Growing up, many of us have fond memories of our fathers sitting down and reading us a classic children’s book. But each new dad has to make a decision of what books they should choose for their own children’s bedtimes. There are hundreds of great works of children’s literature out there for new and old dads alike, but here are five books we deem essential for all dads’ collections.
Green Eggs and Ham
This article could literally just be five Dr. Seuss books, and you’d be set. That said, we’ll limit our Dr. Seuss selections and just go with the essentials. Green Eggs and Ham is simple, fun, and strangely comforting as far as bedtime stories go. This is an essential book for every dad.
The Giving Tree
Despite the fact that some take issue with the “taking” nature of the boy in this story, Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s book remains an essential book for all households. Even if this might be one of the more depressing books on the list, it’s still worth having, especially for when your children start to get a little older.
This book is essentially a lullaby, and as such belongs on this list for utility purposes if nothing else. Sure, new dads want to read to their children to form an important bond with them that will last throughout their lives, but sometimes they just want the damn kids to pipe down and go to bed. And Goodnight Moon definitely helps get that job done.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
You’ve already got a Dr. Seuss book, which teaches your children the joy of language. You have Shel Silverstein, who teaches your child morals. And you have Goodnight Moon, which will lull your child to sleep. But sometimes you need a book that just has a bunch of cute pictures. And few classics can compete with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, whose basic story following the titular caterpillar is fine, but which has been around for decades thanks to its illustrations.
And for our final book, even though he’s already represented in your library, we again have to go to the legendary Dr. Seuss with…
Cat in the Hat
We had to just limit ourselves to two books by Dr. Seuss, but you can’t just have one Dr. Seuss in your collection, even if you’re just getting started. Of all the dozens of titles to choose from, we’re going with The Cat in the Hat, which might be one of the most fun and silly books Seuss has ever written.
Of course there are plenty of other books to choose from. Literally every Dr. Seuss should eventually make its way into your collection. Your child will likely love Where the Wild Things Are. You can even go with the really old classics, like Peter Rabbit. It’s up to new dads to build up their children’s literature library, but the important thing isn’t which book to choose, but rather that you choose to get the books in the first place, so your child can also grow up with that experience of reading books with their dads.