18 picture books for new dads on Father's Day

What's better than a tie for Father's Day? These children's books that show Dad as a hero.
by Lisa Tolin / / Source: TODAY

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Sure, you could give dad a tie. Or some golf balls, or grilling utensils, or whatever else dads seem to like.

But why not give him the joy of celebrating fatherhood with his children? Picture books singing dad’s praises are plentiful, and give him an intimate moment with his child, a love song across generations. (Or, some burp jokes. There are lots of those, too.)

Here are 18 books that are the perfect gift ideas for Father's Day.

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

“Pet Dad,” by Elanna Allen, $16, Amazon

Pet Dad, books
Pet Dad.Elanna Allen

Dad does not want a pet, so Plum gets the only pet she can: Dad. He’s lots of fun, but the training is more complicated than she expected.

“Dad By My Side,” by Soosh, $12 (originally $17), Amazon

Dad By My Side, books
Dad By My Side.Soosh

With Dad by her side, this little girl can do anything. Tender illustrations show the special relationship between father and daughter.

“Because I’m Your Dad,” by Ahmet Zappa, illustrated by Dan Santat, $8, Amazon

Because I'm Your Dad, books
Because I'm Your DadAhmet Zappa

A great choice for the “cool Dad” — this monster from rocker Ahmet Zappa and rock star illustrator Dan Santat is a fan of drum sets, burping and spaghetti for breakfast.

“Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada,” by Jimmy Fallon, $6 (originally 8), Amazon

Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada, books, Jimmy Fallon
Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada.Jimmy Fallon

Join the whole animal kingdom in trying to get baby to say Dada in this follow up to "The Tonight Show" host's “Everything Is Mama.”

"My Dad Is Amazing,” by Sabrina Moyle, illustrated by Eunice Moyle, $8, Amazon

My Dad is Amazing, books
My Dad is Amazing.Sabrina Moyle

Dad is tougher than a rhino wrestler and cuddlier than a ton of bunnies in this Technicolor board book for your littlest ones.

“With My Daddy: A Book of Love and Family,” by Jo Witek, illustrated by Christine Roussey, $12 (originally $17), Amazon

With My Daddy, books
With My Daddy.Jo Witek

This whimsical book from the creators of “In My Heart” takes a tour of emotions felt with dad, from excitement and adventure through calm reassurance. Chew-resistant pages make it good for little ones.

“Wish,” by Matthew Cordell, $14 (originally $17), Amazon

Wish, books
Wish.Matthew Cordell

An elephant family starts with an “us” wishing you were here, and staying steadfast no matter what storms come. This is an especially poignant choice for anyone who struggled to start a family.

“My Dad Used to Be So Cool,” by Keith Negley, $13 (originally $18), Amazon

My Dad Used to be So Cool, books
My Dad Used to be So Cool.Keith Negley

What could possibly have made dad give up rock bands and motorcycles? Don’t worry, Dad’s still cool to his son.

“Daddy, Papa and Me,” by Leslea Newman, Carol Thompson, $7, Amazon

Daddy, Papa and Me, books
Daddy, Papa and MeLeslea Newman

Two dads means double the fun in this rhyming board book. Or check out these picture books that celebrate LGBTQ pride.

“Drawn Together,” by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat, $15 (originally $18), Amazon

Drawn Together, books
Drawn Together.Mihn Le

This one is for grandpas. A boy and his grandfather have trouble bridging their language gap, until they find a new way to communicate beyond words.

"Heroes for My Daughter," by Brad Meltzer, $13 (originally $18), Amazon

Heroes for My Daughter, books
HarperCollins

Meltzer was inspired by the birth of his daughter to put together this compilation of mini-biographies. There's also "Heroes for My Son," though each book features both men and women.

“My Dad Is the Best Playground,” by Luciana Navarro Powell, $8, Amazon

My Dad is the Best Playground, books
My Dad is the Best Playground.Luciana Navarro Powell

Dad is the highest swing and a great climbing wall in this celebration of playful dads.

“If I Didn’t Have You,” by Alan Katz, illustrated by Chris Robertson, $18, Amazon

If I Didn't Have You, books
If I Didn't Have You.Alan Katz

What could a father and child do without each other? They entertain ideas of staying up late and using the child’s room for a personal butler, but each knows they’d rather have each other.

"Daddy Depot," by Chana Stiefel, $9 (originally $18), Amazon

Daddy Depot, books
Feiwel & Friends

When Lizzie sees an ad for Daddy Depot, she thinks she can find the dad of her dreams, but discovers the model she has isn't so bad.

“Daddy Dreams,” by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, $4 (originally $6), Amazon

Daddy Dreams, books
Daddy Dreams.

How do animal daddies sleep? With little ones by their side in the latest of the series that includes “Daddy Kisses” and “Daddy Cuddles.”

“Tell Me a Tattoo Story,” by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, $14 (originally $17), Amazon

Tell me a Tattoo Story, books
Tell me a Tattoo Story.Allison McGhee

This tattooed dad has touching stories behind his ink, indelible illustrations of his love.

“Be Glad Your Dad… Is Not an Octopus,” by Matthew Logelin and Sara Jensen, Jared Chapman, $14 (originally $17), Amazon

Be Glad Your Dad is Not an Octopus, books
Be Glad Your Dad is Not an Octopus.Matthew Logelin, Sara Jensen

Your dad might be perfect, but at least he’s not a dung beetle (who would pile poop in your room). This funny take on animal dads has fun animal facts for kids.

“I Love My Pirate Papa,” by Laura Leuck, Kyle M. Stone, $7, Amazon

I Love My Pirate Papa, books
I Love My Pirate Papa.Laura Leuck

A pirate papa is there for swashbuckling adventure, but prizes nothing more than his son.

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