30+ Diverse Children’s Books About Dads

by Mixed Up Mama
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Dads want to read to their kids too and how many books are about a Mommy and daughter, or a Mommy and her love for her kids? We don’t have to convince you about the importance of reading to your kids or that representation matters. And there are lots of books that feature black or brown mixed characters. But what books are out there that feature Dads?

Well, we’ve decided to do something about it. Here is the ultimate list of diverse children’s books about Dads. Featuring all kinds of families, black, brown, mixed and more.

Check them out!

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Daddy’s Mini-Me

Written by a Dad himself, this book takes on the journey of a mixed race boy and his Dad, the moments that bond them together, the emphasis on presence not presents. The perfect book for a new or expecting Dad that sends out a powerful message of the importance of Dads in our children’s lives.

Peek!: A Thai Hide-and-Seek

Morning (Jut-ay) has come and that means baby wants to play. But where is baby hiding? Is baby hiding there? Is Baby swinging there? Hornbill and snake, elephant and tiger — who can finally lead Papa to Baby’s hiding place?

Peekaboo Morning

Bright, friendly illustrations take us on a journey through the toddler’s eyes, hiding behind Mummy, then Daddy and then Grandma and Grandpa. A delightful book for babies.

You Made Me a Dad!

A picture book for soon-to-be dads and already Dads that beautifully illustrates the relationship between a child and her Dad. The big responsibility he has and how he knew he loved her from the moment she was born. Featuring a mixed race family as well. I loved it!

Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!

This delightful book follows a boy as he grows up, laughing, playing, causing mischief. Woven throughout is his relationship with his father in very nontraditional ways, bathing him, cuddling and cooking for his son. Then, bringing it back full circle to when he becomes a man himself.

I Love My Papi! (Dora the Explorer)

Featuring our favourite cartoon character, Dora, this book brings to life her relationship with her dear Papi. A sister book to the “I love my Mami” book, it’s basic in its storyline but lovely illustrations and typical Dora style bring it to life.

Girl of Mine

As daddy cradles his baby girl, she is suddenly whisked away on a fantastical adventure, swinging above lush floral gardens under the golden moonlight. The sweet text, inspired by “Rock-A-Bye Baby,” will whisk little ones off to peaceful slumber.

Thunder Boy Jr. (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards)

An enchanting and humourous book about a boy called Thunder Boy Jr. who wants a normal name…one that’s all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn’t want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. His Dad eventually helps him find the perfect name and he loves it.

The Night Before Father’s Day

Written in the delightful prose that is the famous christmas poem, this is wonderfully illustrated story of how a Mum and her kids plan to surprise Dad on Father’s Day. When Dad goes for a bike ride, everyone gets to work to get the garage looking sparkly clean. Lovely book to read to the children.

Lola Loves Stories (Lola Reads)

Perfect for instilling a love of libraries and books, Lola loves to go to the library and especially with her Daddy. Every night she reads a new story, and the next day, she acts it out. One day she’s a fairy princess, the next day she goes on a trip to Lagos! Perfect for a nap or story time!

Daddy Goes to Work

A young girl spends the day with her Dad at the office. With few books written about black families and white collar dads, this is a rarity. It’s sweet, she writes on some post its, they ride the subway together, she holds up a poster for his presentation and then they head out for lunch. The rhyming can be forced at times but the illustrations are lovely.

My Dad and Me

Sharing special moments throughout every season, this book is a a sweet depiction of the child/father relationship. The rhyming verse on each spread offers a multicultural slant: the first father is called “dad,” the next “papi” (with the note papi means “dad” in Spanish), followed by aba (Hebrew), bábá (Mandarin), and bapa (Hindi).Perfect for any father’s day or as a gift to read to your multicultural classroom.

Daddy Poems

This book is meant to be read to children by Dads. From morning routines to bedtime rituals, this collection of poems depicts the beautiful relationship of love and laughter shared between fathers and their children. Featuring poems written by noted poets such as X. J. Kennedy, Nikki Grimes, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Mary Ann Hoberman, as well as original poems by Micklos and others, this book is not one to pass up.

How to Surprise a Dad

Wonderfully written and hilariously illustrated, my kids couldn’t put this down. Surprisingly, there are lots of different ways to surprise Daddy and make him feel special. From making things to hiding things and planning things, this book will surely get the children laughing.

Daddy Do My Hair?: Beth’s Twists

Join Daddy and Beth on a wonderful hair adventure. It’s Sunday night and it’s hair night. A rhyming book with wonderful illustrations and the first of the ‘Daddy Do My Hair’ series.

Bippity Bop Barbershop

A young boy makes his first trip to the barbershop and, oh, isn’t it magical?! Written about identity, pride and love of black hair, this is the companion book to “I love my Hair” and is written in adorable jazzy prose with beautiful illustrations throughout.

