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Father-daughter Relationships: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about father-daughter relationships?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to father-daughter relationships. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about father-daughter relationships.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about father-daughter relationships, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Higher! Higher! to popular sellers like To Kill a Mockingbird to some of our favorite hidden gems like Alma and How She Got Her Name.

We hope this list of kids books about father-daughter relationships can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Top 10 Books About Father-daughter Relationships

#1
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To Kill a Mockingbird
Written by Harper Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

#2
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Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

#3
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Dad By My Side
Written & 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.

#4
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Running Wild
Written by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Willa and her twin brothers have survived with their father in the Alaskan wilderness for five years. But Willa knows this can’t go on—they must escape.

Since their mother died five years ago, Willa, her younger brothers, and her father have lived in the wilderness, in a log cabin they built. They survive on food they grow and animals they hunt. Every year they have struggled a little bit more to survive. Now, with winter approaching and her father becoming more reckless, Willa wonders if they will live to see spring. She also knows her father will never agree to leave. When her father goes on a hunting expedition by himself, Willa convinces her brothers that they must make the four-day journey down the Yukon River to Fort Yukon to get help. But first, they’ll need to survive the treacherous trip…and all the while, their father is on their trail. Perfect for middle grade readers looking for adventure stories with strong female protagonists, Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Running Wild is a page-turner that hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let go.

#5
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Lola Loves Stories with Daddy
Written by Anna McQuinn & illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Bookworms big and small will be charmed by lovable Lola in this delightful sequel to LOLA AT THE LIBRARY that celebrates imagination and the love of reading.

Lola loves to go to the library with her daddy. Every night she reads a new story, and the next day, she acts it out. One day she’s a fairy princess, the next day she goes on a trip to Lagos! She becomes a tiger, a farmer, a pilot. . . . what will Lola be next?

Children and adults will love following along with Lola’s adventures. LOLA LOVES STORIES is a wonderful introduction to the power of reading and how it can inspire young minds at the earliest ages.

#6
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Owl Moon
Written by Jane Yolen & illustrated by John Schoenherr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrating 30 years of the beloved classic Owl Moon from renowned children’s book author Jane Yolen and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator John Schoenherr!

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

#7
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Papa Brings Me the World
Written & illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw’s Papa Brings Me the World is a poignant picture book that celebrates the bond between parent and child, and follows their long-distance trip around the world.

Most parents drive a car or ride a bus or train to work―but not Lulu’s papa. He navigates mountains, deserts, and oceans, each time returning home with pockets full of treasures. There’s an ancient calculator from China, a musical mbira from Zimbabwe, and a special game from Sumatra. But the best treasures are special stories Papa tells when he comes home―tales of playing peekaboo with rare birds in the Andes and befriending dragons in the Irish Sea.

This long-distance love story between parent and child celebrates inclusivity, imagination, and the richness of global cultures.

Christy Ottaviano Books

#8
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How the Stars Came To Be
Written & illustrated by Poonam Mistry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-18

Have you ever wondered how the stars came to be in the sky?

The Fisherman’s Daughter loved to dance in the sunlight, and bathe in the glow of the moon. But when the moon disappeared for a few nights each month, she worried about her father and how he would find his way home from the sea in the deep darkness. When the sun finds her sobbing one night, he takes one of his rays and shatters it onto the ground, creating the stars and giving the girl the task of putting them into the dark night sky. This beautifully illustrated story gives us a new folk tale, and a new way to look up at the night sky.

#9
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A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

#10
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Astro Girl
Written & illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The stars are the limit for a little girl who acts out her wish to be an astronaut — inspired by a very special person. Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says to everyone who will listen. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission — like being in zero gravity (“I can do that all day long!” she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets. When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favorite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been? Channeling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending.

Table of Contents
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Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Social Themes

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Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

Add to list
Papa Brings Me the World
Written & illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw’s Papa Brings Me the World is a poignant picture book that celebrates the bond between parent and child, and follows their long-distance trip around the world.

Most parents drive a car or ride a bus or train to work―but not Lulu’s papa. He navigates mountains, deserts, and oceans, each time returning home with pockets full of treasures. There’s an ancient calculator from China, a musical mbira from Zimbabwe, and a special game from Sumatra. But the best treasures are special stories Papa tells when he comes home―tales of playing peekaboo with rare birds in the Andes and befriending dragons in the Irish Sea.

This long-distance love story between parent and child celebrates inclusivity, imagination, and the richness of global cultures.

