One of my favourite things to do with Hannah is sit with a great picture book and explore it together. For her, picture books are pure joy and, as far as I’m concerned, when Hannah is having fun we are both having fun.
So while there are a thousand great gifts out there for dad (you should probably check out my Father’s Day Gift Guide…), one of the best things you can add to that gift is a picture book about dad.
The following is an excellent selection of books with fathers (or grandfathers) front and centre. They are wonderful reminders of the fun and games, the wisdom, the jokes and the absolute joy of being dad. These books celebrate everything about fatherhood – from the outrageous to the mundane.
Dad By My Side – Soosh
Dad By My Side is an adorable picture book about a beautiful father-daughter relationship. The heart-warming illustrations are the centrepiece of the story, effortlessly portraying the warmth and special bond of this dad and daughter. The story of their lives together is touching. They have lots of fun. They live to try new things together. They are also there for one another in the sad times. It is clear that they are in each other’s heart and soul, always. If this book doesn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, I don’t know what will!
Dad By My Side is debut picture book of self-taught artist Shoosh. Shoosh’s adorable father and daughter illustrations first became famous on Instagram, where fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views in one week. Now watch them gain the world’s attention in a different medium – this beautiful and incredibly sweet picture book.
Grandpa’s Space Adventure – Paul Newman and Tom Jellett
“I’m scared of the dark…but Grandpa says there’s nothing to be afraid of, so tonight we’ll be camping out.” Grandpa tells him that if we didn’t have the dark we wouldn’t be able to see the moon. And if you can’t see the moon how on earth could you aim for it. So begins their backyard camping adventure, filled with Grandpa’s tall stories about his space adventures and packed to the brim with dad (Grandpa) jokes.
Grandpa’s Space Adventure is a great story of backyard camping adventure, capturing the special, heart-warming and fun relationship of this grandfather and grandson.
My Dad is a Robot – Matt Cosgrove
Want to know a secret? This boy’s dad is a robot! Admittedly, he is an older model. He doesn’t have laser eyes, can’t fly, doesn’t have retractable bendy arms or claws. But that doesn’t matter because he can robot dance, let off toxic stun gas at will and runs entirely off leftovers and he is always working on inventions and scientific breakthroughs in the ‘Secret Headquarters for Engineering and Development’ (shed). He struggles with basic communication (‘I feel like an ice cream’ ‘You don’t look like an ice cream’). He totally forgets who he is (‘What am I? A tissue?’). But this little boy wouldn’t change a thing.
With dad jokes galore, this clever, comical story is filled with bright illustrations. An absolute blast!
Hide and Seek with Grandpa – Ed Allen and Nicky Johnston
Hide and Seek with Grandpa is a playfully and sweet story of a game of hide and seek between Grandpa lion and lion cub. The engaging illustrations draw the reader in to the fun as lion cub hides in all sorts of exciting places… Even in a parade!
My Daddy is a Silly Monkey – Dianne Hofmeyr and Carol Thompson
My Daddy is a Silly Monkey speaks of the special relationship between a dad and his young daughter. Through her eyes daddy is all kinds of creatures – bear, crocodile, monkey – depending on their current activity together.
I found this book highly relatable as Hannah and I play many similar games throughout our everyday activities.
My Old Man, He Played Rugby – Peter Millett and Jenny Cooper (Sung by Jay Laga’aia)
One for the Rugby fans! If dad is in to rugby, then this new rendition of This Old Man may be just what he needs! The book is one big song for the whole family to sing along to! Even better, it comes with a CD with the song performed by the legendary Play School presenter, Jay Laga’aia.
The pictures are comical and full of light-hearted fun. Hopefully rugby-playing dads can handle the gentle ribbing that some positions are given.
You can find My Old Man, he Played Rugby here.
Dinosaur Day Out – Sara Acton
Sally and Max love the museum. Their favourite part? The dinosaurs, of course!
But when dad takes them on a trip to the museum, the dinosaur exhibition is closed. Dad buys a book full of dinosaur facts and the three head to the city park instead. Dad buries his nose in the book and finds out all kinds of amazing facts about dinosaurs, but Sally and Max discover there are other ways to find out about these amazing creatures…
The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears – Alastair Chisholm and Jez Tuya
The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears is a celebration of how wild and wacky stories can become when they are the result of a joint imagination between father and child. When Jamie asks his dad to tell him a made up story for bed time, the fun begins. The story starts off like many traditional fairy tales, but it soon twists and turns in hilarious ways as Jamie insists on having an input.
The end result? A completely original, highly entertaining, sometimes nonsensical, imagination-stimulating tale.
You can find The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears on the Walker Books website.
The Lion in our Living Room – Emma Middleton and Briony Stewart
Emma Middleton is a new Australian author. Her book, The Lion in our Living Room is a wonderful celebration of play and imagination between children and their fathers. The book is beautifully illustrated, with plenty of little things for children to spot on each new read.
This is a fun book to read aloud with little ones. It has a wonderful rhythm! A great start from an excellent author, I’m looking forward to seeing much more from Emma Middleton.
I Love You Dino-Daddy – Mark Sperring and Sam Lloyd
Dino-Daddy is so much Dino-fun, he always find the time to play a game. At home he blows up balloons and ties them on to strings. At the park, no one can spin you faster or swing you quite so high. Best of all he turns into… a tickling machine!
With catchy rhyming text and the comical illustrations, I Love You Dino-Daddy entertainingly captures the special, fun relationships that often develop between kids and their dads.
The Lost Dads Home – Éric Veillé and Pauline Martin
This is a quirky book, there’s no denying it. The Lost Dads Home is a light-hearted take on the different types of dads that can be found around us. When a dad is lost by their child, they end up at the Lost Dads Home. If the dad is lucky, the child comes quickly to retrieve them.
While dads wait to be collected, they wait around with other, similar, dads. There are the dads in striped sweaters, bearded dads, older dads and dads who cry (they are given cookies and juice).
The moral of the story is that there are all types of dads, but the best type of dad is the dad you have right there at home with you… the one pretending to be a coat rack!
Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the July 2018 Picture Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.