Children's books: ten albums to (s') offer for Father's Day

Pasta photo frames, abstract drawings, beaded key rings, personalized candle holders, cards in the shape of a tie.

Children's books: ten albums to (s') offer for Father's Day

Pasta photo frames, abstract drawings, beaded key rings, personalized candle holders, cards in the shape of a tie... Like every year, parents of young children will be undeniably spoiled. Alongside these treasures, here is a gift that will delight young and old alike: an album to read together that evokes the parent-child relationship. Funny, poetic, dreamlike, realistic... L'Express has selected ten titles for you among the new releases in the teeming youth section, here classified by reading age.

Fans of the delicious Pastel publisher - the Belgian label of L'Ecole des loisirs - certainly already know the universe of the author and illustrator for young people Emile Jadoul. We owe him dozens of titles such as the successful series of the little penguin Léon - in particular the owl Gros Pipi -, Lapin Bisou, or the "Zip la Boum" collection at Casterman. With this large format album, published in the spring in a new edition, Emile Jadoul signs a graphic and poetic work for infants, from the first months. Mischievous, during the sessions of guilis, tender, the time of a hug, reassuring, to dive into the sea and pull up on the toboggan or encouraging at the time of the first steps: Les mains de papa illustrates a succession of privileged moments and accomplices between a father and his child. A beautiful rounded and cardboard object that should resist both small hands and mouths that venture there.

Dad's hands, by Emile Jadoul, Pastel (L'école des loisirs), 30p., €12.

A succession of privileged and complicit moments between a father and his child.

leisure school

Tender watercolor drawings by illustrator Annick Masson and texts by Sandra Le Guen as funny as they are poetic, punctuated by mischievous rhymes: this is the recipe for Mon papa à moi. A true ode to fathers, this little softcover book for minis from 2 years old highlights different dads and children who share the great adventures of everyday life. We particularly appreciate the play around the verb "to feel" on each double page and the rhythm of this story which resonates a bit like a poem or a song. "My dad feels when I'm woozy. Placed on my forehead, his lips take my temperature. He reassures me. My dad smells the strawberry of the potion he gives me to get better. I swallow a measure and I can close the eyes". A very successful album, which comes in the style of My Mum to Me, released simultaneously in the same collection.

My daddy to me, by Sandra Le Guen and Annick Masson, Casterman, 24 p., €5.95.

In the heart of the forest, a very tall gentleman, tall as a giant, dreams of having a child to teach him to bite into the apples in the tree or to "have his head in the clouds". Having become a father, he discovers his very small, tiny daughter. But everything does not go as he had planned, since the pitchoune is dizzy. At first a little disappointed, he finally discovers, guided by the child, the world below populated by flowers, insects and pretty views of the sky. This charming story about the construction of bonds and love is illustrated by dreamlike drawings of high quality. Especially since the album displays a very low price, below 5 €.

The big daddy and his tiny little girl, by Cathy Hors and Samuel Ribeyron, Milan, 32 p., €4.99.

A charming story illustrated by dreamlike drawings of high quality.


If you liked the now famous albums of Astrid Desbordes and Pauline Martin - notably Mon amour (Albin Michel Jeunesse) - this book is for you. After This child whom I love infinitely and This mother who loves you infinitely, Capucine Lewalle and Maud Legrand sign a new large format duo. The author of the "Paillette et Lilicorne" series and the illustrator, who officiates both in the press and in children's editions, are making fathers speak this time. We find the springs that have made the great success of previous works: a declaration of love, coupled with an inventory of moments of life, mixing fantasy, realism and, of course, tenderness.

This dad who loves you infinitely, by Capucine Lewalle and Maud Legrand, Casterman, €12.9.

Here is a magnificent album combining discovery of the marine world and initiatory journey. Little Blue, a small calf, undertakes a long migration with his father. Along the way, a multitude of questions arise. "When I grow up, dad, will I still hear your singing?" ; "What's there, dad, where we can't see?" Curious, he descends alone into the abyss, discovers the wonders of the ocean and then loses himself in the darkness. Carried by sumptuous illustrations including magnificent gradients, this story never tips over into sentimentality and depicts the confidence of a child in his father.

Le chant de mon papa, by Gianna Marino, Rue des écoles, 32 p., €15.

Robin tries to plan a surprise for Father's Day but instead manufactures a disaster; Louise forgets in the rain the precious bear that had belonged to her father; Léa's dad can't play with her because he's always busy... Based on everyday situations in which the little ones can recognize themselves, Céline Santini and Amélie Laffaiteur have created a charming collection of five stories which realistically explore the father-child bond. All at a low price. Note the simultaneous publication, according to the same concept, of My stories to read with mom.

My stories to read with dad, by Céline Santini and Amélie Laffaiteur, Gründ, 45 p., €7.95.

Five stories that realistically explore father-child bonding.


We had already really liked illustrator Lilia's first album, C'est toi ma mère (2019), the improbable story between a baby crocodile and a duck which delicately evokes delicate subjects such as adoption and mother's disease. Alzheimer's. In this second part, still as sensitive, she draws the cycle of life thanks to the relationship between a baby turtle and its daddy. The latter raises him alone, with tenderness, awakens him to the wonders of nature, protects him until, gently, the relationship is reversed and the little one, grown up, takes care of his father whose strengths decline. The work, carried by magnificent refined and tender drawings, succeeds in not falling into silliness or pathos.

It's you my dad, by Lilia, Mango, 64 p., €14.5.

"Attention, nonsense not to reproduce!", indicates the publisher on the cover page of this book as funny as it is imaginative. It must be said that this advice book of eleven lessons to "soften" your dad if he is angry is actually a delicious manual for jokes and nonsense of all kinds. We particularly like the blow of the vacuum cleaner filled with popcorn or the hard disk of the computer erased under the pretext that "for the memory it is better to learn by heart". A fresh and mischievous album to offer, therefore, to dads with a minimum of humor!

How to unhinge a dragon daddy in 10 lessons, by Marine Paris and Pauline Duhamel, Glénat Jeunesse, 32 p., €12.5.

To offer to dads with a minimum of humor.


Yesterday his father was the tallest and now he is getting smaller and smaller. So small that as time goes by, the child, having become a young man, notices that his dad needs a cushion to drive or a ladder to open the door. Stranger still, this tiny father begins to behave like a child, not tidying up well, not eating, forgetting things. So, in turn, his son takes care of him. Signed by a leading author of children's literature, the Italian Davide Cali and the artist Jean Jullien - to whom we owe the graph "Peace for Paris" -, this large format album is a treasure of delicacy. Serious but not heavy, sometimes funny, it accurately addresses the passage of time, the illness and the fragility of parents who have become old.

Mon petit papa, by Davide Cali and Jean Jullien, Sarbacane, 32 p., 17€.

In youth too, Nicolas Mathieu works wonders. After La Grande Ecole and Le Secret des parents, he signs, with Stéphane Kiehl on the illustration, a new album as nostalgic as it is luminous on fatherhood, childhood and the passing of time. The universal story of a father who does not lose a crumb of his son's early years as he knows how fleeting these moments are. Who trembles for his future and rejoices in his aptitude for happiness. And who, faced with the inexorable, would like to "make in the back of time (...) a design that would never age". It's tender, mischievous and visually very successful; a nugget!

Papa, by Nicolas Mathieu and Stéphane Kiehl, Actes Sud Junior, 26 p., €14.9.

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