she’s just going to have to sit outside and wait until they grow back! But fortunately, Dad has another idea. &nsbp; Exquisite watercolour illustrations combine with lyrical text to create a story that’s perfect for readers aged 4–8. This book will be cherished by families and recommended by teachers and librarians, exploring as it does the resilience of nature, the art of forgiveness, and the unique love between a parent and child.

  3. Hooked - Joe loves fishing. He loves watching the water and looking at the sky, he loves the peacefulness, and he especially loves dreaming about catching the Big One. Joe’s dad does not love fishing. He doesn’t like the waiting, or the worms, or the fact that nothing much happens. But when Joe needs a parental chaperone for an ice-fishing field trip, his dad agrees to go along. And when the waiting turns into talking, exchanging jokes, and sharing hot chocolate, Joe's dad discovers something unexpected. He doesn’t just like fishing with Joe—he loves it. You could even say he’s hooked.

Want to see even more books about dads and family?

How about books about family?

Books About Humor & Dads

Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA book
#1
Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA
Written by Jimmy Fallon and illustrated by Miguel Ordónez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, is also a father and his hilarious picture book reveals what everyone already knows: that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies' first word is “Dada!” Here he shows us just how it's done...

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise book
#2
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise
Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise (as her amused papa explains)? As they dive in to story after story, looking for the part that makes a reader say “Whoa! I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Papa is sure he can convince Chicken he’s right. After all, there are definitely no elephants in “The Ugly Duckling,” “Rapunzel,” or “The Little Mermaid”—or are there? Elephant or element, something unexpected awaits Papa in every story, but a surprise may be in store for the little red chicken as well. Full of the same boisterous charm that made Interrupting Chicken so beloved by readers, this gleeful follow-up is sure to delight fans of stories, surprises, and elephants alike.

Interrupting Chicken book
#3
Interrupting Chicken
Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little Red Chicken wants Papa to read her a bedtime story, but interrupts him almost as soon as he begins each tale.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I'm Awake! - Both children and adults will relate to this send-up of early risers and the parents who—yawn!—love them. Kids love to get up early—really early, before the sun is up early, before the newspaper is delivered early. Parents don’t love getting up quite so early. But that doesn’t stop this energetic, young hamster from trying to wake up Dad at the crack of dawn. Maybe Dad can figure out a way to get his child to sleep in?

  2. Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The - A soccer dad misunderstands when he hears that his son's team needs his help. Instead of taking care of halftime snacks, the dad grabs a jersey and runs onto the field to play! And what an embarrassment he is: he hogs the ball, complains about his teammates and throws a hairy fit when the referee doesn't call a play his way! Can the boy find a way to teach his dad how to be a good sport before he drives the whole team crazy?

Want to see even more books about dads and humor?

How about books about humor?

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Dads Books
  2. + love (20)
  3. + parenting (6)
  4. + bedtime (5)
  5. + family (6)
  6. + humor (5)
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