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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Fathers and children and reading together

June 15, 2012

I was reminded that Father's Day is this weekend by an advertisement suggesting baseball tickets instead of a tie or socks for old dad. A very good idea, I thought.

It's all about spending time together, isn't it? And there's nothing quite like spending time with children over a book. Here are a few that I like.

Three year old Mitchell will not go to bed; that is until his dad gives him a driver's license and Dad becomes the car. Children and adults are sure to see themselves and find lots of chuckles in understated text and comical, highly expressive illustrations of Mitchell's License (Candlewick).

Bedtime is delayed in another home when a dad and his child pretend to be other animals. It serves as a reminder that even animals have — and love — Daddies (North South). The story is presented through bouncy rhyming text and energetic illustrations.

Mothers and fathers don't always agree nor do the same things in the same way according to the child who narrates Daddies Do It Different (Hyperion). Her father behaves like an active boy while her mother is much calmer and organized. (While some may complain that the parents' behavior is almost clichéd, families are still likely to recognize the truth in it — especially in the illustrations!)

Almost all children enjoy time with their father. With a gently rhyming text and boldly lined illustrations, children will be reminded of the many things that make them say, I Love My Daddy (Hyperion).

Of course, it's always fun to revisit old favorites. There's Sam McBratney's modern classic which addresses the perennial question, Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick). And for slightly older children, Ramona and Her Father (HarperCollins) by Beverly Cleary continues to delight.

So read with a child this weekend — and all week long. A Happy Father's Day to all parents!

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"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald