Both the first day of summer and Father’s Day land on the same day this year.  The following books celebrate both events, starting with Father’s Day.  All are picture books and are good for ages four through eight unless otherwise indicated.

#1 Dad, by Cindy Jin, and cleverly illustrated by Dawn M. Cardona, is a Lift-the-Tie board book perfect for your favorite father on Father’s Day.  The rhyming text on one side of the open page is directly opposite of the different colorful ties toddlers, ages one to four, can lift to find a different label for dad.  There is #1 Fixer Upper for dad repairing toys and #1 Chef for all of those pancakes made – to name a few.

I Heart You, by Meg Fleming, and beautifully rendered in the open page with pencil and gouache by Sarah Jane Wright, simply states through rhyming text how much parents or animals love their child. There is a rabbit hugging their small bunny with the text: I hug you. / I kiss you. The next open pageshows a larger fox hiding behind a tree and it reads: I hide you. I tease you. The tender, loving relationship between parent and child is evident in this sweet book.

Cave Dada: Picky Eater, by Brandon Reese, is a hilarious take on caveman dad and the many antics as he attempts to feed his little one breakfast.  When the baby desires an egg, Dada discovers he has no egg and this little one will not be happy until Dada finds one.  The accident that happens creates a new invention making everyone who reads this begging for it to be read again and again.  The bright pictures, and in some cases made like a comic strip, were rendered by the author in colored pencil, gouache and Adobe Photoshop.

When Father Comes Home,by Sarah Jung, was written as a tribute to Korean fathers who left their homes to fly back to their native country to work in order to provide for their children’s education.  A young June is so happy when Father finally comes home.  The parents decide to plant a tangerine tree and Father tells his boys that next time both the tree and June and Hyun will also be bigger.  There is a strong message here that life can be difficult, but sometimes facing our biggest fears becomes our greatest strengths. The illustrations were made digitally by using Adobe software with graphite medium on velvet paper.

A World of Plants, by Martin Jenkins, and amazingly illustrated digitally by James Brown, is an engrossing and all-encompassing representation of plants, parts of plants and what all they do for this world of ours. This oversized book reaps of information about many topics relating to the subject.  For your budding botanist, or inspiring your possible biologist, here is a most remarkable book helping us all appreciate God’s green earth!  This book is best for ages seven through adult.

Have You Seen a Flower?,by Shawn Harris, is a most extraordinary picture book with colors, made with pencil and colored pencil, that seem to jump off every page with the extreme brightness of color.  Even the end-pages are glowing with color.  It begins with a vibrant colored girl on a journey inside flowers.  By the end of this amazing adventure, you will feel, sense and perhaps even smell flowers.  Most likely, you will look at flowers with much more appreciation! This is best for ages three through eight.

Sweet Pea Summer, by Hazel Mitchell, is a heart-touching story that centers on family relationships and also on hard work.  A young girl is heading to her grandparents’ house while her mom goes into the hospital. After her dad drops her off, she worries about her mom, but grandpa is able to get her busy helping him in the garden, especially helping the sweet pea plants get healthy., The breathtaking illustrations, some fill the open page, are made with graphite and watercolor.   This is a one-of-a-kind book meant for all ages.

Bubbles…Up!, by Jacqueline Davies, and perfectly painted with blue water filling every page by Sonia Sanchez, is a cascading waterfall of a bubbling picture book showcasing jubilant kids swimming, splashing and diving into the pool.  The text moves over, under and inside bubbles with an effervescent zeal of rhyming fun.  By book’s end, you can almost smell the chlorine!  This book is best for ages four to eight.

Birds: Explore Their Extraordinary World,by Miranda Krestovnikoff, and gorgeously, as well as meticulously, illustrated using black-and-white wood engravings and silk-screened Lino cuts by Angela Harding, is an oversized book that would be enjoyed and edified by anyone interested in birds and perhaps leading to budding ornithologists. There are chapters on Birds of Prey, Seabirds, Migration and much more. This would make a perfect coffee table book.

Chase the Moon Tiny Turtle: A Hatchling’s Daring Race to the Sea,by Kelly Jordan, and beautifully illustrated using printmaking, digital, and traditional materials by Sally Walker, is a picture book that celebrates the amazing journey these baby loggerhead turtles make just to reach the sea.  The tremendous difficulties they face, with many types of hungry predators, are only the beginning of their trials.  The simple, yet powerful lyrical text reveals their challenges.  This book is good for all ages.

Millie-Mae Through the Seasons,by Natalie Marshall, is a picture book that celebrates each season beginning with summer.  Each season involves Millie-Mae in a story to help youngsters, ages three to seven, understand what takes place in each season. The colors are bright, and Millie-Mae is adorable!