Dads: Grab a Book, Build a Reader

Calling all Dads to pick up a book and read to their children this Father’s Day! Numerous studies show that when fathers read aloud to a preschooler, it can lead to better performance later on in school. Not to mention that reading together creates a bond that you and your child will share forever. With that in mind, here are some selections fathers can share with their children.

Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug (Random House, $7.99) captures the fun and affection of the nicknames fathers have for babies. This rhyming board book also teaches children about different animals through examples of nicknames animals might call their own babies. Written by J.D. Lester with illustrations by Hiroe Nakata. Ages 1-4.

The Fathers Are Coming Home (Simon & Schuster, $16.99) is a perfect read-aloud tribute to fathers everywhere who come home to their children — from the dog father who comes home to his puppies to the fish father who comes home to his little fish. A heartwarming classic by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon); illustrated by Stephen Savage. Ages 2-5.

Children love to hear stories about what their parents were like when they were little. In Your Daddy Was Just Like You (Putnam’s Sons, $16.99), a grandmother entertains her grandson with an account of his father’s infancy and childhood using the phrase “just like you” as a recurring refrain. The honesty of the adorable and not-so-adorable activities recounted gives children a sense of unconditional acceptance. Written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by area artist David Walker of Chapel Hill. Ages 3-5.

From treasure hunts to contests to secret handshakes, Just Dad and Me (American Girl, $10.95) is full of fun things for daughters and dads to do together. Whether making paper airplanes or answering questions about each other, these games and activities will leave you laughing and help you learn about the other. Ages 8 and up.

The classic, Little Blue and Little Yellow, (Knopf, $15.99) celebrates its 50th year with this special anniversary edition that includes an explanation by author Leo Leonni about how the book came into being during a train trip with his young grandchildren. Little Blue and Little Yellow are best friends, but one day they can’t find each other. When they finally do, they give each other a big hug and turn green! The story of how they find their true colors again is told with colorful pieces of torn paper and few words. Ages 2-5.

Have some fun with Bananagrams for Kids (Workman Publishing, $9.95) by Robert Leighton, Mike Shenk and Amy Goldstein. This book includes 130 word games with all of the fun of games like Scrabble and Boggle. A fantastic way for kids who love puzzles and wordplay to stay occupied in the car or at home. Ages 8-11.

A Is for ‘All Aboard’ (Paul H. Brookes Publishing, $16.95) is packed with fascinating facts and colorful illustrations that train lovers of all ages will enjoy. Designed by authors Paula and Victoria Kluth, this book is a fantastic resource for working on letters, vocabulary and colors. Paula Kluth is a top autism expert and created the book with autistic children in mind. Illustrated by Brad Littlejohn. All ages.

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