Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, June 14, 2013


Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. 
~Ruth E. Renkel 
Hop On Pop (Dr. Seuss)

As a follow-up to my Mother's Day "Most Memorable Literary Mothers", here are my Favorite Literary Fathers from children's literature...

My Top 10, in no particular order:

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
I just had to post this wonderful photo of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch
from the film Adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird [source]
"Atticus, he was real nice" 
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." 

"Papa" from Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me (Eric Carle)
But no matter how much she stretched, she could not touch the moon.
"Papa", said Monica to her father, "please get the moon for me."
 "Here", said Papa to Monica.  "I have the Moon for you."

Charles Ingalls, "Pa", from the Little House books (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Art by Helen Sewell, 1940 - source
"It can't beat us!" Pa said. 
"Can't it, Pa?" Laura asked stupidly. 
"No," said Pa. "It's got to quit sometime and we don't. It can't lick us. 
We won't give up." 
Then Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.

King Babar, Father of triplets! from Babar and His Children (Jean de Brunhoff)
Babar was peacefully fishing and thought the children were playing. As he hears this desperate cry for help, he understands that something serious must have happened. He stands up and trumpets angrily when he sees the horrible crocodile...
Now everyone is asleep. Babar and Celeste will go to bed too. They are gradually calming down after all these exciting events.
"Truly it is not easy to bring up a family," sighs Babar. "But how nice the babies are! I wouldn't know how to get along without them anymore."

The Daddy from Knuffle Bunny (Mo Willems)
"Trixie and her daddy went down the street, through the park, past the school, and into the laundromat...But on the way home, Trixie realized something..."

Mr. Weasley, from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
Ron: "Yeah, Dad's crazy about everything to do with Muggles; our shed's full of Muggle stuff. He takes it apart, puts spells on it, and puts it back together again. If he raided our house he'd have to put himself under arrest. It drives Mum mad." 

Frank B. Gilbreth Sr, "Dad", in Cheaper by the Dozen (Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey)
"Dad took moving pictures of us children washing dishes, so that he could figure out how we could reduce our motions and thus hurry through the task. Irregular jobs, such as painting the back porch or removing a stump from the front lawn, were awarded on a low-bid basis. Each child who wanted extra pocket money submitted a sealed bid saying what he would do the job for. The lowest bidder got the contract." 

Mr. Moody -"Father"- from Little Britches, Father and I Were Ranchers (Ralph Moody)
"I wish I knew how Father was able to say things so as to make you remember every word of it. If I could remember everything the way I remember the things Father told me, maybe I could be as smart a man as he was." (read my post about this wonderful book here.)

Captain Crewe, "Papa", from A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
Illustration by Ethel Franklin Betts
Then he went with Sara into her little sitting-room and they bade each other good-by. Sara sat on his knee and held the lapels of his coat in her small hands, and looked long and hard at his face. 
 “Are you learning me by heart, little Sara,” he said, stroking her hair. 
 “No,” she answered. “I know you by heart. You are inside my heart.” 
And they put their arms round each other and kissed as if they would never let each other go. 

Mr. Penderwick from The Penderwicks Series (Jeanne Birdsall)
“...even a tiny bit of deceit is dishonorable when it's used for selfish or cowardly reasons." 
 - Mr. Penderwick”

"HAPPY FATHERS DAY!", and thanks again to all my Facebook followers for your wonderful recommendations!

It was so hard to pick my Top 10 Literary Dads - here are a few more fathers that I had to give an "Honorable Mention" to:
Lavrans Bjorgulfsson, Kristin Lavransdatter's father (trilogy by Sigrid Undset).  Was there ever a more long suffering father? If you've not read this series, set in medieval Norway, put it on your summer reading list! (YA-Adult Fiction)
Mr. March, "Father" from Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) Because of the war, he's an "absentee father" for much of the book, adored by his wife and daughters;
Carson Drew,"Dad", from the Nancy Drew series - a widower and respected lawyer - he often enlists Nancy's sleuthing help with his cases.
Mr. Bennet, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - his style is a bit sarcastic and passive aggressive, but seriously, considering he had to manage a household of five girls and one ridiculous wife, he did pretty well, don't you think?

These Dads might make next year's list:
William, the imperfect father from Danny the Champion of the World (Roald Dahl) - I can't personally recommend this book until I've read it (not sure how I missed it, since my oldest son is a huge fan of anything by Mr. Dahl!).  It was nominated by My Book Corner. You can read an interesting and comprehensive review of the book here by Mari Ness at tor.com.
Moominpappa (The Moomin Dad) from Tove Jansson's Moomin series.  I have got to get my hands on these books - have had them recommended so many times!

My Real Life Dad:
This post is dedicated to my own father, who passed away ago barely one year ago.  You can read my tribute to him, here.  An author, editor, musician, and priest, he was first of all a devoted husband to my mom and a loving dad to me and my five siblings.  A list of his books can be found here on Amazon.


  1. Oh - I agree, agree, agree! (except I've never read Harry Potter, so I can't comment on Mr. Weasley). I especially adore Mr. Penderwick, Mr. Moody & Mr. Gilbreth - oh and Captain Crewe AND Mr. Ingalls. Great list - even the honorable mentions!

    I also love: Mr. Woodlawn from Caddie Woodlawn; Father in The Winged Watchman; and Armand from The Family Under the Bridge (although he's not technically a father, he grows into that role during the book).

    Happy Father's Day~


  2. I'll have to re-visit Caddie Woodlawn - I read it soooo long ago, that I don't remember much of the story. The other two books sound fascinating - especially the The Family Under the Bridge. My daughter would especially love it -she and her husband lived in Paris for 10 months. Thank you, Michelle - I love discovering books I haven't read!!!