Christy Ottaviano Books

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Where Is Home, Daddy Bear?
Written & illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

During a long journey from their old house to the new, Evie Bear asks her father many questions as he reassures her that home is much more than a place.

Honorable Mentions
Mango Moon book
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The Whole Sky book
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Goodnight Whispers book
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The Girl Who Sailed the Stars book
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  1. Mango Moon - When a father is taken away from his family and facing deportation, his family is left to grieve and wonder about what comes next. Maricela, Manuel, and their mother face the many challenges of having their lives completely changed by the absence of their father and husband. Moving to a new house, missed soccer games and birthday parties, and emptiness are now the day-to-day norm. Mango Moon shows what life is like from a child’s perspective when a parent is deported, and the heartbreaking realities they have to face, but Maricela learns that her love for her father is sustained even though he is no longer part of her daily life.

  2. The Whole Sky - When a devastating sickness spreads through a thoroughbred farm community, a young horse whisperer is determined to find out why all the foals are dying in this tightly woven, tender coming-of-age novel from award-winning author Heather Henson. Twelve-year-old Sky and her father are horse whisperers—their preternatural tenderness and understanding of horses, and Sky’s uncanny ability to actually understand what they’re saying, become their livelihood during the foaling season at multimillion dollar horse farms. They’re sought after by the most prestigious farms in the country to keep pregnant horses calm and stress-free until they give birth. But this spring, something awful is happening…foal after foal is a stillborn, and no one knows why. And worse for Sky, who lost her mother only months earlier, her most beloved horse is about to have her first foal. In agony, Sky takes it upon herself to figure out what the vets are missing, and stop it before even more foals are lost.

  3. Goodnight Whispers - You are strong. You are brave. You are so incredibly good. On an ordinary night in an ordinary house, a father’s ordinary words do something extraordinary. Lulled to sleep by these whispered affirmations, his baby girl grows into a fun-loving child, a confident teen, and then a courageous young woman. As she ventures forth into the world on her own, her father’s affectionate affirmations—now carried in memory—bolster her through life’s challenges and, like whispers on the night wind, come full circle to strengthen her aging father and young son of her own. With breathtaking illustrations from Spanish artist Dani Torrent, Goodnight Whispers is a heartwarming story about a father’s love and the power of affirmation.

  4. The Girl Who Sailed the Stars - When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships. But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised? This follow-up to The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker carries just as much heart and charm as Matilda Woods’s first novel. The characters, story, and illustrations will dazzle readers.

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Dads

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With My Daddy
Written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

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Dad By My Side
Written & 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.

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A Perfect Father's Day
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Susan Meddaugh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Susie plans a Father’s Day celebration with her dad that’s filled with all of her favorite activities. “A charming Father’s Day offering that would be equally good reading all year long.” — Booklist

Honorable Mentions
Knuffle Bunny book
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My Papi Has a Motorcycle book
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Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise book
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The Fix-It Man book
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  1. Knuffle Bunny - 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.

  2. My Papi Has a Motorcycle - A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo. When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

  3. Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise - 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.

  4. The Fix-It Man - It’s handy having a dad who can fix just about anything. A young girl believes her father is the king of fixing things. But following the death of her mother, she discovers that broken hearts are not as easy to repair as damaged toys and cracked teapots. Together, she and her father find a way to glue back the pieces of her lives. The Fix-It Man is a poignant picture book that explores how a child can cope with the loss of a parent (in this case, the young girl’s mother). Repairing damaged emotions is not as straightforward as gluing a broken kite back together or sewing up a torn toy. And grief affects all members of a family, with each responding in their own way to the loss. By sticking with her father, the young girl is able to strengthen her resilience and ability to cope with one of life’s harshest experiences. The author was encouraged to seek publication for this story after receiving the endorsement of several grief counsellors who work with children and who recognised the need for a book such as this.

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Culture

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To Kill a Mockingbird
Written by Harper Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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A New Year's Reunion
Written by Yu Li-Qiong & illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Maomao s dad works many miles away, but he is coming home for New Year!Little Maomao s father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find. Which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children s Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away and shows how a family s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.

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Zoe and the Fawn
Written by Catherine Jameson & illustrated by Julie Flett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zoe and her father are delighted to come across a fawn in the forest. But the fawn is alone—where is its mother? Join Zoe on her quest for the deer, as she encounters animals and learns their syilx (Okanagan) names along the way. Repetition of phrased questions will enhance success for beginning readers while creating a playful rhythm for young listeners.

Honorable Mentions
Wow! City! book
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The Glassmaker's Daughter book
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  1. Wow! City! - Everyone dreams of visiting the big city, with its bright lights, tall buildings, and millions and millions of people. One lucky girl named Izzy climbs in her stroller and rides through all the hustle and bustle, impressed by the sheer magnitude of everything she sees. Wow! City! is based on Izzy’s real-life escapade, as page after page she is quoted verbatim. (Izzy was just learning to speak at the time.) Every illustration captures the grandeur, energy, and exuberance of Izzy’s great adventure with her dad, in a book children will quickly learn by heart and ask to read over and over and over.

  2. The Glassmaker's Daughter - Daniela the glassmaker’s daughter is grumpy and never smiles. Her father promises a beautiful glass palace to anyone who can make her laugh. People come from far and wide to try their luck in amusing Daniela. But mask makers, lion tamers and magicians cannot raise a smile from the princess. It is only when a young apprentice makes the first looking glass that Daniela learns to smile – at her own grumpy reflection! This beautiful fable set in sixteenth-century Venice features stunning illustrations from award-winning artist Jane Ray alongside a poetic text.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Girls And Women

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Running Wild
Written by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Willa and her twin brothers have survived with their father in the Alaskan wilderness for five years. But Willa knows this can’t go on—they must escape.

Since their mother died five years ago, Willa, her younger brothers, and her father have lived in the wilderness, in a log cabin they built. They survive on food they grow and animals they hunt. Every year they have struggled a little bit more to survive. Now, with winter approaching and her father becoming more reckless, Willa wonders if they will live to see spring. She also knows her father will never agree to leave. When her father goes on a hunting expedition by himself, Willa convinces her brothers that they must make the four-day journey down the Yukon River to Fort Yukon to get help. But first, they’ll need to survive the treacherous trip…and all the while, their father is on their trail. Perfect for middle grade readers looking for adventure stories with strong female protagonists, Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Running Wild is a page-turner that hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let go.

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Lola Loves Stories with Daddy
Written by Anna McQuinn & illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Bookworms big and small will be charmed by lovable Lola in this delightful sequel to LOLA AT THE LIBRARY that celebrates imagination and the love of reading.

Lola loves to go to the library with her daddy. Every night she reads a new story, and the next day, she acts it out. One day she’s a fairy princess, the next day she goes on a trip to Lagos! She becomes a tiger, a farmer, a pilot. . . . what will Lola be next?

Children and adults will love following along with Lola’s adventures. LOLA LOVES STORIES is a wonderful introduction to the power of reading and how it can inspire young minds at the earliest ages.

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Astro Girl
Written & illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The stars are the limit for a little girl who acts out her wish to be an astronaut — inspired by a very special person. Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says to everyone who will listen. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission — like being in zero gravity (“I can do that all day long!” she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets. When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favorite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been? Channeling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending.

Honorable Mentions
No Place Like Home book
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Cozy Classics: Emma book
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Hair Love book
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Katie Cox Vs. the Boy Band book
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  1. No Place Like Home - Having to move a lot because of her father’s job, Kenzie is happy when an extended assignment allows her to enroll in a Las Vegas middle school, where she takes risks by revealing her crush, auditioning for a play, and running for student council.

  2. Cozy Classics: Emma - Cuddle up with a classic! In twelve needle-felted scenes and twelve child-friendly words, each book in this ingenious series captures the essence of a literary masterpiece. Simple words, sturdy pages, and a beloved story make these books the perfect vehicle for early learning with an erudite twist. Budding bookworms will delight in this clever retelling of the classics made just for them! Jane Austen’s Emma tells of a well-to-do young lady who loves to play the matchmaker, and the many surprises she encounters as she attempts to secure a happy ending for her friends—and for herself. It’s a first words primer for your literary little one! The Cozy Classics series is the brainchild of two brothers, both dads, who were thinking of ways to teach words to their very young children. They hit upon the classics as the basis for their infant primers, and the rest, as they say, is history. From Moby Dick to Pride and Prejudice, here are The Great Books of Western Literature for toddlers and their parents in board book form—a little bit serious, a little bit ironic, entirely funny and clever, and always a welcome gift.

