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Article: Ele Story Time: Dada's Day reads!

Ele Story Time: Dada's Day reads!

We're so excited to have a fellow Ele Story mama, Jenny Sloat, share a few of her favorite books with us (and her family), just in time for Father's Day!  So grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and enjoy! 

Hi! I’m Jenny Sloat. I live in the Bay Area with my husband and our 17 month old daughter, who is wearing a beautiful Prairie Dress. I’m a huge fan of Ele Story and I LOVE reading children’s books (sometimes with an actual child!) I’ll be showing up every so often to offer some recommendations of books that our family enjoys.

Since it’s Father’s Day weekend, I thought I’d tell you about three of our favorite books about dads!

So, Jimmy Fallon is definitely on my short list of famous people I’d like to be friends with (along with Tim Gunn, Cat Deeley, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Benedict Cumberbatch). I’ve always loved the joy and playfulness he brings to his projects and his children’s book, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada is absolutely brimming with both of those things.

The concept is brilliant in its simplicity (“Why didn’t I think of this and become fabulously wealthy and successful?” is a thought that has definitely crossed my mind while reading this book.) Inspired by Fallon’s own attempts at ensuring that his daughter’s first word be “Dada”, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada features determined daddy animals trying to get their babies to say, “Dada” only to have their babies sweetly reply with their normal animal sound (“Moo”, “Baa”, “Neigh”, etc.) Will the daddies ever get their babies to say “Dada”? You’ll have to read the whole book to find out! (Don’t worry. It’s a board book. It won’t take you that long.)

If “Jimmy Fallon wrote a children’s book” isn’t enough of a selling point for you, consider the following:

  1. This book is so much fun to read aloud, because you get to do both the daddy and baby voices! I’ve especially enjoyed figuring out how all the different animals would each say “Dada.” (My dog “Dada” is pretty amazing, but the rooster continues to stump me.)
  2.  Miguel Ordóñez’s adorable illustrations are just like the story – silly, simple, and smart. I wish you could get them as art prints. They’d be perfect in a nursery.
  3.  It’s a fantastic way to teach animal sounds to your little one.
  4.  Although this book is definitely geared toward babies, it’s clever enough for toddlers to enjoy (you could play a fun call and response game where the adult reads the “Dadas” and the kiddo reads the baby animal sounds.)
  5.  If you’re sweating the fact that it’s Father’s Day and you haven’t bought a gift yet, I’m sure you can find this book at your local bookstore.

If you’re looking for other great books about fathers, might I suggest Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle and Goodnight, Little Bear, by Patsy and Richard Scarry?

At the beginning of Mr. Seahorse, the mommy seahorse says that it’s time for her to lay her eggs and the daddy seahorse asks if he can help. The mommy seahorse replies “Oh yes”, and lays her eggs into a pouch in the daddy seahorse’s belly, so he can care for them until they hatch (I think that mommy seahorse is one smart cookie – let the daddy deal with the heartburn and stretchmarks!) The rest of this gorgeous book follows Mr. Seahorse’s journey through the ocean, where he meets other daddy fish who are also caring for their eggs. This book is a wonderful little biology lesson (I had no idea that male seahorses, sticklebacks, and tilapia cared for the eggs), has a super message, and features (in my opinion) Eric Carle’s loveliest illustrations.

Have you ever been schooled by a children’s book? Goodnight, Little Bear totally challenges me as a parent.

The gist is that Little Bear stays on Daddy Bear’s shoulders instead of getting into bed and going to sleep. And then, instead of lecturing/bribing/begging his child to go to bed, Daddy Bear pretends that Little Bear is hiding and wanders around the house pretending to search for him, all the while ignoring the fact that his giggling child is still on his shoulders. It’s totally darling and ends with dessert AND the child happily going to bed, which, in my opinion, is the definition of a perfect evening. As someone who has the bedtime routine down to a science, I admire Daddy Bear’s flexibility and willingness to play with his Little Bear. It’s good to remember that bedtime can occasionally be postponed for 30 more minutes of make believe and a little chocolate cake. Also, this is one of my daughter’s favorite books. It’s the first one she ever chose herself (she pointed to it in the bookstore and said “Bear! Bear!”), and we read it at least several times a week.

There you go! Happy reading and I hope you have a swell weekend. 


What are some books you're enjoying these days?  We want to know!  You can contribute to Ele Story Time on our blog too!  Just email us at and pitch us an idea!  Happy reading! 

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