Books Dads Enjoy Reading to Kids

My little boy LOVES being read to–and he doesn’t care who’s doing it. He’s too little to choose his own stories yet, so we choose for him. As an early childhood teacher I have several favorites that I enjoy reading, but I can tell there are some books my husband enjoys reading more than others. 

Tips for Dads (or anyone new to reading to children and babies)

  • Choose books you enjoy reading. 
  • Choose books that were your favorites as a kid. 

  • Help your child choose books. Look for nice pictures, easy text, humor or a shared interest.
  • Do the voices. Make the sounds. Read with expression. This will make it more fun for both of you and encourage your child to read fluently when it’s their turn.
  • Read together. If there are words in the book your child knows let them help you. 
  • When reading to an infant, let them look at the pictures, but also make sure they can see your face. 
  • When reading to a toddler talk a lot about what they see in the pictures. Point to things, give them the correct words, etc. 
  • When reading to preschoolers, kindergartners and 1st graders it’s 
  • important to make sure every time you read a book together it isn’t about learning to read. If they are being read to, and they’re doing their homework they will learn to read. Reading together at this age and when their older is about learning to enjoy books and spending time together.

Here is a list of books Dads will appreciate as much as the kids do.

*Instead of putting them in alphabetical order, I arranged the books in each category by age-appropriateness: books for infants and toddlers first, books that can be read to kids 5 and up last.

Boys as the Main Character
Sloppy Joe by Dave Keane and Denise Brunkus
Elmer by David McKee 
Jamberry by Bruce Degan
A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer (wordless)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 
Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox 
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hose
Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
James in the House of Great Aunt Prudence by Timothy Bush
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Cowboy Books
Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski
Good Night Cowboy by Glenn Dromgoole
B is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet by Gleaves Whitney
Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett
Cowboy Kid by Max Eilenberg

Dad Books
My Dad Loves Me by Marianne Richmond
Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz
My Dad is the Best Playground by Luciana Navarro Powell
Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa
When Dad’s Don’t Grow Up by Marjorie Blain Parker
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willams 
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Fact/Non-Fiction Books
Boys of all ages love non-fiction books–and in my experience, the grosser the better. Dinosaurs Roar by Henrietta Strickland
Dig In! by April Jones Prince
Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Dinosaurs A to Z by Andrea Posner-Sanchez
My First Dinosaur Book DK Books
Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog by Adrienne Sylver
Biggest, Strongest, Fastest by Steve Jenkins
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
Bats by Gail Gibbons
Spiders by Gail Gibbons
National Geographic Kids Readers: Mummies by Elizabeth Carney

Funny Books
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka
Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
Frank Was A Monster Who Wanted to Dance by Keith Graves
Click Clack Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey
Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey
Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (a series)
Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle (a series)

Inanimate Objects as Main Characters
Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
I Stink by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan
Truck by Donald Crews (wordless)
The Witches Broom by Chris Van Allsburg

Pirate Books
Bizzy Bear: Pirate Adventure by Nosy Crow and Benji Davies 
Pirate Potty by Samantha Berger
Pirates! (Board Buddies) by Viviana Garofoli 
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
The Castaway Pirates: A Pop-Up Tale of Bad Luck, Sharp Teeth and Stinky Toes by Ray Marshall
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long

Science Fiction/Star Wars
Star Wars ABC by Scholastic
Star Wars 123 by Scholastic 
Alien Al by Roger Priddy
Aliens in Underpants Save the World by Claire Freedman
Star Wars Heroes by Scholastic
Star Wars Villians by Lucas Books

Sports Books
Football ABC by Mark Weakland 
Z is for Zamboni (Sports Alphabet) by Matt Napier
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Sing-Along Storybook)
Pete the Cat: Play Ball! by James Dean 
Froggy Plays T-Ball by Jonathan London

Superhero Books
Superhero ABCDC Superheroes ABC 123 by David Bar Katz
Nickelodeon Team Umizoomi: Tiny Heroes
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Heroes
DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up BookSuperhero Squad: Meet the Superheroes by Lucy Rosen
Superhero Squad: Iron Man Springs into Action by Kirsten Mayer
The Amazing Spider-Man (Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios
Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin (I Can Read Book 2) by Susan Hill


Authors Dads Love to Read Aloud
Oliver Jeffers
Steve Jenkins
Kate McMullan
Dav Pilkey
Jon Scieszka
David Shannon
Shel Silverstein
Chris Van Allsburg
Mo Willems

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