31 Sweet Picture Books That Celebrate Fatherhood

I don’t know about you, but finding the right Father’s Day gift for the dads and father figures in my life has always been a challenge. In the age of remote work and business casual, I can’t possibly give that old go-to gift, the tie. What I can always count on to be a thoughtful, personal gift is a great book.

This year I have picture books on my mind because my brother-in-law will be celebrating his very first Father’s Day. I can’t wait to see pictures of him curled up with my niece reading one of these soon-to-be classics.

no no 9780525553366 Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

In this celebration of a father’s love, Zuri and her dad work together to style her gorgeous, natural, curly hair when Zuri’s mom is away. Zuri’s dad shows the power of the bond between dads and daughters.

9780593531372 My Dad Is a Tree by Jon Agee

This imaginative picture book celebrates dads who go the extra mile for their children. When little Madeleine convinces her dad to pretend to be a tree so they can spend the day playing outside, he takes his role very seriously, keeping still as a bird nest on his head, a spider spins a web on his arm, and rain falls from the sky. After all, as Madeleine reminds him, “Trees aren’t bothered by stuff like that.”

9780593354360 Daddy Speaks Love by Leah Henderson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

This beautiful book highlights the many ways that dads show up for their children. From painting nails to banishing monsters, dads play an essential role in their children’s lives. Beautiful illustrations and heartwarming text make this picture book a fantastic gift for new parents or Father’s Day.

RELATED: Picture Books That Celebrate BIPOC Dads

no no 9780593434512 The Bench by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Inspired by a poem Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, wrote for her husband for his first Father’s Day as a dad, this sweet story explores the many ways love can take shape between fathers and sons, as seen through a mother’s eyes. Featuring a range of diverse families, Robinson’s ethereal watercolor art beautifully compliments Meghan’s poetic text while evoking a sense of joy.

9780593429396 Ahoy! by Sophie Blackall

A storm is approaching! While a father is busy finishing some housework, his son starts a pretend adventure across the seas. The father, of course, decides to join in, and together they embark on a delightful tale that celebrates the pleasures of imagination and spending time with dad!

9780593405055 This Is the First Book I Will Read to You by Francesco Sedita, illustrated by Magenta Fox

A new dad is excited to read to his baby for the first time in this lyrical story centered around the tender ritual of storytime, cementing the love of reading for a lifetime.

9780448458717 The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer

Who doesn’t love a good surprise? This book shows mom and the kids getting ready to surprise dad with a special gift. When dad goes downstairs, he finds an organized garage and a sparkly clean car. It’s dad’s ultimate dream for Father’s Day!

9780593224717 Llama Llama Daddy’s Day by Anna Dewdney

Calling all little llamas! Gather around with beloved Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu as they figure out what makes the best gift for Daddy Gnu. A delightfully funny tale, that’s based on an episode dads can watch with their little ones on Netflix.

9781524785895 I Love Dad with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Dads will devour this board book gem featuring Eric Carle’s beloved caterpillar and an adorable cast of furry and feathered friends sharing all of the reasons they love their dads.

9781524792374 My Dad and Me by Roger Hargreaves

Say goodbye to boring Father’s Day cards! Along with the characters from Mr.Men and Little Miss, little readers can express in their own words all they love and cherish about their dads. You can’t go wrong with this adorable picture book.

9780593194430 Dad and the Recycling Bin Roller Coaster by Taylor Calmus, illustrated by Eda Kaban

Based on a true story from the viral video star behind Dude Dad, follow this DIY dad as he builds ingenious creations for his kids, only to realize that it’s just him they want to play with.

9780593206188 A Father’s Love by Hannah Holt, illustrated by Yee Von Chan

From a penguin papa snuggling with his baby in the cold, white snow to a seahorse father hatching his young in the deep blue ocean, this adorable board book shows that a father’s love comes in all forms. Sweet and simple rhymes combine with beautiful artwork to create a memorable bedtime lullaby for dads and kids to enjoy together.

9780399167898 Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers

In this beautiful book, Oliver Jeffers outlines his hopes and dreams for his child as they go out into the world. Filled with gentle humor and yet incredibly insightful, it is a wonderful read for anyone who calls Earth home, both on how we should protect our planet, but also how we should treat those who inhabit it.

9780525517306 Brick by Brick by Heidi Woodward Sheffield

Luis looks up to his father, who works as a bricklayer and builds up their city brick by brick. At school, where Luis also works hard and dreams of the future, he compares all the ways that he and Papi are similar. The mixed-media artwork and Spanish phrases add vibrancy to a sweet father-son story.

9781465494344 I Love You, Daddy by DK

Adorable pictures of father and baby animals combine with soothing rhymes to give this charming little board book a cozy feel. The story will encourage littles to list off the many reasons why they love their own daddies!

