Dads are cool, books are cool – and cool books about cool dads are just the perfect thing for a Father’s Day gift. After all, what could be nicer than your child giving you a book about what an ace father you are – and then having the perfect excuse to cuddle up with your child on the sofa, turn the pages together, laugh at the pics together, and generally bask in top-dad glory?
We’ve had a good trawl through all the ‘dad’ books out there for all ages, from baby to 8 years old, and selected the ones that made us smile, and our hearts squeeze, the most.
Here’s our pick of the best books for Father’s Day…
Age: From birth to 5
What it is: A colourful celebration of all the different kinds of dads – and all the different ways they’re special. Also comes as a board book, for £5.99, which might suit little babies better.
Why we love it: It’s simple, sweet funny and culturally diverse – and the illustrations are just captivating.
Age: From birth to 3
What it is: A board picture book (illustrations from Fiona Galloway), telling us all the things that daddies do and why each one deserves his shiny star. It was first published in 2016, so you should be able to find it online for much less than £5.99.
Why we love it: It’s got lovely chunky toddler-friendly pages, with really nice star cut outs to trace with your fingers. The rhyming text has a nice, bouncy rhythm, too.
Age: From birth to 3
What it is: A book about a day with an active toddler – and how he tires out his two loving, playful dads.
Why we love it: It’s a charming and subtle tale of life in an ‘unconventional’ family. Great for kids with gay dads – and great for kids with a straight dad, too, as it’s a lovely, normalising, respectful story. Fun illustrations, too.
Age: 1 +
What it is: A gentle, rhyming story about the special relationship between father and child. Comes as a board board or a paperback.
Why we love it: Daddy can cook, he can play silly games and, most importantly, he is always there when you need him: a very sweet story. (And should Daddy not be around, we do recommend I Love My Grandad which is written in a similarly heart-warming way…)
Age: 3 to 5
What it is: A picture book all about a child who wants to be just like Daddy when they’re grown-up.
Why we love it: Dads are brave (they can deal with spiders) and they can open their eyes on rollercoasters (most of the time) and they can do silly voices when reading bedtime stories. Charming and beautifully illustrated.
Age: 3 +
What it is: A warm and witty tribute to dads everywhere, with hilarious illustrations, based around a child boasting about how (impossibly) brilliant his dad is.
Why we love it: It’s the classic dad tribute book (“He’s all right, my dad”), and still as fresh and funny now as it was when it was published way back in 2003.
Age: 2 to 6
What it is: The story of a little mouse knight called Arthur, who’s having a bad day: the castle he’s trying to build is all wrong and he’s bumped his leg. There is only one person who can make things right: Daddy, of course…
Why we love it: It’s such a warm, feel-good story (“Hugs together?” “Hugs forever!”) and the illustrations are big and winningly cute.
Age: 2 to 4
What it is: A simple board picture book, featuring Peppa Pig thoughts on all the things she loves about Daddy Pig.
Why we love it: Well, what Peppa-loving toddler (and Peppa-enduring dad) wouldn’t want to read this? Bright colourful pictures, simple sentences – and lots of dad love.
Age: 4 to 6
What it is: A picture book with fold-out half pages that shows fathers and children from different countries enjoying different seasonal activities, from playing on the beach in summer to raking leaves in autumn.
Why we love it: The pictures are lovely, the flaps are fun and the rhythmic text introduces ‘dad’ in all sorts of languages from Hebrew to Hindi.
Age: 4 to 8
What it is: A bilingual (Spanish/English) story about a father and son spending the day together.
Why we love it: There’s not much ‘plot’ to this wonderful, warm tale but what’s really special is the clever way that the author weaves so many Spanish expressions and their English equivalents into the text: even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, you’ll easily be able to guess what’s going on.