Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate, we look at a dozen children’s book dads who’ve made a big impression on us.
1. Nim’s scientist father Jack with whom she shares their island home in Nim’s Island and the other Nim stories. While much of the action in the first book is driven by Jack’s absence, we know he cares deeply for Nim and is desperate to get back to her. And we love his connection to ‘Alex’ Rover …
2. and 3. The dedicated and heroic Fantastic Mr Fox and exciting and amazing (if criminal) William from Danny, the Champion of the World: both books by Roald Dahl.
4. Edward’s grandfather in the delightful 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie: an encouraging but tough mentor/coach.
5. Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man, who survives many adventures before making it back home to his family for Christmas.
6. The stern Captain Woolcot in Seven Little Australians. Withdrawn and irascible, he’s certainly not a model dad but he made a lasting impression on us. And he does try to treasure his other children more following the tragic accident towards the end.
7. Mr Brown in the Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond: hapless, big-hearted and somehow always caught up in Paddington’s escapades.
8. and 9. Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, whose family is such a model and a refuge for Harry. We love his staunch belief in equality of all people and his amusing (if not always appropriate) enthusiasm for his children’s pranks. We must also mention James Potter, who we don’t meet in the books, but is always in Harry’s thoughts and bravely died to save his family.
10. Pongo from 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith: a loving dad on a heroic quest.
11. and 12. Honourable mentions also to Rowena’s eccentric, embarrassing dad about whom she cares so much in Blabber Mouth by Morris Gleitzman; and the dad in Paul Jennings and Andrew Weldon’s Don’t Look Now series who shares (and is secretly proud of) Ricky’s skill of flying – so long as no one is looking.
Which storybook dads would you add to this list? Please comment below. And if you like this list, please consider sharing it using the social buttons.