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LAUPlifting, June 2017 – Book Picks

This month, we’re featuring books that reflect the affection and respect we have for our dads. There’s a grown-up novel that makes a great gift for dad, plus age-appropriate books to celebrate your child’s own personal hero.


Little Wolf’s First Howling

by Laura McGee Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee (Candlewick $15.99) Age 2-6

In this recently released humorous and touching tale, written by two talented sisters, Big Wolf demonstrates proper howling form to his cub — but when Little Wolf lifts his muzzle to the sky, he emits a jazzy improvisation. Despite the surprising nature of Little Wolf’s howl, we see the special bond between father-son, and the delightful charm of infectious idiosyncrasies that have the power to unite us.

This is a story about a warm father-son relationship, about tackling a first-time experience, and about encouraging creative individuality.


The Hearts of Men

by Nickolas Butler (Ecco $26.99)

Something for Dad Book clubs around the country have been adding this “men’s” novel to their lists, and it seems author Nickolas Butler has succeeded in creating an emotionally captivating story that appeals equally across generations and genders.

Known already for his best-selling Shotgun Lovesongs, Butler has crafted a sweeping, panoramic, coming-of-age tale that follows a group of boys at a Boy Scout summer camp. The story addresses fundamental themes of life that can naturally serve as the sparks for teachable moments with our children: good and evil, family and fidelity, morality and redemption.

With vivid character development and can’t-put-it-down flow, this emotionally charged page-turner is perfect for Dad’s summer read.


My Daddy Rules the World

by Hope Anita Smith (Holt $17.99) Age 3-8

“My daddy is a porcupine / with whiskers that are prickly. / My daddy is an octopus / who finds where I am tickly.”

Brand new for Spring 2017, this collection of poems celebrates the everyday moments that bond fathers and children. Written through a child’s eye, with kid-friendly short lines and infectious rhymes, it features dads who give guitar lessons and attempt home haircuts, read bedtime stories and make Sunday breakfast, work around the house and serve overseas.

Smith, a Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author and illustrator, has written a lyrical and inclusive volume for modern life and modern families, dedicating it to every man “fathering” any child. Torn-paper illustrations render a rainbow of dads—from beige to brown to black—in a featureless, folk-art style that makes them universally relatable.


Note: Age recommendations are based upon publisher guidelines and parent feedback. Prices are publisher’s list; discounts are usually available.

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