It's Daddy Daughter Day! Now we need some books.
January 15, 2010 2:51 AM   Subscribe

I need picture book recommendations! Even though I'm a librarian! I'm after picture books (baby anachronism is 7 months old) - specifically ones with/about fathers and daughters.

Both my partner and I read to our daughter but so far I've managed to get my hands on one book about a father and daughter (Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild). I walked in when it was chosen last night to hear my partner say "Daddy likes this one because it's about a daddy and a daughter!" which made me realise that I haven't really come across many picture books about fathers and daughters (Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems is the only other I can recall off the top of my head). Even when I did father themes for storytime, a lot of daddy books were either about sons, or entire families. I'd like something more specific (and Mefi recommended).

As far as parameters other that fathers and daughters? I absolutely hate collage/photo style picture books. Overly wordy picture books. Stupid and twee picture books. If I can avoid 'my daddy is an idiot' memes, that'd be awesome as well. I figure I've got years ahead of me with books I might dislike so while I call the shots about reading material I may as well get the ones I like and enjoy. I like Stephen Michael King/Quentin Blake style illustrations. Rhyming is obviously wonderful. Short is good, board book is great. But I'll get over my issues if I can get my hands on some more daddy daughter day books for the other anachronism!
posted by geek anachronism to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The Monster at the End of This Book is superb (Sesame Street's Grover smashes through the 4th wall)
posted by 0bvious at 3:19 AM on January 15, 2010

well, there's always Knuffle Bunny Too.
posted by nangua at 3:19 AM on January 15, 2010

This is well down the road, but you did say geek anachronism..
Contact by Carl Sagan is about the best father/daughter themed book I know of.
My daughter is almost four months old, and I've been doing Hitchhiker's Guide so far, but it's next on my list... Okay back to topic -
Ann Can Fly, but holy hell, $63.60?!! There's this for $20... Wow, that was all I came to recommend because it was my first book report and I was inspired because if a girl could fly with her dad then so could I... Had no idea it was so hard to come by these days, must get copy.
posted by hypersloth at 3:19 AM on January 15, 2010

The father/daughter tag at Just One More Book may be of use to you.

More recommendations here.

I need picture book recommendations! Even though I'm a librarian!

Wow. Our recommendation may become the actual Word of the Librarian. Neat.
posted by Jilder at 3:19 AM on January 15, 2010

I don't know "Daddy Hugs," but both of my children love Karen Katz books.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:00 AM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

or here, or here.
Sorry, couldn't stand that price. They have that price on ebay too, but yikes.
posted by hypersloth at 4:00 AM on January 15, 2010

I despise most picture books, but Eric Carle's books are really gorgeous. "Papa, Would You Get the Moon for Me" is a daddy/daughter book. And "The Apple Pie That Papa Baked" is engaging and unusual.
posted by jeanmari at 5:04 AM on January 15, 2010

My kids love The Daddy Mountain. And some of the "recommends" look like Daddy/(Baby|Daughter) books as well.
posted by DU at 5:39 AM on January 15, 2010

The Daddy Mountain is a great one about a little girl climbing on her dad.

I don't remember this one, but my six-year-old Daddy's Girl highly recommends Dancing With Daddy.

And Guess How Much I Love You is a WONDERFUL book about a daddy and a son, but they're rabbits and they're not wearing clothes, so the child's gender is pretty irrelevant. In fact, you could change a few pronouns and you'd be set.
posted by Dojie at 5:56 AM on January 15, 2010

It's not a strict father/daughter book, and there is very little text. But I have a huge, shameless, giggly love for David Wiesner's Tuesday, because of the sheer outright silly -- it's about flying frogs. It's almost all pictures - it's as if you're looking at the X-FILE on a supernatural incident, with the only text being a series of captions stating the time at which each of the pictures took place. And the pictures are gloriously silly and richly detailed enough for the grownups to get in on it. (I discovered this book when I was 25, and my mother was taking a college course about early childhood literature, and so she had a lot of picture books around the house; I came home for a visit and stumbled upon it, and was so charmed that by the time my mother walked into the room, she found me just finishing it up and turning to her with a gleeful grin and shrieking, "I WANT THIS BOOK!" She complied, and I showed it to all my friends -- they all loved it too.)

