Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Reading books on the Kindle app on iPads
These are a few of our favorite dads.
My sincerest apologies to both Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical theater crimes I’ve just committed, but the opportunity to sing a reworked, dad-centric Julie Andrews number, if only in my head but with full mental orchestration (of course), was too lovely to pass up.
Unlike the majority of dads on network television, there historically have been a mountain of tremendous dads throughout the annals of children’s books. To celebrate the release of I WONDER, the book for dads, of dads, and by a dad, here are our favorite dads from the vast, wonderful world of kid lit as agreed upon by my two daughters, my wife and myself.
Before you go any further, enter to win a copy of I WONDER along with nearly $1000 worth of tech, fashion, gear and other fun swag right now!!
These daddies are simply the best on the printed page or digital screen. Each of these dads can be seen and read ‘doin work’ and being there for their kids…whether their kid is a prince charming, a 3rd grade math whiz, or a toddler with a very strong connection to a stuffed bunny rabbit.
Our Favorite Dads From Children’s Books
A close 2nd to The Mysterious Benedict Society (see below) in the Bear’s personal read and reread library is Christopher Healy’s outstanding Hero’s Guide trilogy. While most of the characters have pretty dreadful fathers (I’m looking at you King Wilberforce), this is not the case for Prince Duncan, who’s dad (named King King for simplicity’s sake) is loving and involved in his son’s life.
Easily my most beloved dad figure in the children’s book world is Clementine’s hard working but still actively involved dad. He’s the manager of the small Boston apartment building the family lives in but even though the job is demanding he never fails to be there for Clementine and allow her to be a part of his career too. The way he interacts with and involves his daughter in his work and his life is role model worthy for any father. Also, his beard game is on point in book after book.
Still my all-time favorite kid’s book, this Jane Yolen classic features Pa and his little girl in the cold stillness of winter, in search of a great owl. Owl Moon is beautiful from cover to cover, and the love the dad has for his daughter is abundantly clear throughout.
The Bear rereads a lot of her favorite books but none have been handled and hugged as much as the three books in the Mysterious Benedict Society series. While she tells me that Mr. Benedict is a good dad to Constance, the real winner here is Milligan and his relationship with Kate, although for much of the series it is not known that the two are father/daughter. However, once revealed it is obvious how caring and wonderful a dad he is to her.
Not many dads would make a middle of the night trek across New York City to retrieve their daughter’s favorite stuffed animal but Mo Willems didn’t write just any ordinary dad into his wildly popular picture book series. Trixie’s dad is one of the best dads in the annals of kid lit.
This final pick is courtesy of my 9-year-old because it’s one of her favorites. Stella’s got two dads who each know what she likes for school lunch, who both read her bedtime stories, and who are available to kiss her boo-boos when she scrapes her knee falling of her bike, but she has no traditional guest for her classroom’s Mother’s Day party. In the end, we’re reminded that families and love come in all kinds of packages and that dads are pretty awesome, whether you’ve got one or a pair of them.
*This post has been sponsored by Macmillan Publishing’s new book I WONDER by Doyin Richards. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.