Having a great father figure has a positive effect on children. But whether you're a mother or father, let's face it, real life's challenges mean it's not always so easy to be great all the time. (Okay, let's be honest: it's impossible!)
And that's where reading once again comes in as our champion, with wonderfully great, rad dads like my favorites — Pa from Little House in the Praire and Ramona's dad, Mr. Quimby — both of whom can be found in the fantastic books below. From traditional fathers, to single dads and surrogate pops, being great definitely takes all kinds.
Check out our list to see if we've included your favorite fictional dad.
1. I’m starting this list off by breaking a rule. To Kill A Mockingbird isn’t children’s literature but I couldn’t ignore Atticus Finch because he is the epitome of a great dad.
2. Mr. Quimby didn't just love Ramona and her siblings when they were good — he loved them when they were the complete opposite! Mr. Quimby loving parenting style shines most brightly in Ramona and Her Father.
3. Danny’s father William is in his own words, “The most marvelous and exciting father a boy ever had.” He is a single dad trying his best to create a wonderful life for his son in Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World.
4. Many of us were raised with Pa played by Michael Landon on TV, but the Pa we loved was based on the Pa in Little House in the Big Woods. I'm breaking another rule of this list by calling Pa fictional because Laurie Ingalls Wilder’s classic series is very much biographical.
5. He is caring, considerate, and supportive! Owen’s dad in Owen by Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite picture book dads, and if you read the book you’ll see why!
6. Would you run all over the city looking for your child’s lovey? The dad in Knuffle Bunny did just that when his daughter’s special stuffed animal went missing. Easy to understand why this dad one of my favorites.
7. Big Nut Brown Hare from Guess How Much I Love You is another picture book favorite. He throws his little bunny in the air with a heart full of love and throughout the story tries his best at explaining to him the limitless nature of his love.
8. Matthew from the Anne of Green Gables series deserves a spot on the list — he's not Anne's biological dad, but nonetheless, he assumed the role of father with grace and skill. His sensitivity and good nature connected immediately with her, and you know that every time she breaks a rule or makes someone mad he was chuckling to himself as Marilla doled out punishment.
9. Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter series cares for Harry and Hermione as if they were his own children, as well as being an amazing affectionate father to his own children. His childlike curiosity is a lesson to all those who are cared for by him as is his fierce devotion to his family.
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