My Two Grandads

One of my favourites showing the classic cultural mix a boy from two cultures may find.Aston’s Grandad Roy played in a steel band and Grandad Harry played the trumpet in a brass band. Aston always enjoyed going to visit them and listen to them practise. But soon he wanted to join in. A wonderful story celebrating diverse cultures and building on the success of My Two Grannies.

Following Papa’s Song

Okay, not so much about about diversity but the adorable bond between the little whale and his papa depict the long journey of migration. Reassured by his Papa when the journey is long and full of frightening things, this book is beautifully illustrated and lovely to read to your littles.

Daddy Do My Hair?: Hope’s Braids

Written about a mixed girl and her father, the little girl comes home upset that children have been making fun of her big, curly hair. It’s up to Daddy to help her feel good about it again armed with a brush and an idea for a braid. But is it enough?

My Dad’s Beard

If Dad has a beard, this is not one to pass up. Written through the eyes of a child to his father, the little boy shows us how much he admires his dad by sharing amusing observations and heartfelt sentiments of his beard; and why he and the family love it. Written with big illustrations and writing throughout, your little ones will want to pick this up time and time again.

A New Year’s Reunion: A Chinese Story

Beautifully illustrated, this tale of a family that misses their relatives at New Year’s shows how love can fill the bond across the miles. Winner of the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award in 2009.

Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way: Daddy Do My Hair?

One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time, Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way is the perfect book to introduce your child to loving their curly, thick, and wonderful hair. It’s a fun book that still explores the relationship between Daddy and daughter poking fun at the way afro hair can’t be ‘contained.  Curly hair’s ability to go “this way, that way and every which way” is a celebratory repetitive rhyme throughout that makes every child want to turn the page eager to see what happens next.

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads

A collection of poems celebrating everyday displays of fatherly love, from guitar lessons and wrestling matches to bedtime stories, haircuts in the kitchen, and cuddling in bed. Capturing the beauty of father and child relationships.

Daddy Calls Me Man 

Four poems written by one boy inspired by his own family experiences.  Written about his own family experiences and capturing the dreams, laughter and musings of a young boy, this book is full of wonderful illustrations and will make you keep coming back for more.

Dad, Who Will I Be?

Written by a former child educator and child mental health expert, this book encourages and educates young black and mixed race readers to be great by introducing to them heroes that resemble who they are. Some real-life heroes in the book include Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammed Ali, Mansa Musa, Guion Bluford and Garrett Morgan, W.E.B. Duboise, Tiger Woods and many more.

A Father Like That

Capturing the timeless bond between a boy and his father, this boy knows the special place a father can have in his life. From knowing when to bend the rules at bedtime to special sessions of checkers and banishing nighttime nightmares, this boy knows them all- even if he doesn’t have one currently.

My Father’s Boat

A Vietnamese-American boy and his father climb onto their shipping boat, united by their love of the sea. Half a world away, the boy’s grandfather is doing the same thing in the South China sea fishing for shrimp for the family’s livelihood. Written in lyrical prose and illustrated by wonderful watercolour, this is a lovely story about 3 generations of men and the water.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

In a beautiful letter to his daughters, former President Barack Obama writes about groundbreaking heroes- both white and black, men and women that have helped shaped his nation. From the artistry of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, Barack Obama encourages the traits in his daughters to these amazing people.

My Baba, My Hero

A book featuring two children through their fun-filled experiences with their Baba. They enjoy pancakes, homemade cupcakes, ice cream, making a snowman and much more. When Baba tells tales of Africa it’s a reminder of the importance of family, history and culture and most of all a daughter’s bond with her father.

Shopping With Dad

Written by the amazing performance poet, Matt Harvey, this hilarious book takes us through an adventure with a little girl (who looks mixed) and her Dad when, uh-oh!, she sneezes and she just can’t stop what ensues. When Dad gets the blame, his daughter speaks up and takes responsibility for her actions. Great fun, fast-paced book with lots of great pictures.

My Dad, the Hero

Tariq loves his funny, clever Dad more than anything. But when it comes time for his Dad to come into school and talk about what he does for a job, Tariq can’t help feeling uneasy about what the kids will say. His Dad doesn’t speak english and he’s a taxi driver. Tariq worries and worries what to do but doesn’t realise Dad is cleverer than Tariq gives him credit for. Dad steals the show! Tariq learns a valuable lesson that being the same as everyone else is not always as desirable as he thinks!

Grandfather Counts 

Helen, who is biracial, develops a special bond with her grandfather when he comes over from China, despite their age and language differences.

My Father’s Shop

My Father’s Shop by Satomi Ichikawa is a funny story about Mustafa, who is supposed to be learning new languages with his father so he can learn how to sell rugs to tourists at his father’s shop in Morroco. Only Mustafa is off on his own adventure. Wearing an old rug with a hole in it, he goes through the market and attracts the attention of a rooster and a whole gaggle of tourists. In the end, Mustafa learns some new words but not the ones his dad was planning on teaching him. This is a funny book your kids will love.

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