The best children’s books about fathers and journals for daughters

Who am I?

My father died in 2020 during the pandemic so Father’s Day has taken on a new importance to me as far as reminding people to spend time with the people they love before they are gone. I had started to write a story about my dad and his childhood days before he went to the hospital, and with the help of his friend, was able to complete it for the family to have as a keepsake. I encourage kids to ask questions of their parents and for parents to write down or audio record the stories that they want to pass down. Children’s books and journals are a great way to start the conversation.

I wrote...

The Night Before Father's Day

By Natasha Wing, Amy Wummer (illustrator),

Book cover of The Night Before Father's Day

What is my book about?

It's the night before Father's Day, and Mom and the kids have a plan to surprise Dad with a special gift. When Dad goes for a bike ride, everyone gets to work. Dad wakes up the next day to find his garage newly organized and his car sparkly clean. So, of course, he celebrates by taking everyone for a spin!

The books I picked & why

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Made for Me

By Zack Bush, Gregorio de Lauretis (illustrator),

Book cover of Made for Me

Why this book?

I love good rhyming books and this one works! Plus there is a heart-warming refrain that especially gets me at the end of the story. “Of all the children that ever could be, you are the one made just for me.” It’s about a father who adores his new baby from its soft, tiny hands to all the cute things the child does. The illustrations depict a very large, round father who reminds me of a gentle Paul Bunyan. I could see it as a baby shower gift for dads. 

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle,

Book cover of I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

Why this book?

This ode to dad is told from a child to its father using animals to illustrate the great things about fathers such as a papa polar bear being cool. It’s a smaller gift size and even though it contains spare text, it says way more than a greeting card could ever say! Eric Carle’s colorful paper cut-outs have a natural appeal to kids. This would be a great book to pair with a handmade paper cut-out Father’s Day card made by your child. 

Just Like My Dad

By Tricia Gardella, Margot Apple (illustrator),

Book cover of Just Like My Dad

Why this book?

This is a sweet generational story about a boy who wants to be just like his cowboy dad. He accompanies his father at the cattle ranch and helps him all day with the horses and cows, and mending fences, until they both return home, “feeling tired and good.” But the best part of the boy’s day is when his dad tucks him in with the assurance that he’ll be a great cowhand, just like his father’s dad. It could be a good conversational starter about modeling for your kids, and asking your children How are you just like your dad?

All about Dad and Me: A Journal for Fathers and Daughters

By Rockridge Press,

Book cover of All about Dad and Me: A Journal for Fathers and Daughters

Why this book?

I wish I had a book like this when I was a moody teenager! My dad and I could have been closer and shared more things. A journal like this helps show pre-teens that their father was pretty cool when he was younger, and that parents and kids probably have more in common than they think! This book for 8-12-year-old daughters has questions that both dad and daughter answer plus prompters such as What is your greatest talent? It’ll make a great keepsake for daughters to revisit when they are an adult.

Hair Love

By Matthew A. Cherry, Vashti Harrison,

Book cover of Hair Love

Why this book?

This story is about a girl whose hair has “a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” So when she gets ready for a big day, she wants the perfect hairstyle. This is where her father comes in and helps create a beautiful look. This appeals to those who have unruly hair and the nice twist is that Daddy gets to show his creative side. The daughter is proud of her hair, and her father. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dads, cowboys, and hair?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dads, cowboys, and hair.

Dads Explore 33 books about dads
Cowboys Explore 40 books about cowboys
Hair Explore 6 books about hair

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Sad Dad, Flush, and Becoming a Dad if you like this list.