The first Father’s Day happened on June 17, 1910, because of a successful campaign in the US by Sonora Dodd to recognise the role of male parents with a celebration similar to Mother’s Day. Sonora’s inspiration was her own father who successfully raised six kids alone after his wife died in childbirth. A June date was chosen to commemorate the month of her father, William Smart’s birth. Father’s Day became more popular during World War II, when the day was used to honour troops serving in the war. It became an official national holiday in 1972. Mother’s Day had already been a holiday for 58 years.
Like many countries, Malaysia will celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June i.e. 15 June this year. Daddies these days are more than just providers and protectors – they change diapers, draw baths and help with night feeds. Many attend prenatal courses and breastfeeding talks. The daddies in our lives deserve due appreciation for the many often thankless things they quietly do for the household.
Drawing a blank about what to buy the daddy in your family this Father’s Day? Why not get him his very own collection of children’s picture books? Below are 5 books featuring fathers that he may enjoy reading in silly voices to the kids at bedtime:
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
This stunning book by Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame – is about Monica wants to play with the moon, but can’t reach it. So her Papa sets out to get it for her. It’s ingeniously designed with several fold-out pages that open horizontally and vertically to show the very long ladder Papa fetches and climbs to reach the full moon. Papa succeeds in climbing all the way to the moon, only to find that it is too big to carry home. So he waits while it grows smaller, until it is finally the right size to bring home. Monica dances with her new gift but it keeps shrinking until it disappears. However, a thin sliver soon appears in the sky, eventually becoming full once again. This beautifully illustrated story is also a splendid introduction to the monthly lunar cycle as it revolves around the waxing and waning of the moon.
Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino
There are few things more rewarding for a child than receiving undivided attention from a parent. “Friday is my favourite day,” quips a little boy who looks forward all week long to the Friday ritual he enjoys with his father – breakfast at their favourite diner. It describes their leisurely walk through the neighbourhood as it slowly comes to life. Yaccarino’s classic artwork complements this sweet and simple story that the author wrote based on a similar ritual he started with his son whom he felt he did not see often enough. It was also to help his son cope with the arrival of a new baby sister. Yaccarino hopes that all parents can set aside some time to be with their children without distractions. The idea of a weekly tradition will resonate with children who have similar routines with their parents, and will inspire families that don’t already have one to spend more time together. Perhaps many years from now, your children will also carry on a similar tradition with children of their own.
My Dad Is Big And Strong, BUT…: A Bedtime Storyby Coralie Saudo (Author), Kris Di Giacomo (Illustrator)
“Every night it’s the same old thing, with dad refusing to go to bed. He wants to play, read stories, even sleep with me, and when he makes his pleading face, I always give in and read him another story. But that’s it, since enough is enough. When it get’s really tough, I tell myself, “Have courage. We’re almost there.””
I love this funny, delightful book that takes a common scenario in households with small children (like mine!) and turns it on its head. It talks about a boy trying to put his dad to sleep and gives our mini insomniacs a glimpse into what a pain they can be at bedtime, whilst acknowledging the playful yet tender bond that exists between a parent and a child.
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Using a combination of black-and-white photographs and his trademark expressive illustrations, Willems’ wonderful book explores the difficulties of communicating with a pre-verbal child. Trixie and Daddy take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. Things take a dramatic turn when Trixie realises that her stuffed toy, Knuffle Bunny was left behind but try as she might (in hilarious gibberish), she cannot get her father to understand her problem. They both arrive home unhappy. Mom immediately sees that Knuffle Bunny is missing. They go back to the Laundromat where Daddy finally finds the toy among the wet laundry and reclaims hero status.
My Daddy is a Pretzelby Baron Baptiste (Author), Sophie Fatus (Illustrator)
This book with a different “twist” is perfect for the new age daddy who wants to share his love of yoga with the kids. The author, Baptiste is an internationally known yoga instructor who has written several guides for adults. His debut yoga title for children uses a clever picture book framework to introduce basic yoga poses alongside various professions. The young narrator draws parallels between what the other students’ parents do and what his father – a yoga instructor – does. For example, the lines “Niki says her mommy’s a gardener. Sometimes my daddy’s a tree” are followed by a picture of daddy in the tree pose along with step-by-step illustrations demonstrating how to move in and out of the posture.
May the dedicated daddies out there enjoy these reads and have a Happy Father’s Day!
Li-Hsian recently left a career in corporate communications to become a full-time mum to twins. She is learning new things daily as she tries to balance the romance of motherhood with the messy realities of her latest role.
Image Credit: Macmillan Publishers, Simon & Schuster, Enchanted Lion Books, Amazon.