Thursday, June 12, 2014

10 Books to Celebrate Dads on Father's Day

Father's Day is just around the corner. And it can be a challenge to find good children's books that present admirable fathers (many find children either abandoned, orphaned, or concentrate on the mother/child relationship). Here are 10 books/book series to share with your kids that celebrate good fathers - Dads who make their children think, hold them accountable, and teach them valuable lessons.

#1: To Kill a Mockingbird. Need I say more about Atticus Finch? I would argue that there never was a literary father with more wisdom.
#2: Mothers don't come off so well in this little tome from Neil Gaiman (which I've written about here), but Coraline's real father is an admirable character, with a very important lesson to teach about bravery.
#3: Hans Hubermann, in The Book Thief, is a seemingly simple, but complicated man, who cares for his "daughter" Liesel deeply. I've written more about why you should read this amazing book here.
#4: It may just be me, but I always loved the goofy, blundering Papa Bear in the Berenstain Bears books. He always seemed to teach his lessons by doing the absolutely wrong thing in the most spectacular fashion. Also, look at the sly dog looking at his wife. I wonder what they're thinking;)?
#5: As many of us know, fathers aren't always in the picture, for a variety of reasons. One thing that I like about the Harry Potter books is that there are many strong male role models in the books who share the role of father in Harry's life: Mr. Weasley, Dumbledore, Sirius, Hagrid, even Snape by the end of the series. These are a good choice for a child who may find himself/herself in a position like Harry's, bereft of a father and in need of someone to look up to.  
#6: I'll always remember this book, in which Ramona Quimby's father loses his job and she tries to help him out. I think what I love most of all is that they learn from one another:).  
#7: At one point in my childhood, I wanted Pa Ingalls to be my father. I wanted him to hold me up in the moonlight to see the ring of wolves. I wanted to fall asleep listening to him softly playing his music into the night. Pa Ingalls was a rock, who never seemed to waver.
#8: Relationships between children and their fathers are not always easy. This book shows that in meaningful ways, especially with regard to Meg and her discoveries about her father.
#9: Technically, he's a grandfather, but Charlie's Grandpa Joe is still one of my favorite fatherly figures in children's books.
#10: I'll read just about anything that Jane Yolen writes. And this book is delightful, about a girl and her father's adventure owling.

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