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Celebrate Fathers Day with books
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Pay tribute to Dad with these moving and fun picture books, including one to assist kids when Daddy comes home injured from war.

"My Side of the Car" by Kate Feiffer; illustrated by Jules Feiffer; Candlewick Press; 32 pages; $16.99.

Little Sadie has wanted to go to the zoo with her dad forever, but something always gets in the way (lost dog, grandparent visits, hospital trip). However, this time the pair is finally on the way, but it starts raining, pouring even on Dad's side of the car. On Sadie's side though, it's surprisingly sunny, and she can envision lots of people putting on their sunglasses and heading into the zoo. This pattern continues — with Dad's side of the car getting poured on, and Sadie's side just maybe experiencing one drop.

"My Father Knows the Names of Things" by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Stephane Jorisch; Simon & Schuster; 32 pages; $15.99.

Penned by multi-award winner Jane Yolen, this love letter to all wise and loving dads pays tribute to the dad who knows the name of every kind of dog, bird, fish and bug. A sweet look at the awe many young children have for their fathers, Yolen's tale backs up many kids' claims that "my dad knows more than your dad!"

Jorisch's quirky and funny illustrations more than complement Yolen's childlike words, making "My Father Knows the Names of Things" a perfect Dad's day read.

"Your Daddy was Just like You" by Kelly Bennett; illustrated by David Walker; Putnam Books for Young Readers; 32 pages; $17.

"Your daddy never wanted to take a bath. But once he was in the tub, he never wanted out. He splashed and sang. And made sudsy disguises. Just like you." This is an example of the lively text in this sweet ode to boyhood.

Young tots will enjoy knowing that their dads were once little children just like them. Bennett's lighthearted picture book reads like a secret, special letter penned by a grandmother to a grandchild — with the most poignant of Dad's dirty, silly childhood moments thrown in.

"My Father is Taller Than a Tree" by Joseph Bruchac; illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin; Dial Books for Young Readers; 32 pages; $16.99.

Tender and loving, Bruchac's lyrical rhymes capture heart-warming moments between 13 different father and son pairs in this beautiful book. A fantastic reminder of the importance of the simple pleasures in life between fathers and their children, this picture book shows bike riding, raking leaves and making silly faces at each other. Some of the men are called Dad while others are Pop; there's even a Pa and Mi Papa.


"Our Daddy is Invincible" (by Shannon Maxwell; illustrated by Liza Biggers; 4th Division Press; 36 pages; $15.95) is a thoughtfully-penned picture book to help aid children when Dad returns injured from military duty. As a military wife, Maxwell has a beautiful and hopeful message: That a soldier father's wounds won't stop the wonderful experiences in the future. Helpful and positive, "Our Daddy is Invincible" has military overtones, but it also contains broader applications for any families living with disability or injury.

By Geoff Blackwell and published by Chronicle Books, "Dear Dad" ($14.95) is a photographic essay about what it means to be part of a family — from unforgettable images of children, fathers and grandfathers. A fabulous Father's Day gift for any dad or grandpa, award-winning photographer Blackwell knows his stuff.

By Todd Davis, "Handy Dad" ($24.95) offers 25 awesome, action-filled, safe projects for kids and dads to concoct. There are half-pipes, zip lines, go-karts, lava lamps, water-balloon launchers, a rope bridge and even a circus tent.