20 Dads Share Their Favorite Children’s Books

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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 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…”

  10. 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

  11. Keith Northcott says:

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  12. 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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