Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day: great dads in children's stories

Hop on PopHappy Father's Day! We have a great day planned here, with a special breakfast, doing chores that dad would normally do, and then going to the pool together. I was thinking this morning of great dads in children's stories. While several do come to mind, what's more apparent is how most children's stories focus so much on the child that great dads just don't stand out. Here are the great dads that came to my mind. What stories would you add to the list?

* Meg's dad in A Wrinkle in Time, by Ursula LeGuin
* Mr. Penderwick in the Penderwicks series
* Pop in Hop on Pop
* Henry's dad in the Henry and Mudge series
* Tomasa's father in Journey of Dreams

Some of these fathers are just plain fun, but most play a special role in their child's life. Meg's dad particularly stands out to me. She was so determined to find him, so determined that he hadn't just left the family. And then when she was so confused on her journey, he was there as a rock for her, providing guidance and a grounding. Tomasa's father, in Journey of Dreams, tells stories and folktales to his children each night as they travel from war-torn Guatemala to the United States in search of the rest of their family. These stories provide an escape, but they also are a way for him to share their culture, and to provide hope or teach them how to take care and be cautious on their way.

What fathers speak to you as you read stories with your children? I'd love to see this list grow :-)

I hope you have a great Father's Day in whatever way you choose to celebrate. One of the greatest pleasures I have is seeing my children adore reading stories with their dad. Please note, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small percentage will go to Great Kid Books, at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.

(c) Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books, 2011.

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