Preschooler-Approved Picture Book: A FATHER’S LOVE

It’s time for another installment of Preschooler-Approved Picture Books! Today, I’m excited to share Hannah Holt’s wonderful A FATHER’S LOVE (illustrated by Yee Von Chan).


This heartwarming picture book is great for Father’s Day, and my preschooler can’t get enough of it.

Let’s start with a quick synopsis of the book:

Throughout the animal kingdom, in every part of the world, fathers love and care for their babies. This book takes readers around the globe and across the animal kingdom, showcasing the many ways fathers have of demonstrating their love. Whether it’s a penguin papa snuggling with his baby in the frosty white snow, a lion dad playing with his cub in a yellow field, or a seahorse father protecting his young inside his pouch in the deep blue ocean, we see that a father’s love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Why My Kid Loves This Book

A few features of this book make it particularly preschooler-friendly.

  1. Rhythm and rhyme–Holt’s deft use of rhythm and rhyme make the book a delightful read-aloud. The text’s soothing rhythm also gives the book a bedtime feel, though it’s great for reading anytime.
  2. Animals–The book features zoo favorites, like lions and penguins, alongside more obscure animals, like marmosets and emus. My preschooler loves identifying familiar animals and learning about new ones. Older kids would enjoy the book’s backmatter that includes additional information on each species of dads.
  3. Colors–Each animal’s habitat is described with a color with color-coordinated text. The penguins, for example, live in “swirling clouds of frosty white.”  This extra educational hook is particularly appealing to preschoolers, who can use the text’s color to help identify the corresponding words.

Why I Love This Book

While picture books are mostly for children, they’re also for the adult who reads them forty-seven times a day. And, I love A FATHER’S LOVE as much as my kid does.

Not only did he learn things from this book, but so did I. The animals included in the book are diverse with some unexpected species. Who knew that falcon dads sit on the eggs while the moms hunt? Not me!

Speaking of the falcons, I love that the book emphasizes nurturing roles that animal fathers take on and highlights some “non-traditional” roles of animal mothers.

And, then there’s the writing itself. The language is simple enough for a child, but never simplistic.  Every color included in the book, for example, is modified (the lions live in not just a yellow field, but a one of “hazy yellow”). And, the rhymes are unexpected (“hazy yellow” is rhymed with “lazy fellow”). The tone often feels lyrical, which is quite the feat considering the language also had to support rhythm, rhyme, and (oh, yeah) the story.

Most importantly, the book makes a child feel loved and nurtured. And, how could you ask for more than that?

All in all, A FATHER’S LOVE is a beautiful story of paternal love, masterfully-told and beautifully illustrated. And, it’s (not coincidentally) available in time for Father’s Day.

Pick up a copy here for a special dad in your life.


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