A picture of several books featuring well-know father figures on a red background with orange stars

Image: Ryan MacEachern/Penguin

Daddy from Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti Harrison (2019)

It’s a very important day for Zuri and so she needs her hair styled just right. Her mum usually helps to do Zuri’s hair – which coils, kinks and curls every which way – but it’s Daddy who is having to step in today. We love this tender tale and how despite not being an expert in the hair-styling field, Zuri’s Daddy will do and try anything to make her happy.

William from Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake (1975)

Danny’s mother died when he was very young, so it’s just him and his father William. Danny loves his dad – he thinks he’s the most marvellous father anyone could have. Plus he tells the best stories, his favourite being about the BFG. The pair live in a caravan behind the garage and service station that William owns and operates. And although Danny and William lack financial means, the thing they do not lack is love for each other. And at the end of the day, that’s all anyone really needs.

Tom Oakley from Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (1981)

The Second World War has just begun and young Willie Beech is evacuated from London to the country. He’s boarding with Tom Oakley; a grumpy and reclusive widower in his 60s who the people of Little Weirwold are slightly afraid of. But the arrival of Willie brings out Tom’s kind and caring side and gives him another chance at being a father, a role that was taken from him as a young man. Tom and Willie form a strong bond, and when Willie returns to London and is in danger, Tom is willing to break the rules to save him.

Mr Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

In this classic, Mrs Bennet is desperate to find the perfect husband for her five daughters. And so, when two wealthy gentlemen arrive in town it becomes her mission to matchmake. Unlike his wife, Mr Bennet is for his period, quite a liberal. Although it’s important that his daughters marry well so they can be provided for in life, he values their happiness more than the rank they can achieve through marriage. “An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Grandude from Hey Grandude! by Paul McCartney & Kathryn Durst (2019)

Grandude is one very cool dude. He loves going on adventures and he really loves his grandkids. They’re currently staying over but it’s a really grey and wet day. Everyone is really bored. So, being the cool dude that he is, Grandude whips out his super special, magical compass. He whisks away his beloved chillers on a fantastic adventure around the world where they visit a golden beach, head to a desert valley, and relax on a wildflower-covered hill. 

Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

Although he features in a Christmas tale, Bob Cratchit is a dad to be admired all year round. He works for the cruel Ebenezer Scrooge and is paid a measly wage, but despite this, he always remains grateful, positive, and compassionate towards others. Even Mr Scrooge. Bob is a very loving family man and has a particularly strong bond with his youngest son Tiny Tim who wears leg braces and uses a crutch. And it's thanks to his love for Tiny Tim that Bob (unknowingly) helps melt the miserable Scrooge’s heart.

Daddies in My Daddies! by Gareth Peter & Garry Parsons (2021)

The little girl in My Daddies! is very lucky. Both of her fathers are kind, funny, and smart. They’re also brilliant at reading stories and whenever they do, they’re all whisked away on exciting journeys. Sometimes they battle dragons, hunt down deadly dinosaurs, or take a trip to the moon! Inclusivity in books is tremendously important which is why we love this fun story from Gareth Peter and Garry Parsons.

Oliver Warbucks from Annie by Thomas Meehan (1980)

Orphan Annie and billionaire Oliver Warbucks come into each other's lives unexpectedly. Annie has been having a rough time at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage, and so when the opportunity to spend Christmas at Warbucks’ mansion comes about, she jumps at the chance. Warbucks is not a fan of children but comes to develop a great fondness for Annie during her stay. So much so he wants to adopt her! But Annie is sure her real parents will one day be back for her. Despite Annie’s rebuff, Warbucks is determined to help for Annie’s happiness is the most important thing to him.

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