Tag Archives: funny books

Father's Day Books for Dads and Their Sons

Father’s Day Books for Dads and Their Sons


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Did you know that dads play a critical role in their children’s literacy development? Studies show that boys are more likely to read when they see their fathers reading recreationally, and boys whose fathers read aloud to them score higher in reading achievement. Reading together is great father-son bonding time. To celebrate Father’s Day (or any day), grab one of these sweet reads and cozy up with your mini-you. And if you’re a mom reading this list, these titles make great Dad’s Day gifts!

Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley

Keith Negley's Tough Guys

Keith Negley is an illustrator turned children’s book author. Not surprisingly, the pictures in this book say so much more than the text. Use them to start a conversation with your son, and help disrupt conventional ideas about masculinity.

 Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales

This is a book about that fine line between being yourself and following in the footsteps of your parents. It’s especially perfect for a child who needs to grow into his name or who feels the weight of being a Junior. Budlong and Ashman were delighted at the alternate names the narrator suggests for himself, and Morales’ illustrations are stunning.

I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work by Doyin Richards

I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin' Work

This book celebrates the many ways fathers play a role in their children’s lives—cuddling, styling hair, rough-housing, potty-training, etc. Beautiful photos catch fathers of all colors and ethnicities in action.

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James Dean

books to read for father's day

Father and son construction vehicles work alongside each other in this book. My boys like the rhyme, repetition, and cute kid names like little Vator, Dozy, Grady, and Hoe-Hoe. Scholastic offers free printable Mighty Dads activities so your child can create a father’s day card, complete a maze, or do a matching exercise after reading.

Building with Dad by Carol Nevius and Bill Thomson

Building with Dad

Can you tell my boys are into building? Dad takes his son along to a construction site in this book with rhyming text and amazing illustrations. The ant’s eye view makes you feel like you’re right there with them. If you like the style of this author/illustrator team, check out Karate Hour and Baseball Hour next.

Dad’s Bald Head by Paul Many and Kevin O’Malley

Dad's Bald Head

Budlong and Ashman can definitely relate to the dad in this book who decides to shave off what little hair he has left on his head. While it takes some getting used to, the son realizes being bald doesn’t change who his dad is or how much he loves him.

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein and Tom Jellett

My Dad Thinks He's Funny by Katrina Germein

Even if you have your own set of eye-roll inducing dad jokes, you’re bound to pick up a few more in this book.  And when I say, “Dad, I don’t want to,” he says, “Okay, then…Do you want three?”

Just the Two of Us by Will Smith and Kadir Nelson

This book pairs the lyrics to Will Smith’s 1997 song with gorgeous pictures from one of my favorite illustrators. Nothing like exposing your kids to the “golden oldies”…sigh.

Daddy, Papa, and Me by Lesléa Newman and Carol Thompson

This is a sweet book about a boy lucky enough to have two dads to play with him. While I’m a huge fan of the true story of two male penguin fathers, And Tango Makes Threeit’s refreshing to find a book that shows the variations of human families.

My Dad Used to Be so Cool by Keith Negley

Keith Negley's My Dad Used to Be So Cool

Oh Keith Negley, I used to be so cool too, and now I write a mom blog. Parents will completely relate to how this dad’s pre-child life is almost unrecognizable after his son comes along. But would we want it any other way?

Pages from My Dad Used to Be So Cool



Check It Out: a Valentine’s Day book for boys (and other pragmatists)


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“Check It Out” is a new series in which I recommend gems we’ve discovered by chance at our public library. Since it’s February, I wanted to share this Valentine’s Day book:

The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda A. Ferber

Yuckiest Valentine book cover

That moment Valentine ’s Day becomes less about candy and more about declaring your love for a classmate can be, well… AWKWARD!!! (to use Ashman’s new favorite word). Romantic, risky, gross, terrifying, this book understands that immature love is complicated.

Join Leon as he chases his mortified Valentine card through town only to run smack into his crush, Zoey Maloney. What will she say? And will his Valentine card cooperate?

Valentine's Day Book

This is my favorite page. I love the teenagers’ reactions!

This book has been a February favorite in our house for the last three years. The boys love the comic book layout and vibrant full-page drawings by illustrator Tedd Arnold (Fly Guy; Parts). But I’m pretty sure it’s the Valentine card’s refrain that keeps Budlong and Ashman coming back:

Love is yucky. Stinky too. It will turn your brain to goo!

Sweeten your little reader’s V-Day with a trip to your local library to check it out!

Budlong gets his new My Weird School books in the mail!

My Weird School…who knew?


I pride myself in being able to pick out books that pique my kids’ interests, but by the beginning of second grade, I just couldn’t get Budlong to willingly make the crossover to chapter books.  We tried Magic Treehouse, Flat Stanley, Boxcar Children, you name it, but nothing lit that spark– the one that makes a child a voracious, insatiable devourer of pages.  Then one day this past spring, Budlong came home with a book he had chosen from his school library: Mr. Sunny is Funny, the second book in the series My Weird School Daze by Dan Gutman.   He said he saw some of his friends reading it and laughing, so he checked it out.  We read it together, taking turns with each page.  The main character is a boy named A.J., a second grader who loves video games and explicitly declares his hate for reading, school, and his rival Andrea, the teacher’s pet.  I thought it was irreverent, full of immature humor, and used the word “dumbhead” far too often for my liking.  But Budlong?  He. ate. it. up.  And then he read at least 30 more!!!  You see, My Weird School branches into My Weird School Daze, My Weirder School, My Weirdest School, and now a nonfiction series called My Weird School Fast Facts!

My Weird School: the series that made him a reader.

My Weird School: the series that made him a reader.

While this is a series I never would have picked for him myself, it forced me to acknowledge that my kids’ reading choices can and will be significantly influenced by their peers.  That’s a good thing.  We want reading to be a social activity.  My Weird School series also reminded me that humor as a genre is too often invalidated by parents and teachers alike.  And yet, it’s an element that brings boys to reading over and over again.  That has to be worth something, right?  In the end, I can forgive Mr. Gutman for calling me, my son, and all his readers “dumbheads” because his goofy series is what turned Budlong into a reader.