By Becca Worthington, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
This Father’s Day, why not celebrate by snuggling down with a great book about a dynamite daddy? Whether you’re thinking of a single dad, a foster father, an adoptive parent, a stepfather, a kinship caretaker or a part of a co-parenting couple, we celebrate that experience. And while we at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library wish we could celebrate the holiday in-person with your family at a Daddies and Donuts program, with bubbles blasting and Kidz Bop blaring, what we can offer to those men right now is our gratitude for what they do, our appreciation for their presence in a child’s life…and a list of incredible books for pre-K through elementary school that represent rad dad-figures just like them.
GATOR DAD, written and illustrated by Brian Lies
You know Gator Dad. If you go to the park together, he’ll probably agree to do something dangerous. When you get home, you’ll tear the house apart a little together, and he’ll teach you the sounds that all your toys make before giving you a bath and a squeeze and putting you to bed. And if something in the fridge has gone bad, don’t worry; Gator Dad will definitely let you smell it, too. Written and illustrated by a stay-at-home dad who really knows the job, this fantastic book for preschoolers hits just the right notes.
TELL ME A TATTOO STORY by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
If there’s a heavily tatted man who wants to see himself represented in a children’s book, look no further. This is a sweet bedtime story about a well-inked dad explaining each of his many tattoos to his “little man,” from ones that remind him of grandma and grandpa to his time in the armed forces to his favorite: a heart with the birth date of that very son.
HAIR LOVE by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
This picture book that inspired the Oscar-winning short film Hair Love is a simple but gorgeous story about a young girl who needs her hair done for a special event and her sweet, patient, well-meaning father who tries out style after style before finally and painstakingly nailing it with a YouTube tutorial.
HAMMER AND NAILS by Josh Bledsoe, illustrated by Jessica Warrick
Darcy and her daddy both have a list of things to get done today, so they decide to do them together. As a team, they dress up in tutus and use the riding lawn mower, get dazzling hairdos to tackle the laundry, and repair the fence with a hammer and some (freshly manicured) nails. A truly terrific bonding story for any flannel-wearing manly-man who adores his girly-girl.
I WONDER: CELEBRATING DADDIES DOIN’ WORK by Doyin Richards
Written with honesty, vulnerability, compassion, and warmth by the popular speaker and blogger of Daddies Doin’ Work, this compilation of diverse photos submitted by real-life father figures and their child(ren) doing real-life activities together is a love-letter to the modern dad in all his possible iterations.
Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore
We hope you’ll continue your reading adventures and will make more connections with the community this summer by participating in the Library’s Summer Break: Read, Learn, Explore online learning program! The program runs June 7-August 14.