The Dads Make Stories Magic logoDads Make Stories Magic

Dads Make Stories Magic is a collaborative campaign from BookTrust in partnership with Farshore and HarperCollins Children's Books.

Sharing books is a great way for dads and their children to spend time together and has fantastic benefits for both of you - but research shows that fewer dads than mums are reaping these rewards, so we want to make sure no one misses out on the magic.

Scroll down to find some top tips, book recommendations, storytime videos and more to help you start reading together...

Find out how dads are getting reading

Librarian Paul lying on the floor of the library sharing a picture book with a young child

Just relax. Don't worry about it. Your child's not going to be judgmental. They'll enjoy doing something with you

Paul, librarian

Just having that that bonding time, that skin-to-skin contact is very important... it's about sharing the intimacy of a story - that special moment between between you and them

Keith, family support worker

Help more dads discover the joy of sharing stories

Find great books to enjoy together

We know it can sometimes be hard to know which books to share with your family, so we've put together lists of great reads that we think you'll really enjoy!

Best picture books about dads

Father's Day 2023 is on Sunday, 19 June and we've got all the books you need to enjoy together. 

Books to cuddle up and share

Reading a book together with your toddler is great for their development. Cuddle up together to enjoy some of our favourite stories to share.

Brilliant books to read to primary school children

Reading books to children has lots of amazing benefits - even when they're learning to read (or can read) themselves. We think you'll love sharing these great titles.

Picture books about single dads

Dads can be funny, loving and the best playmates. They are also often the sole care-giver, at least some of the time. Here’s a selection of fantastic picture books that feature a father and child having adventures together. Perfect for sharing with little ones.

Fun books to share

This selection of picture books are very funny, and many also use rhythm, rhyme and repetition to hook in children sharing them with you!

Books featuring Single Dads

Parents are not usually the focus of books for children – they’re not the ones having the adventures, after all! Here are some of our favourite stories that happen to have a single dad, including some adoptive dads, in the background. Sometimes this is through death, sometimes divorce, and sometimes the reason is never mentioned. All children will enjoy thes…

What the research says

New findings show that only one in three children are read a story every day or nearly every day by their dads - and that dads are more likely than mums to lack confidence in their own reading ability and in choosing books their children would enjoy.

Download the research briefing (PDF)

Top tips for sharing stories

My top tip for making reading with your child fun is to let go of your inhibitions and get as silly as possible

Lee Newbery, author

1. Make it personal

You could swap in names to make the story personal to your child – why not make them the star of the story, or set it in your home town?

2. Bring it to life

Try using a soft toy to tell the story or experiment with silly voices (children will love hearing you putting on a new voice – the sillier, the better!)

3. Take books on the move

Books aren’t just for bedtime – you can dive into a story anytime, anywhere. Why not take a book with you to the park, on the bus or in a cafe... and share the magic of stories wherever you are.

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Enjoy story time videos

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What if my child doesn't like reading?

If your child finds reading difficult or maybe boring, don't worry - we've got lots of tips to help you find the joy in sharing stories and recommendations of which books to try.


Not sure what to read next? Use our Bookfinder - just choose an age and theme and it will share great reading recommendations with you!

A bedtime story every night

Find out what dad Kieron learnt when he read a bedtime story to his son every single day of the year...

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