9780593117668 No Pants! by Jacob Grant

On the day of a family party, Pablo and his dad get ready together. But when Pablo refuses to put on his pants, his dad has to get creative. This hilarious picture book celebrates the unique way fathers relate to their kids.

9780399243530 Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Dan Santat

Unlike his dad, who seems to have no fears at all, Nicholas has a long list of things that scare him — but with his stuffed dinosaur by his side, those fears disappear. When his dino goes missing, Nicholas’s dad teaches him that everyone gets scared sometimes, and you can always ask for help.

9780525472506 I Love My Daddy Because… by Laurel Porter Gaylord, illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Babies and toddlers will love reading this adorable board book with their dad. I Love My Daddy Because… follows a number of animals all celebrating what makes their dad so special. Little ones will see all the ways their dad loves and cares for them. Also, see the Spanish/English edition.

9780593522998 Dads Can Do It All! by Ted Maass, ilustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan

This sweet board book highlights the importance of dads as role models — working as mail carriers, chefs, astronauts, and stay-at-home dads —while reminding children they do anything they set their minds to.

9780593123058 I Love Daddy Every Day by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Alicia Más

A lovely gift book for new and longtime dads alike, I Love Daddy Every Day captures the year-round joys and celebrations of fatherhood. Colorful vignettes beautifully capture those everyday sweet, loving moments between father and child.

9780525553380 My Hero by Brian Biggs

Awesome Girl is here to save the day…now if only her dad would believe in her super human powers. But she might finally get a chance to show him what she can really do when her dad finds himself in the grip of a supervillain. Adorable and funny, this is a great read this Father’s Day and all year round!

9780394800295 Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

With fun rhymes and simple words, this book is one your early reader will want to read aloud to their own Pop. With silliness only Dr. Seuss could write, Hop on Pop will be a favorite for the whole family to enjoy.

9780525553410 My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

Daisy Ramona loves riding through her neighborhood on the back of her Papi’s motorcycle. From there, she has a perfect view of the people and places that make her community so special and memories of her father’s love that will last a lifetime.

9781632172648 Our Shed by Robert Broder, illustrated by Carrie O’Neill

Our Shed tells the story of a father-daughter team who work together to build a shed in their backyard. As they work, the father passes down his knowledge on how to build a structure, while the daughter teaches her father how to use your imagination and creativity. Charming and heartwarming, this book will teach readers not only how to build a shed, but also how to build a lasting relationship.

9780241409220 I Love You, Daddy by Beatrix Potter

You can never go wrong with a Peter Rabbit book for any occasion (or no occasion at all!). In this elegantly illustrated picture book, Peter expresses his affection for his father, wrapping up on a heartwarming note: “Remember, Daddy, I love you, too.”

9780525427544 Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Danny wasn’t planning on becoming a father anytime soon, but those plans change when he finds an abandoned baby in a subway station. If you love true stories, you’ll adore this heartwarming tale of how a loving couple finds and adopts their son. Keep some tissues close by when you read this one.

9781909263949 My Dad Used To Be So Cool by Keith Negley

A total hit for new dads, this one follows a son in awe of his dad’s pre-fatherhood days, full of live shows, tattoos, and motorcycle rides. Striking the perfect balance between humorous and emotional (Negley’s niche, writes the New York Times, is expanding our ideas of masculinity), My Dad Used to Be So Cool is sure to become a household favorite.

9780593374399 Dad School by Rebecca Van Slyke, illustrated by Priscilla Burris

A little boy wonders how dads know how to do so many amazing things like fixing a leaky faucet, making mega-sandwiches, or simultaneously paying bills and playing Go Fish. He imagines they must go to school just like he does. Kids and dads alike will love the vivid images that show the myriad skills that dads must master to do their jobs.

9780803740327 Ladybug Girl’s Day Out with Grandpa by Jacky Davis, illustrated by David Soman

Lulu (a.k.a. Ladybug Girl) can’t wait to visit the natural history museum with her grandfather. She wants to see EVERYTHING! Lucky for Lulu, Grandpa is a patient and energetic guide who helps her understand that learning is a lifelong adventure.

9780593519653 My Dad Is Awesome by Bluey and Bingo by Penguin Young Readers Licenses

Everyone’s favorite Heelers are back to celebrate their dad! Bluey and Bingo love that their dad, Bandit, takes them on exciting adventures and plays fun games with them in the backyard. Your little ones will love finding all the similarities they share with Bluey and Bingo, as well as sharing their own reasons for why their dad is awesome!

9780307118394 Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter can’t wait to go camping with his dad. Even though things don’t go quite as planned, they still have a blast. Big and little critters alike will delight in their silly misadventures!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2024.

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