Wiesner has a number of other similarly quirky, picture-heavy books -- one I think I want to get for myself is FLOTSAM, which opens with a beachcombing kid discovering an antique-looking, barnacle-covered camera, picks it up, and develops the film...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:56 AM on January 15, 2010

Maybe Many Moons would qualify? Very old-school.
(Hey, and it's by James Thurber! Who knew?)
posted by bookgirl18 at 5:56 AM on January 15, 2010

I recommend that you head over to and ask the writers. They're very helpful!!
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:56 AM on January 15, 2010

Wiesner is indeed great and Flotsam in particular is mindblowingly wonderful. But I'm pretty sure my 2.5 year old wouldn't care/understand it, let alone would a 7 month old. Daddy Mountain either, for that matter. At that age, we read a lot of Maisy. Simple stories, bright colors, easy-to-identify objects.
posted by DU at 6:15 AM on January 15, 2010

Princess Pruney Toes is pretty decent.
posted by true at 7:05 AM on January 15, 2010

Even today, many children's books assume that Mum will do the childcare during the day, and then Dad will come home in time to help with bedtime. So while there are quite a lot of picture books which involve Dad tucking the child up in bed, or reading a bedtime story, there aren't nearly so many which involve Dad as an active parent in other ways. One outstanding exception is Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse, which shows (in a non-preachy way) how fathers can be fully involved in every aspect of parenthood.

Now that my daughter is past the picture-book stage, my memory of her first books is a bit rusty, but I'll have a look along her bookshelves tonight and see if I can come up with any other examples.
posted by verstegan at 7:40 AM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Emma's Pet by David McPhail is good for a 7-month-old.

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey is a favorite with my toddler, though it might be a bit too long for a younger baby.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:19 AM on January 15, 2010

0bvious: "The Monster at the End of This Book is superb (Sesame Street's Grover smashes through the 4th wall)"

I love that book, but it has nothing to do with fathers and daughters.

Robert McClosky's One Morning in Maine is great, and is about (among other things) Sal spending the day with her dad.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on January 15, 2010

posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on January 15, 2010

We have Daddy Hug, by Tim Warnes, which is different from Daddy Hugs, by Karen Katz. It's a rhyming book with lots of different animal daddies/babies. Not daughter-specific, but it's pretty cute.
posted by fancyoats at 9:54 AM on January 15, 2010

We like Daddy's Girl by Garrison Keillor.
posted by Knowyournuts at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2010

I know you were looking more for recommendations, but as a fellow librarian, did you know that Amazon has an advanced search function that works pretty well?

Im the advanced search, put "daddy" in the keywords, change the subject to "children's books" and then change the reader age to "baby-3 years." That gave me nine results; "dad" and "father" each have a lot more. You could also do "daddy, daughter" as keywords (or "dad*, daughter").

If you have time to sort through these results, it might be fun to pick up on books that others have missed.
posted by librarylis at 5:56 PM on January 15, 2010

When I was a kid, Girls Can Be Anything by Norma Klein was the book I asked my Dad to read me over and over again (and he also enjoyed reading it to me). Unfortunately, my books are in storage right now, so while I vaguely remember a father/daughter theme, I might be misremembering.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (recommended also at a link above) is excellent.

Theme wise...there are a lot of good Chinese and Jewish stories with father/daughter themes. I'll see if I can dig up some more specifics and post again with titles. I know Howard Schwartz has some good short stories in his volumes.

And good on you for fostering another generation of readers. I feel very lucky that I was read to until I was a teenager; it was a good way to have quality time with a parent even after I knew how to read and it's led to a lifelong addiction to books.
posted by eleanna at 12:45 PM on January 16, 2010

Thanks all! I've started a list and I'll be checking out everything I can get my hands on.

Im the advanced search, put "daddy" in the keywords, change the subject to "children's books" and then change the reader age to "baby-3 years." That gave me nine results; "dad" and "father" each have a lot more. You could also do "daddy, daughter" as keywords (or "dad*, daughter").

The problem with a lot of the dad books is that they're about sons (I do love Guess How Much I Love You though and I'll probably grab myself a copy soon) or they're about daddy visiting. Books about fathers being ongoing parts of everyday life are less prevalent and far more what I'm looking for. Knuffle Bunny is actually a wonderful example - it's a dad and a daughter but it isn't about dad. It's just that dad does the laundry with the daughter. So searches only take me so far and are probably going to miss the kinds of books I want. When I get a chance I'll give it a go.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:54 PM on January 16, 2010

One Day, Daddy is one our daughter loves and asks for again and again. I don't think we ever tried to figure out whether the monster is a boy or girl. While they're not my favourite illustrations, I like the message in it and it's nice to read aloud - the story supports independence without the freaky smothering of the Runaway Bunny.

I also agree with The Daddy Mountain, with the caution that you WILL, of course, be climbed.
posted by peagood at 1:15 PM on January 17, 2010

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bangs is just what you're looking for. It's a simple counting bedtime book, and the fact that it's Daddy putting Daughter to bed is not made a big deal of. It even comes in board book.

What Mary Jo Shared by Janice May Udry may be too wordy for you now, but keep it in mind for a few years from now. It's a sweet story about the trials and tribulations of school (1st grade?) and a supportive father who's always in the background, until Mary Jo pays more attention.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:47 PM on January 17, 2010

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