20 Dads Share Their Favorite Children’s Books

Looking for a book to read to your children? These 20 dads share their favorites.

Since before Moses and the stone tablets fathers have been telling stories and reading to their children. It’s something that’s ingrained in our DNA. Even though it can be frustrating when you can’t get more than four words out without being questioned, we do it because we love it.

Below are books that these twenty dads enjoy reading to or with their children. There are books for kids both young and old because the reality is that no matter how old we get and how old our children get, we’re still their dad and they’re still our babies.

What books do you enjoy reading with your children? Do you have any good stories about reading stories? Please share them with us in the comments section.


Ron Mattocks


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
Where the Wild Things Are
Go, Dog. Go! (I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books)



Josh Brewster

Hockey Writer/NHL Broadcaster

Goodnight Moon
The Giving Tree
Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Edition: Poems and Drawings
The Cat in the Hat
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Book & CD (Book and CD)



Eric Payne


Daddy’s Girl
Please, Baby, Please
Horton Hears a Who! (Dr. Seuss Classics)
Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook
Guess How Much I Love You



Jeff Tincher

Social Media Consultant

Night of the Ninjas (Magic Tree House, No. 5)
Afternoon on the Amazon
Listen to My Trumpet! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Watch Me Throw the Ball! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
The Canary Caper (A to Z Mysteries)



Kyle Bradford


Everyone Poops (My Body Science Series)
Quackadack Duck
Holy Bible-English Standard Version
Scaredy Squirrel
Franny K. Stein



Andrew Cotto


Danny the Champion of the World
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Heaven Is Having You
The Red Balloon



Whit Honea


The Five Chinese Brothers
Whose Mouse Are You?
Nobody Rides the Unicorn
Guess How Much I Love You



Matt Vilano


Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
Scrawny Cat
What Pete Ate from A to Z
Too Many Daves–The Sneetches and Other Stories
Room on the Broom



Marcus Williams


Llama Llama Red Pajama
Fox in Socks
Room on the Broom
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?



Jim Turner

Social Media Consultant 

Watership Down
Where the Red Fern Grows
Goodnight Moon
Pat the Bunny
Go, Dog. Go!



Lane Reed

Fashion Designer

I Love You Stinky Face
Good Dog, Carl
In a People House
Goodnight Moon



Jim Higley


Caps for Sale
The Snowy Day
The Story about Ping
Goodnight Moon
Harry the Dirty Dog



William Lucas Walker


The Little Engine That Could
Odd Velvet
One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Daring Book for Girls



Jack Steiner


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Stuart Little
Where the Wild Things Are


Fred Goodall


The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Adventures of Max and Pinky
The Hallelujah Flight
These Hands
Ron’s Big Mission



Gary Walter


Daddy’s Girl
Guess How Much I Love You
Pajama Time!
On the Banks of Plum Creek
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel


Matt Peregoy


Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin
Monster at the End of This Book
I Love You Stinky Face
Go, Dog. Go!



Adam Cohen


How Rocket Learned to Read
Good Night New York City
The Cat in the Hat
The Very Hungry Catepillar
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom:


Jayson Gaddis


Hug Time
Goodnight, construction
Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
The Family Book


Ted Rubin

   Social Media Strategist

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Rabbit’s Foot, A Gift From My Father
Atlas Shrugged
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Photo from “This is What Real Fatherhood Looks Like” on Good Men Project

About J.R. Reed

J.R is a full-time single dad attempting to raise a 14-year-old daughter without providing too many stories to relay to her future therapist. He is also the creator of the popular blog, Sex and the SIngle Dad. A former radio talk show host and color commentator, he’s also an off-the-hook cook, a bit of an argyle-loving dork and has a word in Urban Dictionary. J.R. has a serious guacamole addiction and a torta dealer named Danny.


  1. I don’t think even adults should read Atlas Shrugged! lol

    I think we can all agree Dr Seuss is always brilliant. When my eldest was gaining competence in reading we’d take roles in Green Eggs and Ham, I’d get him to read the Sam I Am bits and I’d take the other character – since the whole book is a dialogue it made it rather like reading a play together – and Sam I Am is youthful in his enthusiasm and cheeky, so it’s perfect for dual reading.

    The Gruffalo.
    Winnie the Pooh.
    Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.

    and when they get older Lemony Snicket is good for vocabulary building, and gives the two useful life skills of developing a sense of humour, and knowing that adults and figures of authority are quite often just plain wrong and you have to rely on your own common-sense!

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  3. David May says:

    Gentleman, you forgot Oz! What childhood is complete without the Oz books? Any when my daughter was little, our favorites were:

    1) Drummer Hoff
    2) Where the Wild Things Are
    3) In the Night Kitchen
    4) The Wizard of Oz
    5) The Snowy Day

  4. Mine was the Slimy Book by Babette Cole which i used to read to my daughter when she was about 3 onwards. She loved it and still can remember parts of the rhyming text. “Oodles noodles, slimy sausages for poodles…”

  5. Ayn Rand as a children’s writer? Effing brilliant!

    My days of having the little guys bring a big stack of books over and sit on my lap are sadly long gone, but in general whatever they wanted to have read to them the most were the best, regardless of what I thought. Curious George and Dr. Seuss were probably the winners by that standard.

  6. It’s a shame that Ted Rubin missed the point. I’m sure he’d throw out some buzzwords about shifting paradigms and return on relationships to explain why he thinks those are children’s books. Otherwise, a great collection of titles from the other dads.

  7. Why wasn’t I questioned? I have 4 babies!

  8. It was difficult to stop at only five books. Makes me think I need to do my own post on some more of our faves!

    Thanks JR for this great post!

  9. Please share this children’s book Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept with your kids (3 to 12) and keep them safe! See http://www.somesecrets.info. And please share these clips around!


    Also ‘My Body is MY Body’ safety song, sung to twinkle Twinkle and free to anyone to use.

  10. This is a great list of books. I’m holding onto this for the future. We’re still on “Flat Stanley” and the “Stink” adventures.

  11. I love this list! It’s so great that dads read to their kids. They truly are important role models in getting kids to read!

  12. I know there will be some readers who will howl at me for this, but I was deeply gratified to see that NOT ONE father listed the questionable “Love Your Forever,” in which a parent’s reassurance of the permanence her love for a son extends into scenes of her sneaking into his home at night when he is grown. I would have serious concerns about a man who thought that book was appropriate. Yes, it is sweet to see that he cares for his ageing mother in the end, but the massive betrayals of personal space in the book show “smothering,” not mothering. My mother-in-law gave that book to her son to read to our children (this was the same woman he described in marital counselling as someone whose parenting style was to “emotionally kneecap her sons so they couldn’t get away from her”). Needless to say, by mutual agreement that book disappeared from our children’s library. No offence intended to those of you who love it, but the psychological underpinning of the book struck us as unhealthy.


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