Father Reading to Daughter

Dads – Celebrating the Father-Child Relationship

Katie Merkel


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Hello everyone!

Dads are so important. They make us feel safe, teach us to have confidence in ourselves, and are the loud cheerers in the audience and on the sidelines. A father’s duties include, but are not limited to, homework helper, meal maker, child entertainer, and bedtime wrangler.

The books below celebrate the special father-child relationship and all the amazing things dads do for their children on a daily basis.

Be sure to check out the Father’s Day crafts and family activities I’ve recommended at the end of this post.

Picture Books

Side by Side: A Celebration of Dads by Chris Raschka shows multiple fathers and their children doing different activities together.

Side by Side

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub, illustrated by James Dean shows multiple construction vehicle fathers and their children working together on construction projects.

Mighty Dads

When a Dad Says “I Love You” by Douglas Wood, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell is about all the things dads do to show their children that they love them.

When a Dad Says "I Love You"

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney is about a dad helping his daughter to build a cardboard playhouse.

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too

Daddy’s Sandwich by Pip Jones, illustrated by Laura Hughes is about a little girl who makes her daddy a sandwich with all his favorite things (not just the edible ones).

Daddy's Sandwich

Just Like Daddy by Ovi Nedelcu provides a comedic contrast between a little boy’s belief that his daily routine is just like his dad’s and his father’s actual daily routine.

Just Like Daddy

Night Shift Daddy by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Melissa Iwai shows a father, who works the night shift, and his daughter taking turns putting each other to bed.

Night Shift Daddy

Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee is a question and answer session between a father and son in which the son asks if and how much his father loves him and the father provides answers that demonstrate the unconditional nature of his love.

Papa, Do You Love Me?

Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez is about the fun that a father and son have together on their way to visit the boy’s grandparents.

Papá and Me

I Love My Daddy by David Bedford, illustrated by Brenna Vaughan is about a little squirrel who feels like he can’t do anything after his attempts to show off for his daddy end poorly and about how his daddy rebuilds his self-confidence.

I Love My Daddy

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads by Hope Anita Smith is a series of poems about fathers and how they interact with their children.

My Daddy Rules the World

Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang, illustrated by Greg Ruth is about a father and son who enjoy flying kites together and how they use the kites to communicate their love to and for each other when they are separated during the Cultural Revolution.

Red Kite, Blue Kite


Gifts for Dad

  1. Coupon Book (Cut out slips of paper. On each slip, write down a chore you will do and for how long you will do it. Cut one extra long strip of paper and fold it in half. This will be the cover. Decorate the cover. Put the coupons inside the cover and staple the folded side of the cover so that all of the coupons are secured inside.)
  2. Superhero Handprint Cards (Add a personal message letting your dad know why he is great and/or how much you love him.)
  3. Award Ribbon For Dad
  4. Handprint Dad or Little Man
  5. Father’s Day Fry Box
  6. DIY Suit-Tuxedo Pen Stand
  7. Father’s Day Bobble Head
  8. Football Handprint & Photo Keepsake
  9. DIY Handprint Keychain
  10. Father’s Day Goodie Bag

Memory-Making Family Activities

I pulled the following activities from “15 Fun Father’s Day Activities to Spend Some Quality Time With Dad” by Jamie Ballard and Selena Barrientos and “Top 10 Fun Ways to Spend Father’s Day as a Family” by Erin Dower:

  1. Have a family game night
  2. Go on a hike
  3. Play golf or mini golf
  4. Go on a picnic
  5. Do arts and crafts (this includes woodworking)
  6. Go fishing
  7. Play an outdoor sport (i.e. catch, basketball, touch football)
  8. Go on a family bike ride
  9. Have a movie night
  10. Go camping

Happy reading!



This blog post is dedicated to my dad, who taught me the importance of family and comedic timing. Growing up, Dad was always ready to be my date to a dance or show, drilled me on flashcards, and made reading fun by adding voices and actions. (If there were a read aloud competition for Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, my father would win.) Dad, thanks for a lifetime of games, evil Easter egg hunts, and always cheering me on and telling me that I can do anything. I love you!


For more themed book recommendations and activities, visit my post library.