  3. Hair Love - 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

  4. Katie Cox Vs. the Boy Band - Katie Cox never meant to become a pop star. And she didn’t mean to start a war with Karamel (a.k.a. the World’s Cheesiest Boy Band). Now her first concert is just days away. Cool? Maybe. But with her school friends more interested in her fame than her feelings, and an army of Karamel fans ready to take her down, this battle goes way beyond the charts.

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Bedtime And Dreams

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Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Monica wants the moon to play with, so her Papa sets out to get it. It isn’t easy to climb to the moon, but he finally succeeds — only to find the moon is too big to carry home. Children will love the joyful way in which this problem is solved. Now available as a Classic Board Book edition, this delightful story literally unfolds as pages open dramatically, extending both outward and upward.

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Help Wanted, Must Love Books
Written by Janet Sumner Johnson & illustrated by Courtney Dawson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Shailey loves bedtime, especially reading with her dad. But her dad starts a new job, and it gets in the way of their bedtime routine. So Shailey takes action! She fires her dad, posts a Help Wanted sign, and starts interviews immediately. She is thrilled when her favorite characters from fairytales line up to apply. But Sleeping Beauty can’t stay awake, the Gingerbread Man steals her book, and Snow White brings along her whole team. Shailey is running out of options. Is bedtime ruined forever?

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Gorilla
Written & illustrated by Anthony Browne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate thirty years of a classic picture book by one of today’s most celebrated author-illustrators! A special anniversary edition. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one. Unfortunately, her father is always too busy — or too tired — to take her to the zoo. But on the night before her birthday, something extraordinary happens and Hannah’s wish finally comes true. Anthony Browne’s classic story of a girl’s moonlit night of adventure, courtesy of a surprising and kindly friend, returns in a larger trim size with striking cover art by the artist for the book’s thirtieth anniversary.

Honorable Mentions
Interrupting Chicken book
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Stars Above Us book
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  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. Stars Above Us - A little girl and her soldier father find a way to be close even when he?s away at war Amanda is scared of the dark. But her dad can fix that. He shows Amanda all the wonderful things that live in the dark, like fireflies, crickets, and stars. And when her father has to go away, he even puts glowing paper stars on Amanda?s bedroom ceiling, so she can look at their special star while he?s away and know he?s on the other side of the world looking at it too, and thinking of her. Stars Above Us is an affecting, beautifully illustrated narrative tailor-made for children who?ve ever lived without a parent.

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Friendship

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A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Written & illustrated by Joy McCullough
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A girl with a passion for science and a boy who dreams of writing fantasy novels must figure out how to get along now that their parents are dating in this lively, endearing novel.

Sutton is having robot problems. Her mini-bot is supposed to be able to get through a maze in under a minute, but she must have gotten something wrong in the coding. Which is frustrating for a science-minded girl like Sutton—almost as frustrating as the fact that her mother probably won’t be home in time for Sutton’s tenth birthday.

Luis spends his days writing thrilling stories about brave kids, but there’s only so much inspiration you can find when you’re stuck inside all day. He’s allergic to bees, afraid of dogs, and has an overprotective mom to boot. So Luis can only dream of daring adventures in the wild.

Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other. Except now that their parents are dating, these two have to find some common ground. Will they be able to navigate their way down a path they never planned on exploring?

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Tiny Infinities
Written & illustrated by J. H. Diehl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team’s record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school’s science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice’s best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice’s determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.

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To Night Owl from Dogfish
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through text messages.

Honorable Mentions
Ella Unleashed book
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Under the Bottle Bridge book
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Ruby in the Ruins book
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  1. Ella Unleashed - The Parent Trap meets Best in Show in this charming novel about a girl who must learn to make peace with the unpredictability of life. Ella Cohen was skeptical when her mom started dating Krishnan just a few months after her parents’ divorce. But two years later, she really likes having her new stepfather around. When she decides to enter a junior dog show, Krishnan even lets her start handling his dog, Elvis. She’s determined to become an expert handler, even after her first show ends in disaster. Unfortunately, some things are harder to control—like Ella’s dad, who has changed a lot since the divorce. He used to be laid back and fun, but now he hovers over her constantly, terrified she’s going to shatter into a million pieces if she so much as hints that everything in her life isn’t perfect. Ella is particularly upset that his animosity toward Krishnan keeps him from coming to watch her handle Elvis, especially when she wins a lottery spot in the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. When Ella’s best friends suggest she find her dad a date to the dog show, it seems like the perfect solution. If her dad has a new girlfriend, surely he won’t mind so much that Ella’s mom has a new husband. So Ella decides to play matchmaker, going so far as to create a fake online dating profile in order to find her dad his one true love. But it turns out people, much like dogs, aren’t always so easy to control, and Ella’s plan backfires at the worst possible moment. Can Ella manage to bring her divided life together in time for her moment in the spotlight?

