This Father’s Day, the team at Too Small to Fail—an initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Opportunity Institute—is sharing our favorite books to celebrate new dads. We know fathers are instrumental to a child’s development. Research shows that fathers can significantly strengthen their child’s early brain and language development when they take an active role in the lives of their children from the moment they are born. Despite this powerful impact, recent data suggests that mothers may often be more engaged than fathers in language-rich parenting behaviors – like talking and reading. For example, recent data collected by the Pew Research Center indicates that 55 percent of moms and 45 percent of dads read to their children every day.
So this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the important role dads play in all of our lives. Below are fifteen books to about the special relationship dads share with their children. For more tips and resources on how to make the most of everyday moments with your children, visit www.TalkingIsTeaching.org.
'A Perfect Father’s Day' By Eve Bunting
Four-year-old Susie planned a special day for her dad for Father’s Day. The activities she says her dad loves happen to be her own favorite things to do.
'The Daddy Book' By Todd Parr
A board book edition of a popular picture book, The Daddy Book celebrates all different kinds of dads and highlights the many reasons they are so special.
'Guess How Much I Love You' By Sam McBratney
The Nutbrown Hares compete to measure their love for one another. Little Nutbrown Hare shows his dad how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. Big Nutbrown Hare loves him “to the moon – and back.”
'And Tango Makes Three' by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
And Tango Makes Three uses the true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo to celebrate parental love regardless of traditional gender roles.
'Rory The Dinosaur: Me And My Dad' by Liz Climo
Rory is a little dinosaur with a lot of energy who decides to take an adventure by himself. Just when it seems that things might be going wrong, somehow they turn out right—little does Rory know that his dad is never far behind.
'Owl Moon' By Jane Yolen
As they trudge through the snow, attempting to find a great horned owl by imitating its call, a father tries to pass along his own reverence and respect for nature to his child.
'Just Me And My Dad' By Mercer Mayer
Little Critter goes on a camping trip with his dad. In spite of his mistakes, the father and son manage to put up their tent, catch fish for dinner, and sleep beneath the stars.
'Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale' By Mo Willems
A dad leaves his daughter’s “knuffle bunny” at the laundromat and his infant daughter struggles to find the words to make him go back.
'Ten, Nine, Eight' By Molly Bang
In this rhythmic, reverse counting book, a young girl and her father make a game out of getting ready for bed.
'Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA' By Jimmy Fallon
Different animal dads try in vain to get their kids to say "dada."
'Oh, Oh, Baby Boy' By Janine Macbeth
Oh, Oh, Baby Boy celebrates the cycle of life in which a baby boy grows up to be a man and the father of his own "Baby Boy”. His father's involvement is woven throughout the story, and depicted in nontraditional ways.
'Love You, Dad' By Melina Gerosa Bellows
Love You, Dad recognizes all the important things that fathers do for their children. Pages are illustrated with National Geographic pictures of animal dads and kids.
'My Dad' By Anthony Browne
In an endearing homage to dads everywhere, a boy describes—and exaggerates—the many accomplishments and feats of his father.
'Daddy Hugs' By Karen Katz
From tiny finger hugs to big up in the air hugs, Karen Katz' colorful illustrations capture the joy that both dad and baby are experiencing just being together.
'I Love My Daddy Because..." By Laurel Porter-Garold
I Love My Daddy Because… shows different animal fathers caring for their little ones in much the same way as human babies and toddlers are cared for.