Ask a child and he or she might say:
He listens when I say things.
He helps me do stuff I want to try.
And when I need him?
He's right there, just always.
Here are three books that celebrate all the patience and love that comes wrapped up in a dad.
Roslyn Rutabega and the Biggest Hole on Earth, written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay ($16.95, Groundwood Books, 32 pages, 2010). Roslyn wants to dig the biggest hole on Earth, but every time she shovels down, she runs into creatures who scoff at her plan and tell her to go somewhere else. Will anyone believe she can dig all the way to the South Pole? Lucky thing Dad is near. In this sweet tale by the author of Stella, Star of the Sea, a father encourages his little girl to follow her imagination even when obstacles abound.
Mitchell's License, written by Hallie Durand and illustrated by Tony Fucile ($15.99, Candlewick, 32 pages, 2011). Rev up Dad's tummy, check the air in his slippers and climb onto his shoulders, Mitchell is driving him to bed. In this adorable tale, a three-year-old pretends his dad is a car, and Dad happily plays along, allowing him to yank his ears for reverse and squeeze his nose to make the car honk. But when Mitchell swerves over to the cookie jar for gas, he discovers that his car might have a mind of its own. Can it really hairpin turn without him?
My Side of the Car, written by Kate Feiffer and illustrated by Jules Feiffer ($16.99, Candlewick, 40 pages, 2011). Until now, something's always gotten in the way of Sadie and Dad driving to the zoo -- like when Mom broke her foot or the family dog got lost. But today is different. Sadie's just sure of it. Not even an escaped tiger can stop their plans. But what about the rain? Not if it's not raining on Sadie's side of the car. In this funny, endearing tale, a dad is tickled by his daughter's optimism and waits out the rain so she can do the thing she so anxiously wants to do.