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Picture Books to Celebrate Father's Day

This inclusive list of books celebrating and honoring father figures shines a light on relationships between kids and the grown-ups who love them, including dads, uncles, grandpas and friends. These books are perfect for honoring the father figures in our lives!

For a complete list of recommendations and to purchase and/or donate, visit our Bookshop page here.

Below are some of our favorite recommendations for celebrating and honoring father figures.

Daddy and Me

Author: Gary Urda | Illustrator: Rosie Butcher | Publisher: little bee books

From the publisher, “Whether you love to cook with your papa, read with your dada, go to the park with your bàba, or stargaze with your appa, everything is better with daddy. This adorable board book celebrates dads and all the wonderful ways they make our lives special.”

Does a Bulldozer Have a Butt?

Author: Derick Wilder | Illustrator: K-Fai Steele | Publisher: Chronicle Books

This author/illustrator team hit it out of the park with this book! Does a Bulldozer Have a Butt? is a dialogue between a father and daughter as they walk through their city (hi, San Francisco!). The young girl asks if all types of things have butts, and he responds in perfect rhyme.

The illustrations include more than 200 butts of inanimate objects the pair don’t even discuss - that’s pretty remarkable! This book is sweet, innocent, and perfectly relatable for any parent of a curious child who likes to ask questions.

Don’t miss their new book, I Made These Ants Some Underpants!

Grandpa’s Stories

Author: Joseph Coelho | Illustrator: Allison Colpoys | Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

“If all the world were memories, the past would be rooms I could visit, and in each room would be my grandpa.”

This is a beautiful story for any child or person who has grieved the loss of a beloved person in their life. Grandpa’s Stories is written from the perspective of a small child and details the special relationship she has with her grandfather. When he passes on, she discovers ways to honor and celebrate him every day.

Bathe the Cat

Author: Alice B. McGinty | Illustrator: David Roberts | Publisher: Chronicle Books

This hilarious story is certain to bring on a serious case of the giggles! Dad is anxious for his family to help clean the whole house before grandma arrives so he creates a list on the refrigerator and assigns everyone a task. The cat is NOT okay with the last item on the list, though, so they get clever and jumble the letters until every task makes less and less sense.

This book features incidental representation of a mixed-race two dad family, gorgeous high-lighter colored illustrations, and countless thoughtful details that just make this book shine.

Dad Bakes

Author/Illustrator: Katie Yamasaki | Publisher: Norton Young Readers

This book speaks to the love and sacrifice parental figures pour into their children on a daily basis. In Dad Bakes, dad wakes before the sun shines to bake at work, only to return home to share his day with his daughter and bake together. His days are long and filled with hard work, but his daughter just feels the love and joy of his presence.

This book was written to demonstrate the incredible love and resilience formerly incarcerated parents put into rebuilding their lives and parenting their children every day, despite all odds. Yamasaki notes several key organizations in the endnotes who support this rebuilding through work and healing, such as Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Detroit’s On the Rise Bakery, and New York’s The Osborne Association.

Yamasaki is the author of numerous other social justice focused books, including, Everything Naomi Loved.

The Thing About Bees

Author/Illustrator: Shabazz Larkin | Publisher: Readers to Eaters

From the publisher, “Sometimes bees can be a bit rude. They fly in your face and prance on your food. And yet... without bees, we might not have strawberries for shortcakes or avocados for tacos!

Shabazz Larkin's The Thing About Bees is a Norman Rockwell-inspired Sunday in the park, a love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, "how not to get stung," and how the things we fear are often things we don't fully understand.”

Grandad’s Camper

Author/Illustrator: Harry Woodgate | Publisher: little bee books

This important story was created to fulfill a need in the children’s book publishing world - increasing representation of older LGBTQIA+ characters. It is also a beautiful intergenerational story about a grandfather and his granddaughter. Grandad loves to tell her about all the adventures he and Gramps went on, and in doing so, she notices how much he misses him. She tenderly reminds him that they can still honor Gramps with their own adventures.

Time for Bed, Old House

Author: Janet Costa Bates | Illustrator: A.G. Ford | Publisher: Candlewick

Intergenerational stories are some of our very favorite types of stories, so we are thrilled to share this latest discovery with you! Isaac is sleeping over at Grandpop’s for the first time and is both excited to, and nervous about being away from home. Grandpop senses this in him, so when it’s almost time for bed, he asks Isaac to help him put the house to bed - quietly turning off lights, pulling down the shades, and getting it ready for a restful night of sleep.

We love the relationship between Isaac and his Grandpop, and how universal it is to feel anxious about something new - it always helps when someone you love is there to help you through it.

My Maddy

Author: Gayle E. Pitman | Illustrator: Violet Tobacco | Publisher: Magination Press

This is a gender-inclusive story about a young child and her Maddy. Her Maddy is a parent who is not a girl or a boy, they’re a parent who is “not one thing or the other, but in between, and kind of both, and something entirely fantastically their own.”

My Maddy is such a special story about a wonderful and supportive parent, and their adoring and sweet child. It includes a thorough note to readers that offers resources for helping families and communities who are looking to better uplift and support people navigate and affirm gender identity.

On the Trapline

Author: David A. Robertson | Illustrator: Julie Flett | Publisher: Tundra Books

This is a powerful intergenerational story that explores the relationship between grandfather and grandson and the interconnectedness they share with the land. It showcases the beauty of living on a trapline and the hardships that came after when friends and family were forced into schools that would not allow them to speak Cree. This book reminds us that it’s never too late to return home.

Hair Twins

Author: Raakhee Mirchandani | Illustrator: Holly Hatam | Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Hair Twins showcases the special hair bond between a Sikh father and his daughter. As part of their religion, neither of them cut their hair so they developed a routine to care for it together. Both of them look forward to sharing this time together each day. Readers will connect to their loving relationship, and hopefully feel similarly inspired to proudly share their own traditions with the people around them.

Gardens are for Growing

Author: Chelsea Tornetto | Illustrator: Hsulynn Pang | Publisher: Familius

From the publisher, “In this tender poem, the love between a father and daughter blossoms alongside the seeds they plant together. As the garden grows, the daughter grows from a toddler to a teen and finally to a woman with a child of her own. The cottagecore illustrations beautifully connect the seasons of nature with the seasons of life, where new beginnings abound.”

The Bench

Author: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex | Illustrator: Christian Robinson | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

This is a quintessential book to give to a new dad. The Bench showcases all types of special relationships between fathers and sons, and is told from the perspective of a mom. She shares how the relationship changes and evolves over the years, and the wonderment she feels witnessing their love and connection.

Each illustration thoughtfully and authentically represents diverse pairs of fathers and sons, and demonstrates them nurturing trust, courage, empathy, and comfort with each other.


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