  2. Under the Bottle Bridge - In the tradition of Counting by 7s and Three Times Lucky, critically acclaimed author Jessica Lawson returns with her fourth whimsical, lyrical, and heartfelt middle grade novel about a girl who’s desperately trying to keep her life together, when everything seems to be falling apart. In the weeks leading up to Gilbreth, New York’s annual AutumnFest, twelve-year-old woodcraft legacy Minna Treat is struggling with looming deadlines, an uncle trying to hide Very Bad News, and a secret personal quest. When she discovers mysterious bottle messages under one of the village’s 300-year-old bridges, she can’t help but wonder who’s leaving them, what they mean, and, most importantly…could the messages be for her? Along with best friend Crash and a mystery-loving newcomer full of suspicious theories, Minna is determined to discover whether the bottles are miraculously leading her toward the long-lost answers she’s been looking for, or drawing her into a disaster of historic proportions.

  3. Ruby in the Ruins - From beloved British storyteller Shirley Hughes comes a touching tale of unconditional love as a family puts itself back together in postwar London. Ruby and Mum cling to each other while they live through the terrifying London Blitz, waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Day after day they hope for his return — but when the moment to meet him at the station finally comes, Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train. He’s big and sunburned, and he doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he once was. It’s easier to play outside in the wreckage of the bombings than to stay at home with a dad she doesn’t know anymore. But when Ruby hurts her knee in the ruins, there’s only one person who can rescue her and make her feel all right.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Imagination And Play

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My Papa Is a Princess
Written & illustrated by Doug Cenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cuddle up with Dad for this sweet book about a father as seen through his daughter’s eyes. When Papa braids her hair, he’s a hairdresser; when he hangs her drawings on the wall, he’s an art collector. But no matter what happens, he is always her papa, and that’s the most important thing of all!

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Ladybug Girl and Her Papa
Written by Jacky Davis & illustrated by David Soman
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Perfect for Father’s Day or any day, this board book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series celebrates Lulu’s bond with her dad and pairs perfectly with Ladybug Girl and her Mama

Join Lulu and her papa as they spend a perfect day together. They take a hike complete with rock-skipping at the stream, make a delicious pancake breakfast, and build a birdhouse. Even hanging the laundry to dry is an adventure when Ladybug Girl is with Papa. This sweet story captures the everyday magic of the love between a little girl and her dad.

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Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
Written & illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Drawing.

Reading.

Building.

Painting.

These are things Nelly loves to do…but they’re always better with Daddy Gnu!

With fun-to-read rhyme, a little silliness, and a lot of warmth, Anna Dewdney—the creator of the beloved llama llama books—tells the story of a daughter and her daddy and their wonderful day together.

Honorable Mentions
Higher! Higher! book
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Ask Me book
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King Alice book
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Faster! Faster! book
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  1. Higher! Higher! - The sky’s no limit in a witty picture book about a child on a swing and the wonders of the imagination. (Ages 2-5) One child. One swing. An obliging dad. The inevitable plea to go “Higher! Higher!” Add Leslie Patricelli’s wildly expressive illustrations, and an everyday pastime reaches new heights of humor and whimsy. How high can it go? Higher than a giraffe? Taller than a mountain? Is Earth the final frontier? The creator of a popular series of board books rises to the occasion with an ingenious picture book of very few words that expresses the giddy glee of being pushed in a swing.

  2. Ask Me - Ask me what I like? What do you like? A father and daughter walk through their neighborhood, brimming with questions as they explore their world. With so many things to enjoy, and so many ways to ask—and talk—about them, it’s a snapshot of an ordinary day in a world that’s anything but. This story is a heartwarming and inviting picture book with a tenderly written story by Bernard Waber and glorious illustrations by Suzy Lee.

  3. King Alice - A young girl wakes her father by informing him that she is Queen Alice, then draws him and other family members into her imaginative activities, from writing a book to a sleepover with fairies.

