The West

Stories to share a father s affection
Daddy's Cheeky Monkey.

When schools talk about getting parents involved in the education of their kids, many assume that it's the mothers who would do most of the work. Mothers tend to help out in the canteen, listen to the kids reading in class as well as read the stories before bedtime. Why should mums have all the fun?

Research has shown children's literacy levels improve greatly when fathers get involved with reading. They are as important as mothers when it comes to encouraging kids to read. Dads can also set a good example by getting into reading themselves. By showing their kids, especially boys, that reading isn't a "girly" activity, dads are helping to make education a priority.

Around this time every year, bookshops are filled with wonderful new children's books just perfect for dads to share with their kids. With Father's Day this Sunday, why not make yourself comfortable with your little ones and enjoy one of these new and not-so-new stories?

You'll love sharing this with your favourite cheeky monkey. Daddy's Cheeky Monkey, by Andrew Daddo (HarperCollins, $12.99) is a great board book that is simple to read but lovingly told. Read it often enough and your little chubby chops will start to read along with you.

For an Australian version of Guess How Much I Love You, Baby Bilby's Question (Little Hare, $24.95) written by our own Sally Morgan provides the perfect answer to the age-old question of how long will you love me. Until a wombat waddles on the moon? Maybe forever.

See if you can recognise yourself in Justin Ractliffe's Dads: A Field Guide (Random House, $19.95). Are you an Undie Dad? Or perhaps a Boxer Dad? Or maybe a Scruffy Dad. You will laugh out loud looking at all the great illustrations.

If you see yourself as the next Jerry Seinfeld then take a look at My Dad Thinks He's Funny, by Katrina Germein (Black Dog Books, $24.99).

Filled with those silly little jokes and sayings that all dads seem to say to their kids, this book will have you and your little straight man giggling all night.

If you're more of a DIY man then Our DIY Dad, by Ned Culic (Lothian Books, $16.99) will set the scene for a day filled with family togetherness and handymen's dreams. First stop is the hardware store then on to building the best treehouse in the street.

These books have been around for a while but would still be perfect for this Father's Day. He's My Dad, by Leanne White (Wild Eyed Press, $13.60) makes Dad look like a galah, while No Kind of Superman, by Danny Parker (Windy Hollow Books, $27.95) shows that not all dads are superheroes but would like to be. My Two Super Dads, by Bronny Fallens and Muntsa Vicente (Bronny and Muntsa, $15) shows that family love comes in all forms.

The West Australian

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