Father's Day is just around the corner and it seems like the perfect time to mention the many campaigns at the moment encouraging dads ...

Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 BookBairn 3 Comments

Father's Day is just around the corner and it seems like the perfect time to mention the many campaigns at the moment encouraging dads to read with their children.

Recent research from Harvard University revealed that children benefit more from their father reading bedtime stories as they spark more "imaginative discussions" and discuss the stories in such a way that leads to better language learning and development. (For more information on this, the original article I read is here.) You can see from the video below that reading with her daddy has certainly improved BookBairn's language skills. To be honest, I think children benefit from listening to stories no matter who read them but it is interesting research nonetheless. Daddy BookBairn has fully embraced our BookBairn-y household and we almost always read bedtime story as a family all together.

A video posted by BookBairn (@bookbairn) on

With Father's Day approaching we have been collecting a lovely pile of books that are perfect for celebrating how wonderful dads are (whether they read aloud or not!). I shared one of our favourite dad books and we still love this story: 'I Love My Daddy' by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Emma Dodd is a beautiful ode to dads.

'Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada' by Jimmy Fallon with illustrations by Miguel Ordonez has been an instant hit in our house! Not only is it completely true that BookBairn's first word was "Dada" (her second was "book"!! Mama came a pitiful third - I know my place!) this book is a hilarious take on all fathers' secret campaign to ensure that their babies' first word is "Dada"! Each page features a daddy and a baby animal with the daddy saying "dada" and the baby responding with their appropriate animal sound, I won't spoil the end, expect to say that it's not a huge surprise whether this campaign is successful! (At least it wasn't to me). The absolute charm of this book is in the illustrations! They are beautifully simplistic with strong colours set in pastel backgrounds making each creature stand out on the page. The variety of expressions will appeal to grown ups from pleading dads to grumpy dads to desperate dads to angry dads, its fabulous! I must admit I was originally skeptical about this book as it was written by a celebrity I thought it might be 'lacking' for want of a better word but I have been proven wrong. This book is cute, funny and bang on point. Perfect for dads of little people who are yet to say their first word or for dads who love doing animal impressions (and we all know ones that do!).

 The ' My Little World' series have done it again and again! This time, they have produced the wonderful 'I Love My Daddy' by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway. I have mentioned before how much we love these books with the finger-holes to add a fantastic textural element. Each page features a die-cut star that gradually gets smaller and smaller as you turn the pages, BookBairn loves to touch and play with this star using it to lift the pages in order the turn them by herself without skipping a page (which happens often when she is turning pages by herself). The characters in the story are adorably illustrated using bright colours and soft lines, each with large smiles! The children in the book are all enjoying spending time with their dad and celebrate their dads by sharing why they deserve a shiny star. This is a cheerful and rhyming tale of why children think their dad is special: an ideal story for celebrating dads on Father's Day!

I think all dads strive to be 'cool', at least in their kids eyes, which is why the title of our next book might make for the perfect gift for Father's Day (giving mums a good giggle in the progress). 'My Dad Used to Be so Cool' by Keith Negley flawlessly captures the relationship between a father and his young son. This is the story of a father who used to be a rock star (at least that's what the son believes) and therefore used to be 'cool' who has now traded in his rockstar lifestyle to raise his son. Of course, the little boy doesn't quite see it that way. He sees rock concerts, motorbikes and tattoos traded in for hoovering, the school run and the park. What could have possibly prompted such a change? The graphic illustrations use a bold colour pallette and have a retro/vintage feel to them that are truly striking amongst the picture book illustrations that you usually see. Featuring a fantastic fold-out spread, this is a beautifully emotive tale of the sacrifices of parenthood told in a way the children will understand with illustrations that will appeal to dad and kiddies alike!

For all those dads who love reading with their kids, there are several campaigns on the go at the moment to encourage dads to read with their children that might be worth checking out:
  • Penguin Books are running a competition under the hashtag #realdadsreadpicturebooks where you can win a prize pack of picture books and a $100 gift card (open internationally) by uploading a picture of your wee one reading with their dad to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or uploading on the linked website. For more information click here.
  • On Instagram, @chickadee.lit and @storyaday are collating a book list and photos of dad's reading aloud under the hashtag #readalouddads.
  • BookTrust have a fabulous 'book finder' option with lots of suggestions for books to read and they have a special list of 'Great Picture Books for Dads to Read Out Loud' linked here.
Hope you all have a lovely Father's Day this weekend, we will certainly be celebrating with a bedtime story! Mummy and BookBairn x

*DISCLAIMER* I was given our copy of 'My Dad Used to be Cool'  and 'I Love My Daddy' for free from the publisher for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own. I won a copy of 'Your Baby's First Word Will be Dada' on  Toppsta.

Read With Me


  1. I'm afraid MummyBookBairn's first word was "Mumma", then "Toado" (whatever that was) then "Dada". I was third as well.

  2. Gorgeous selection of books to celebrate the most important man in a child's life! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe