With Father's Day just around the corner, I thought this would be an appropriate time to celebrate Dads -- animal dads. Yes, believe it or not, there are many animal species where dad takes more than a passing interest in his offspring. Some of these amazing animal dads even show up in books for kids. Here are a few that might interest you.
- Animal Dads written by Sneed B. Collard III, illustrated by Steve Jenkins - Okay, you know I'm a sucker for the work of Steve Jenkins. This book is no exception. The collages are fantastic and help to highlight animal dads that actually take on caregiver responsibilities in the wild. Included you will find the Emperor penguin, gorilla, wolves, Nile crocodile and more.
- Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle - In this tribute to animal dads of the sea, readers meet Mr. Seahorse, who has just taken over the duty of caring for the eggs deposited in his pouch. As he moves through the sea, he meets five other fish fathers, a stickleback, tilapia, Kurtus nurseryfish, pipefish and bullhead catfish, all of whom help with prenatal care.
- Just Us Two: Poems About Animal Dads by Joyce Sidman - I love the poetry of Joyce Sidman. This wonderful volume of appealing poems highlights such animal dads as the poison arrow frog, ostrich, and giant water bug.
- Animal Fathers by Russell Freedman - Okay, my copy is old and worn (published in 1976), but this is a really terrific volume that discusses the child care behavior of fifteen animal fathers including the Downy Woodpecker, House Wren, White-handed Gibbon, Common Marmoset, and others. You may be able to find a copy in your local library.
- How about a song? Check out Animal Dads by Two of a Kind
- Read A Father's Day Top Ten (Animal Fathers) at National Wildlife Magazine.
- National Geographic did an article a few years back entitled Father's Day Special: All-Star Animal Dads.
- Time for Kids did a story on Dads at Work, highlighting animal fathers. From this page you can link to the story, teacher's guide and reproducibles.
- Try out this scavenger hunt focusing on animal dads.