Thursday, June 18, 2015

12 Tender Storybooks for Father's Day

Sometimes it seems like, when it comes to celebrating their role in the family, dads get the short end of the stick.  After all, when May rolls around, we celebrate mothers on Mother's Day with flowers and beautiful cards with lovely words and maybe some candy and certainly dinner out so mothers don't have to cook (or do dishes, which is, in my opinion, the even better part about eating out!).  :)  But when the next month comes, bringing Father's Day with it, do we celebrate with as much enthusiasm?

I'm not suggesting that in the next two days, we buy out the florists' shops so each dad we know can have a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on his special day; somehow, I don't think that's the ticket to making him feel especially loved.  ;-)  But I do think it's worth taking a moment to consider how we can show an enormous amount of respect and gratitude to the special dads in our lives.  Since I have a dad who is loving and caring and has always been very involved in my life, Father's Day has always been a joyous occasion; and because my own children happen to have an incredible dad, too, I am doubly blessed and doubly eager to bring honor, especially to these two special men!  :)

A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post about books for Father's Day; and that inspired me to do a little digging of my own to uncover some wonderful storybooks that show how special fathers are.  So far, I've come up with a list of a dozen that I recommend; but let me say this: they are not specifically Father's Day books.  Rather, they are simply books that show dads being dads--both humans and in the animal kingdom--going about the business of faithfully providing for their families and lovingly caring for their children without making a big deal about it.  About each of these books I could say that it is simple and sweet.  I happen to like that in a storybook.  :)

Without further ado, here are 12 tender storybooks to enjoy on Father's Day--or anytime you want to remember the great blessing of daddies who love with their whole hearts!  :)

1. The Fathers Are Coming Home - by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Stephen Savage
 2. I Love My Daddy Because... - by Laurel Porter-Gaylord, illustrated by Ashley Wolff
 3. The Apple Pie that Papa Baked - by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
 4. Ten, Nine, Eight - by Molly Bang
 5. Night Driving - by John Coy, illustrated by Peter McCarty
 6. Mister Seahorse - by Eric Carle (who else could come up with such vivid illustrations?)  :)
 7. Tell Me One Thing, Dad - by Tom Pow, illustrated by Ian Andrew
 8. We're Going on a Bear Hunt - by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
 9. Owl Moon - by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
 10. Ox-Cart Man - by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
 11. Interrupting Chicken - by David Ezra Stein
 12. The Emperor's Egg - by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Jane Chapman

Bonus:  I didn't include the next two in the official list because the male in the story is never identified as the dad (that didn't stop me from assuming he is, however!), but they're definitely worth mentioning--and what's more, reading!
Guess How Much I Love You - by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? - by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth

Another bonus:  I didn't gear this list towards books for older children, but I can't help mentioning a few of my favorites in that category, too.  Whether silly or serious, each of the dads in the following books has character traits that are admirable and worthy of imitation!
The McBroom stories - by Sid Fleischman
The Little House in the Big Woods series - by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Britches - by Ralph Moody (I've also enjoyed others in this series, but--spoiler alert!--because the father dies at the end of the first book, I'm only including the first one in this list.)

This isn't an exhaustive list, by any stretch of the imagination; but as we approach Father's Day 2015, these books are some that stand out to me.  Maybe by next year, I'll have more ideas to add to the list.  But why wait for 2016?

Good daddies are worth celebrating every single day of the year!  :)

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