My Dad and Me: Stories About Fathers

These books celebrate fathers and the many reasons they are special. Selections include a number of beloved books featuring diverse families.

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Don't miss our bilingual reading tips for Pre-K and K-3 dads!

Always My Dad

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Though Dad moves around a lot and his jobs keep changing, a young girl and her brother hold fast to memories of his magical, unexpected visits in this portrait of a family held together by a special bond of love. Pastel illustrations bring the touching story to life.

Building with Dad

Building with Dad
Illustrated by: Bill Thomson
Age Level: 0-3

Dad's helper is ready to visit the construction site of his new school! Clever rhymes take us through the building project, from the groundbreaking to the finishing touches as the first school buses arrive. Children will pore over Bill Thomson's life-like quality of the illustrations depicting big machines and the construction site.

Calling the Doves

Illustration of young boy and his migrant family
Illustrated by: Elly Simmons
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Product Description: Calling the Doves is poet Juan Felipe Herrera's story of his migrant farmworker childhood. In delightful and lyrical language, he recreates the joy of eating breakfast under the open sky, listening to Mexican songs in the little trailer house his father built, and celebrating with other families at a fiesta in the mountains. He remembers his mother singing songs and reciting poetry, and his father telling stories and calling the doves.

Clean Up, Up, Up!

Father helping his son put books away
Illustrated by: Ying-Hwa Hu
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

It is cleanup time, and Daddy and his little one are putting away books, blocks, teddy bears, and train cars, and preparing for dinner — all while having fun with math! As Daddy talks with his toddler, he uses spatial-relationship math words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under to reinforce his young learner’s understanding. When it is dinnertime, the little one proudly demonstrates an understanding of down when helping to set the table and up while enjoying the first delicious bite! Spanish version available.

Golden Mountain Chronicles #5: Dragonwings

Son and father fly a kite together

Moon Shadow is only eight years old when he sails from China to join his father in San Francisco's Chinatown in the early 1900s. Readers travel through history, gaining insight about being Chinese in America in this thoroughly researched, riveting novel. Written for young adolescents, this Newbery Honor winner is part of the Golden Mountain Chronicles.

Guess How Much I Love You

This is a great bedtime story for reading with your children or, in my case, my grandchildren. This lovely book has become a reference point for expressing our love for one another. Sometimes, Alexis says "I love you all the way up to my toes." And, sometimes, Kasie says "I love you right up to the moon." And sometimes I say "I love you right up to the moon… and back."

Hero Dad

Hero Dad
Illustrated by: Bryan Langdo
Age Level: 3-6

"Beginning with the statement "My dad is a superhero," a young boy shares information about activities engaged in by his father, an American soldier stationed in what looks to be the Middle East.

How Far Do You Love Me?

Age Level: 3-6

A warm portrait of universal parental love begins on a beach when a boy asks his mother, "How far do you love me?" Lyrical responses combine with stunning double page illustrations in places around the globe until the boy is tucked into bed with his response: "I love you to the moon!" A world map and the query in each language conclude this tender book based on a bedtime game Lulu Delacre played with her young daughters.

How Many Stars in the Sky?

Illustrated by: James Ransome
Age Level: 3-6

When a boy can't sleep, he and his father drive out to the country, away from the city lights. There they try to count the stars. Lush paintings show the warmth of the evening and the loving relationship between father and son.

I Love My Daddy Because...

Language: English, Spanish, Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

In this celebration of dads, heartwarming illustrations of baby animals and their fathers remind us of the many reasons why dads are so special.

Just the Two of Us

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 3-6

Jubilant illustrations show how a father supports his son as he grows into a man and eventually becomes a father himself. The text is from Will Smith's popular song of the same name, and is distinguished by luminous, full-color paintings that make the words sing.

Kenya's Song

Illustrated by: Pamela Johnson
Age Level: 3-6

Kenya is looking for a favorite song to share with her class. She and her father attend a Caribbean music festival in search of it — but Kenya doesn't find it there. Instead, she creates an original song that celebrates everyone's music! Realistic illustrations suggest Kenya's glimpse into other cultures and her own creativity.

My Dad

Though he's pretty ordinary looking (and wears a truly ugly bathrobe), the narrator's dad can get rid of the Big Bad Wolf and sing like a professional. Most important though, the narrator knows that his dad loves him and he loves his dad! The illustrations are filled with the child's hyperbole, making the metaphors jump off the page. Also available in Spanish.

My Daddy and I

Illustrated by: Jan Spivey Gilchrest
Age Level: 0-3

A boy and his father, shown as African Americans in warmly hued illustrations, enjoy doing everyday activities together, from laundry to sharing a book and more. The simple pleasures of family life are conveyed affectionately through easy but flowing language and realistic paintings in a sturdy format.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Illustration of a girl riding on the back of her dad's motorcycle.
Illustrated by: Zeke Peña
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English, Spanish vocabulary featured

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

Night Worker

Age Level: 3-6

On most nights, Alex stays in bed while Papa goes off to work. But on this special night, Alex puts on a small red hard hat as his father puts on his big yellow one, and together they go out to the construction site where Papa works and bedtime is put off until morning. Richly hued paintings evoke the nighttime setting of this loving story.

Papá and Me

Father and Child
Illustrated by: Rudy Gutierrez
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English, Spanish vocabulary featured

Product Description: A young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish and English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. Here, Arthur Dorros portrays the close bond between father and son, with lush paintings by Rudy Gutierrez.

Papi's Gift

Young girl holding a doll with her mother
Illustrated by: René King Moreno

Graciella's father leaves his family to pick fruit far away, but calls every Sunday. The surprise he sends for Graciella's seventh birthday is lost as is the child's hope of seeing Papi — at least temporarily. This realistic, universally appealing story told from the child's point of view is gently illustrated.

Peek!: A Thai Hide-and-Seek

Young girl hiding behind a leaf
Age Level: 3-6

The playful rhyming verses in this story from Thailand follow a game of hide-and-seek between a father and daughter as it moves from the house to the yard to the nearby streams and lush jungle. Vivid illustrations are done in watercolor and cut-paper collage.

Thunder Boy, Jr.

Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Age Level: 6-9

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.