The 10 Best Children's Books About Fathers of 2022

From Father's Day books to everyday reading, these books highlight all dads do

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Children's books about fathers can be a wonderful way to help kids consider the importance of role models in their lives. Whether you're looking for Father's Day-related reading material or everyday books, these books celebrate your favorite dads (and uncles and grandpas and friends) at any time of the year.

Reviewed & Approved

"The Night Before Father's Day" introduces children to some special things they can do for their father on Father's Day. For an everyday dad book, we recommend "The Ten Best Things About My Dad."

Consider whether you’d like to read the book to your child or have them practice reading it to you, and look for characters that will spark your child's interest. We carefully considered material, reading levels, age appropriateness, value, and book type when reviewing products.

Here are the best children's books about fathers.

In This Article

The Night Before Father's Day

The Night Before Father's Day

Courtesy of Amazon

"The Night Before Father's Day" earns a top spot on our list because of its entertaining storyline that uses the same lyrical rhyme of the beloved "Night Before Christmas." A mother and her children surprise the kids' dad by cleaning out the garage and washing the car. This story introduces children to some special things they can do for their father on Father's Day.

The Ten Best Things About My Dad

The Ten Best Things About My Dad

Courtesy of Amazon

The main character in this book talks about all the fun things that his dad does that make him special. The father reads stories, scares away the monsters, tells jokes, and teaches his child right from wrong. It is the perfect book to read for Father's Day because children can relate to the young narrator in the story.

What Dads Can't Do

What Dads Can't Do

Courtesy of Amazon

This fun and amusing picture book talks about the things that dads cannot do that regular people can. Such as, they can push but cannot swing, they cannot cross the street without holding hands, and they cannot sleep late. Kids will get a kick out of the illustrations and love coming up with their own ideas of what their dad cannot do.

Just Me and My Dad

Just Me and My Dad

Courtesy of Amazon

This classic Little Critter book shows the tale of a father and son camping trip. Along the way, the little critter makes some mistakes but manages to turn things around. It’s a delightful story that shows children their dad will always be there and things can get better.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Courtesy of Amazon

This delightful witty book tells the tale of how a young boy traded in his dad for two goldfish because all his dad did was sit and read the newspaper. When the boy's mother finds out what he did, she tells him to go get him back, but it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be. The father gets traded all around town! This whimsical yet sarcastic book is a fun read for upper elementary children.

My Father Knows the Names of Things

My Father Knows the Names of Things

Courtesy of Amazon

This story is the perfect book to show children how a father knows it all. The father in this story shares his knowledge of the world with his child while they take a walk together.

A Perfect Father's Day

A Perfect Father's Day

Courtesy of Amazon

Eve Bunting's lyrical text makes it the perfect read for Father's Day. A young child takes her father on a fun-filled adventure for Father's Day. This is a cute read for kindergarteners through first graders.

A Wild Father's Day

A Wild Father's Day

Courtesy of Amazon

After two young children give their dad a Father's Day card that says "Have a Wild Father's Day" on it, the dad insists that the children act like animals for the day. The illustrations are simple and the repetition in this story is great. It will help the children predict some of the things that are going to happen next in the story.

My Dad's a Hero

My Dad's a Hero

Courtesy of Amazon

Trying to talk to children about war is not easy subject to pull off. The author takes this tender subject, and finds a warm and endearing way to show children how to be proud of their father for serving in the military.

The Berenstain Bears and the Papa's Day Surprise

The Berenstain Bears and the Papa's Day Surprise

Courtesy of Amazon

This classic Berenstain Bears book features Papa as a grumpy old bear that thinks that Father's Day is only a greeting card holiday. So when the day approaches and he doesn't receive anything, he is very upset. This is a great read for Father's Day and teaches children the importance of keeping secrets and telling the truth.

What to Look for in Children’s Books About Fathers

Book Type

Deciding between board books, soft cover, or hardcover? Toddlers might prefer board books they can hold while older children will appreciate bound hard- or softcover books with vibrant illustrations.

Reading Level

Consider whether you’d like to read the book to your child or have them practice reading it to you. If the latter, make sure you’re selecting age-appropriate reading materials to avoid frustration and ensure they can truly appreciate every page. Shorter books with fewer words per page keep junior readers more focused.

Characters

When shopping for children’s books about fathers, you might consider the gender of your child and how they might identify to similar characters. For instance, if you’re buying a book you’ll read to your daughter, you might want to find one that features with a female protagonist and her father. 

If you’d like to avoid reinforcing stereotypical male gender norms, you might also look for stories that feature fathers sharing their emotions, providing hands-on kid care, and engaging in adventures beyond work and gendered hobbies such as playing golf and watching sports, which can be common themes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do books help kids bond with their parents or caregivers?

    Reading a book to your child brings you physically closer to them and can be soothing—especially when reading is part of a bedtime routine. What’s more, parents tend to be less stressed when sharing a story with their child since reading together reduces parental perception of disruptive behavior. Even better, the book itself can prompt conversation and take pressure off the parent throughout the interaction to relieve stress and lead to more frequent interactions. So it’s no wonder if you feel calmer, closer to, and happier with your child when you’re reading.

  • How can you use books to start conversations?

    There are endless opportunities to use books to begin conversations. Many parents like to use illustrations or characters as a jumping off point for questions that engage their children. For instance, when reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," you might ask your child which caterpillar foods they like the most, or if they can remember a time they had a bellyache after eating too many treats. Whether you’re addressing a child or adult, open-ended prompts beat yes-or-no questions for stoking conversation.

  • How do kids benefit from having books in the home?

    Kids can’t practice reading or snuggle up to read with you if there are no reading materials available to them. Whether you stock your bookshelves with brand-new books, second-hand stories, or reads from your local library, your kids can reap benefits such as cognitive development, improved concentration, and a greater understanding of the world around them.

1 Source
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  1. Canfield CF, Miller EB, Shaw DS, Morris P, Alonso A, Mendelsohn AL. Beyond language: Impacts of shared reading on parenting stress and early parent–child relational healthDev Psychol. 2020;56(7):1305-1315. doi:10.1037/dev0000940