Anti-Racism Story Time Team: Father's Day Picture Book Recommendations

June 07, 2021 | By Baltimore County Public Library

The Anti-Racism Story Time Team presents picture book recommendations in honor of Father’s Day. Register for our Anti-Racism Story Times, which take place twice per month at 10 a.m. 

Father's Day is observed by many countries around the world in the month of June to honor fatherhood and paternal bonds, and to celebrate the influence and contributions of father figures in our society. In honor of Father's Day, we would like to share some picture book titles that explore the different relationships fathers of all kinds have with their children. These titles highlight and celebrate diverse fatherhood and challenge some of the negative racial stereotypes about fathers in our society.


"Papa, Daddy, and Riley" by Seamus Kirst, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth  
Little Riley loves being Papa's princess and Daddy's dragon. But when her classmate tells her that “real families” have only one dad, and that she must pick one, Riley is conflicted. She doesn't want to have to pick one or the other. She loves both her fathers! This book follows Riley as she comes to the realization that her classmate is wrong, and that real families are simply families that are made of love.  

"For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World" by Michael W. Waters 
When Jeremiah notices the reoccurring shootings that keep happening, he begins asking his dad questions about them. Dad may not have easy answers for Jeremiah, but he’s willing to talk about it. This book is an honest, intimate look at one family’s response to racism and gun violence told from the perspective of a little boy and his father.  

"Visiting Day" by Jacqueline Woodson 
In this poignant picture book by Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, a little girl and her grandmother excitedly get ready to visit her father, who is incarcerated, later in the day. Her father excitedly gets ready to meet her too. Over their journey to each other, this book details the strength and resilience of families and the power of unconditional love.  

"The Favorite Daughter" by Allen Say 
When Yuriko’s father finds out that she hates her name and the way she looks because other kids make fun of her, he helps her find pride and inspiration in her name and heritage, by reminding her of all the wonderful memories and traditions they share This is the story of a father who instills in his daughter the strength and confidence to always take pride in who she is.   

"Papa, Do You Love Me?" by Barbara M. Joosse 
Set in Africa, this picture book introduces a Maasai boy and his father on the Serengeti. Tender Heart wants to know how much his father loves him, so he questions him as they go about their day. Dad reassures his son that his love is unconditional, and that he will always be there to help him and teach him when he needs it. Written in poetic narrative, this gorgeous picture book captures the universal love between father and child.  

"Where Are You From?" by Yamile Saied Méndez 
This award-winning picture book tells the story of a little girl who is unsure about how to respond to constant questions about where she is really from. Through conversation with her abuelo, she learns the answer to this question begins with embracing herself and her identity and finding the value in not completely belonging. 
"My Papi Has a Motorcycle" by Isabel Quintero 
There’s nothing Daisy looks forward to more than riding around the neighborhood with her Papi on his motorcycle and seeing all the warm, familiar places and people. As they ride around, they are reminded that their neighborhood is rapidly changing, but Daisy is sure that this will always be her home no matter what the future brings—because home is a feeling you take with you.  
"Brick by Brick" by Heidi Woodward Sheffield 
Luis and his Papi have big dreams of changing the city and eventually the world. Papi works hard to help build the city brick by brick, and Luis book by book. As Luis and his Papi work side by side, they discover the true secret to achieving their dreams is to work together. This picture book illustrates the warm bond between Luis and his dad and drives home the importance of working hard to achieve your dreams.  
"Thunder Boy Jr." by Sherman Alexie 
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, Thunder Boy Sr., but he wants a name of his own. A name that describes him, that matches his personality, a name that isn’t Little Thunder. But how does he tell his dad he wants a new name, when he knows how much his dad liked that name? Can Thunder Boy Jr. and his dad come up with a special name for him? This sweet and hilarious picture book celebrates the special relationship between father and son.  
"Girl of Mine" by Jabari Asim 
A sweet and dazzling story that follows a little girl enjoying playtime at night with her father. This lovely board book illustrates dad singing adorable rhymes to the tune of "Rock-a-Bye Baby" to prepare his daughter for bed. This is a wonderful bedtime book option for lovers of "Boy of Mine" by the same author.  

Category: Collection and Materials