  4. Faster! Faster! - Hang on tight for more comic joy in this companion to the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner Higher! Higher! A day at the park. A ride on Daddy’s back. Run, Daddy! Faster! Faster! How fast can Daddy go? Faster than a dog? A horse? How about a cheetah? Must his feet even touch the ground? Leslie Patricelli reprises the duo from Higher! Higher! in another humorous riff on a favorite pastime — a laugh-out-loud-funny tale of few words about doting dads and high-energy kids whose imaginations know no bounds.

Books About Father-daughter Relationships and Parents

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Captain Rosalie
Written by Timothée de Fombelle & illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Timothée de Fombelle and Isabelle Arsenault capture the heart-wrenching cost of war for one small girl in a delicately drawn, expertly told tale. While her father is at war, five-year-old Rosalie is a captain on her own secret mission. She wears the disguise of a little girl and tracks her progress in a secret notebook. Some evenings, Rosalie’s mother reads aloud Father’s letters from the front lines, so that Rosalie knows he is thinking of her and looking forward to the end of the war and to finally coming home. But one day a letter comes that her mother doesn’t read to her, and Rosalie knows her mission must soon come to an end. Author Timothée de Fombelle reveals the true consequence of war through the experiences of small, determined Rosalie, while acclaimed artist Isabelle Arsenault illustrates Rosalie’s story in muted grays marked with soft spots of color — the orange flame of Rosalie’s hair, the pale pink of a scarf, the deep blue ink of her father’s letters. All the more captivating for the simplicity with which it is drawn and told, this quiet tale will stay with the reader long after its last page is turned.

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Pet Dad
Written & illustrated by Elanna Allen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Plum wants the perfect pet, but instead realizes she has the perfect dad in this charming and hilarious picture book that’s great for father’s day. Plum wants a pet. Plum’s dad wants NO pets. So Plum, who never takes no for an answer, gets the only pet she can: a pet dad. Dad is a great pet–he loves playtime, tummy rubs, and scratches behind the ears. But every time Plum tries to get him to sit, or fetch, or chase, dad barks NO. Plum doesn’t take no for an answer. How will she train her perfect pet (without getting a time-out)?

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The Year the Swallows Came Early
Written & illustrated by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Eleanor “Groovy” Robinson loves cooking and plans to go to culinary school just as soon as she’s old enough. But even Groovy’s thoughtfully—planned menus won’t fix the things that start to go wrong the year she turns eleven—suddenly, her father is in jail, her best friend’s long-absent mother reappears, and the swallows that make their annual migration to her hometown arrive surprisingly early. As Groovy begins to expect the unexpected, she learns about the importance of forgiveness, understands the complex stories of the people around her, and realizes that even an earthquake can’t get in the way of a family that needs to come together. Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s lovely debut novel is distinctively Californian in its flavor. Her rich characters and strong sense of place feel both familiar and fresh at first meeting—and worth revisiting, again and again.

Honorable Mentions
The Dollhouse Fairy book
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Dandelions book
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Papa Put a Man on the Moon book
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Daddy Can't Dance book
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  1. The Dollhouse Fairy - What if a little girl looked in her dollhouse and found an injured — and very untidy — fairy? A sweet story from celebrated illustrator Jane Ray. (Ages 3-7) When Rosy discovers a real fairy living in her beloved dollhouse — the one her dad made just for her — she can’t believe her eyes. But Thistle is no ordinary fairy. Despite a hurt wing, she’s turned all the tiny furnishings topsy-turvy, and she’s starving for raspberries and chips and other treats to eat. Rosy loves nurturing the mischievous fairy back to health, and can’t wait to introduce her to her dad when he returns from his hospital stay. With a true flair for visual detail, Jane Ray offers a tale of family and friendship that touches on illness with a lighthearted tone — and celebrates the healing power of the imagination.

  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. Papa Put a Man on the Moon - Marthanne and her father sit side by side, looking out over their mill village as the moon glows in the sky. Marthanne hopes that one day, man will walk on the moon, and she knows her father is helping America accomplish this mission: The fabric he weaves forms one layer in the astronauts’ spacesuits. Papa insists he’s only making a living, but Marthanne knows his work is part of history, and she’s proud. She tries to be patient, but she can’t stop imagining the moon mission: the astronauts tumbling through space, the fabric her papa made traveling all the way up into the sky. When the astronauts blast off and Neil Armstrong finally takes his first steps on the moon, Marthanne watches in wonder. She knows her papa put a man on the moon.

  4. Daddy Can't Dance - Katie and her father are invited to a Daddy-Daughter dance, the only problem is that her father is not a good dancer—he frequently steps on his partner’s feet.

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