Fatherly Stuff: 3 Children’s Books that Secretly Get Dads Teary-Eyed

Aug 12, 2013

3 Children’s Books that Secretly Get Dads Teary-Eyed


What makes children’s books so special?
I think that it's their ability-through words and imagery- to invoke powerful feelings that resonate with kids as well as parents. Usually, my son’s nightly bedtime routine consists of him choosing a book for us to read together. Every now and then, he will grab book that tugs on the heartstrings a little bit. And it’s not like I’m really that emotional of a person, but the authors do a great job of weaving a story that embodies the strength and depth of a parent’s love.

Here are a few of the main offenders :

Love you forever, by Robert Munsch
http://www.fireflybooks.com/media/475/9780920668375.jpg
I have never read a book that in the most basic yet thoughtful of ways, gives the reader a window into such complicated subjects such as the cyclical nature of life, the curiosity of youth, the eternal love and patience of a parent and in turn the obligation we have to our parents as we get older. I bet anyone to try and get through the final pages with a dry eye. When you’re finished crying, you can send me $20 through my PayPal account.


 The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
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This book is about a female Tree who loves one little boy so much that throughout his entire life, she gives him everything she has to see him happy. Then, when she had nothing else to give, she gives even more. The tale of thankless self-sacrifice- and the joy in doing so- resonates with almost any parent who has changed a few million pampers packed with putridity without a second thought.


 The Kissing Hand
http://www.audreypenn.com/pennimages/covers/kissinghandlarge.jpg Source
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What makes this book so interesting is that the premise of the story of based on the real life ritual of raccoon mother and her baby, as witnessed by the author http://www.audreypenn.com/kissinghand.html

This beautiful story is about a mother raccoon and her son, Chester. Sensing that Chester is having some anxiety about separating from her to go to school for the first time, she kissed her son’s hand so that he would have it to comfort him throughout the day. I don’t know about you, but the “Kissing Hand” technique has been very helpful when putting my son to bed or dropping him off at daycare.


After reading and of these books,  I always  have the urge to hug him just a little bit tighter. These stores are more than just pictures on a page. For me, they represent love, in material form.
I encourage dads to read these stories with your kids, but be warned: Prepare to get that lump in your throat, pretend those pesky allergies are bothering you again.
What other books get you a little emotional?