Monday, June 12, 2017

Dads Read Too!

Sometimes scrolling through my social media accounts it seems like we forget this simple fact-dads read too! There are plenty of images and anecdotes of moms reading with their little ones, but I seldom stubble upon a dad sharing their favorite bookish discoveries or library adventures. There of course be many reasons why dads aren't showing off their story time skills on Instagram and Facebook, but I think it is so important for all of us to realize that dads can read-and they can do a pretty great job.  I'd love to see more kids being read to by all of the important people in their lives-moms and dads, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, friends...everyone! So in honor of the upcoming Father's Day holiday, I'm sharing a few of our famiy's books about dads, and hoping you will think about shaking up your daily story time routine with an extra read aloud by dad (or another special family member or friend).

There isn't much that makes my heart happier than listening to my husband reading to E. Hubs has an inconsistent work schedule, with some nights only ending well after our kiddos are in bed. It can be a bummer sometimes, but also makes nights when he is here extra special! Usually bedtime becomes a divide and conquer task, since little C still needs some quiet time with me before she is ready to sleep for the night. That means E gets some special one on one time with his Daddy, which includes a good long tubby and a read through three or four of his favorite books, before being tucked into bed (burrito style, like only Daddy can do, of course). I love hearing them reading from the other room as I take care of C. Even though my husband is reading the same books with E that I usually do, the story becomes totally different with his silly voices, expert sound effects, little asides, and always plenty of belly laughs from E. Harvard University even backs me up on this one. They released a study not too long ago outlining the differences between mom and dad reading styles, and why reading with dads can be so important for little ones.  You can read a little about it here. So to celebrate that special energy comes with a new perspective on an old read aloud, here are a few of our books about Dads.

A Daddy #shelfie

"Following Papa's Song" by Giannna Marino:

We received this book through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The illustrations are simply stunning, dreamily depicting the whales' underwater environs. They beautifully transport the reader from dawn to dusk, as the Little Blue travels across the ocean and learns from his Papa's wisdom. When Little Blue strays from his path, he finds that his papa is always waiting to guide him back. This is one of my favorite Imagination Library books thus far. If you have a child under age 5, I highly recommend checking here to see if the program is available in your area (who wouldn't love a free book each month?!)

I want to spend a day swimming in Little Blue's ocean

"I Love My Daddy Because"  by Laurel Porter-Gaylord:

This cute board book shows animal fathers taking care of their babies. Animals are seen building homes, finding food, keeping babies safe, or playing. There are many learning opportunities with this book, ranging from a simple discussion of different types of animals, comparing animal fathers to a child's father (Daddy loves to chase you in the yard, just like the animals daddy plays with him), and even an opportunity to learn some Spanish words. The book includes both Spanish and English text, as well as labels or animal names.

Dads teach lots of good things, but apparently getting laundry into the hamper isn't one of them.

"Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA" by Jimmy Fallon:

Fallon's popular books is seen on the shelves at many stores year round, and especially near Father's Day. If you haven't checked it out yet and know a soon to be or new dad, it is worth a peek. Very simple conversational text and bold, geometric animal graphics easily capture the eye of 0-2 year olds. Animal sounds are always fun, and E enjoys joining in on the few sounds he knows, which includes Dada...still waiting to really hear Mama over here!

Your baby's first word will be Dada...but Dada will swear it's Mama at 2am

"I Love You Daddy" by Melanie Joyce:

Although this book isn't especially remarkable, it is a sweet read. The story follows bear cub and his daddy through the forest and shows the simple things that bear cub appreciates about his daddy.  It's not a book we read frequently, but it is a nice story to bring out occasionally, especially when feeling a little extra lovey towards Daddy. There is also a companion book geared towards moms.  

Cuddles with Dad are sweet, even for a bear

"When Dads Don't Grow Up" by Marjorie Blain Parker:

This is easily my favorite book on the list. I came across it at a fun little used book store, back when I was pregnant with E. I had actually been looking for some old field guides for a nursery project, but when I spotted "When Dads Don't Grow Up" it immediately made me think of my husband. He wasn't a dad just yet, but E was due just a few days after Father's Day, and this book became my husband's first Father's Day gift. Hubs still gets a little teary when he reads the note I wrote to him on the inside that's my little emotional connection with this book, but really you've got to believe me that it is seriously cute. It's all about dads who know how to be silly and fun loving, who know how to embrace the messy and the ordinary and make them into memories. It celebrates dads who are kids at heart, even if they are grown ups on the outside.

Bubble wrap dad = my husband

"What Daddies Do Best"/"What Mommies Do Best" by Laura Numeroff:

This fun book is really two books in one. Simply flip over for the second story! That novel aspect makes it pretty neat for little ones. The two stories celebrate all the ordinary things that dads (and moms) do for their children. If you are looking for a book that goes beyond the typical gendered roles of moms vs. dads, this book definitely checks that box (dads can sew buttons, garden, etc). Because really, when you are a parent there's no job you don't do for your child, regardless of stereotypes...sometimes the job just needs to get done. And that's truly what daddies AND mommies do best.
Snowman or snow-hippo?

I'd love to hear from you! Do you celebrate Father's Day with books? 

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