10 Diverse Children’s Books to Celebrate Father’s Day

This Sunday is Father’s Day and we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite books for Father’s Day. Celebrate your fathers, grandfathers, and father-figures by reading stories that make you feel at home through the traditions of diverse cultures and places around the world!

Father's Day postDid we miss one of your favorite titles? Let us know in the comments!

in daddy's arms i am tall

In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall
By various poets, illus. by Javaka Steptoe

In this intergenerational collection of poetry by new and established African American writers, fatherhood is celebrated with honor, humor, and grace.

hot hot roti for dada-ji

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji
By F. Zia, illus. by Ken Min

Aneel’s grandparents have come to stay, all the way from India. Aneel loves the sweet smell of his grandmother’s incense, and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells the world’s best stories. When he was a boy, adventurous, energetic Dada-ji had the power of a tiger. Does Dada-ji still have the power? Aneel wants to find out—but first he has to figure out how to whip up a batch of hot, hot roti.

my papa diego and me

My Papa Diego and Me/Mi papá Diego y yo
By Guadalupe Marín, illus. by Diego Rivera

Guadalupe Rivera Marín shares some of her childhood memories of the world-renowned artist who also happened to be her papá, Diego Rivera.

rainbow stew

Rainbow Stew
By Cathryn Falwell

It’s a rainy summer day, but the vegetables in Grandpa’s garden are just waiting to be picked. Yellow peppers, purple cabbage, red tomatoes, green zucchini, orange carrots, and more. So many colors! So many delicious ingredients to slice, chop, peel, and dice for a great big pot of mouthwatering Rainbow Stew.

a morning with grandpa

A Morning with Grandpa
By Sylvia Liu, illus. by Christina Forshay

Mei Mei’s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school.

babu's song

Babu’s Song
By Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, illus. by Aaron Boyd

Bernardi loves to play soccer and would love to go to school too, but he and his grandfather, Babu, cannot afford to pay for schooling. One night Babu gives Bernardi a special gift — a handmade music box that plays a song Babu used to sing when he still had his voice.
At the market the next Saturday, a tourist offers Bernardi so much money for the music box, he cannot resist. But when Bernardi returns home his difficult dilemma is resolved in a surprising turn of events that strengthens the love he and Babu share.

chachaji's cup

Chachaji’s Cup
By Uma Krishnaswami, illus. by Soumya Sitaraman

Neel loves listening to Chachaji’s many stories over steaming cups of tea. The tale of his great-uncle’s favorite teacup is Neel’s favorite, for Chachaji’s cup holds far more than sweet, spicy masala chai. When the precious cup and Chachaji’s health both prove to be more fragile than they look, Neel knows what he must do.

willie wins

Willie Wins
By Almira Astudillo Gilles, illus. by Carl Angel

Willie is having a rough day. He has already struck out in a Little League game, and now he must find a savings bank for a contest at school — by tomorrow! Willie’s Dad gives him an alkansiya, a bank made out of a coconut shell from the Philippines, where Dad grew up. He’s been saving it for Willie because of a surprise inside, a treasure Dad got when he was a boy. Willie works hard at saving his play money to win the contest. But as he works he also wonders, what will the surprise in his bank be? Is it really something special?

sky dancers

Sky Dancers
By Connie Ann Kirk, illus. by Christy Hale

John Cloud’s father is a steelworker building skyscrapers in New York City, far away from their home upstate on the Mohawk Reservation. John Cloud misses Papa and longs to visit him in the city. One day Mama agrees to take him there. New York City turns out to be busy and noisy, but what really astonishes John Cloud is seeing Papa on a high cross beam of the Empire State Building, the tallest skyscraper in the world.

grandfather's story cloth

Grandfather’s Story Cloth
By Linda Gerdner and Sarah Langford, illus. by Stuart Loughridge

Chersheng’s grandfather is beginning to forget things: little things like turning off the water faucet and big things like Chersheng’s name. Sometimes he even forgets that he is in America now. Chersheng feels sad and helpless when he learns that Grandfather has Alzheimer’s Disease, but then Chersheng’s mother presents him with a story cloth stitched by Grandfather himself, embroidered in the Hmong tradition. They use the cloth to realize that their love is stronger than Alzheimer’s Disease, no matter in which country they live.

Further Resources

One thought on “10 Diverse Children’s Books to Celebrate Father’s Day”

  1. Celebrating Father’s Day requires sensitivity. I found your site recently looking for a story to help a young student whose father has a terminal illness. One of your suggestions was Grandfather’s Story Cloth. This book helps touch on the subject and the idea of making a story cloth can be used over and over for students of any age. Not only is the brain hard-wired for story, so is the heart.

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