You Made Me a Dad

Book review by
Angela Zimmerman, Common Sense Media
You Made Me a Dad Book Poster Image
Sweet story honors emotions and experiences of fatherhood.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This tender tale can help kids understand what it means to be a parent and gain insight into what that experience feels like.

Positive Messages

A father's love for his child (or any parent's) is deep and transforming. There's a special bond between father and daughter. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The father is doting, inquisitive, involved, loving, adventurous, and 100% committed to the special role of being a father to his child. He's a multifaceted, hands-on parent who seemingly relishes every step of parenthood. The racially diverse family shows a white dad and a brown-skinned daughter.  

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that You Made Me a Dad, by Laurenne Sala (You Made Me a Mother) and illustrated by Mike Malbrough, captures the wondrous emotions of having a child. Told from a father's point of view, it covers his feelings from pregnancy to birth and beyond, including the expectation of having a baby and all of the questions, fears, excitement, and anticipation that come before and after the arrival of a child. You Made Me a Dad poignantly carries the reader through various experiences a parent shares with a child, from reading stories and sharing music and exploring the outdoors together. Rich watercolor illustrations show a white dad and brown-skinned mom and daughter, as the little girl grows from birth into childhood. 

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What's the story?

In YOU MADE ME A DAD, author Laurenne Sala and illustrator Mike Malbrough capture the many facets of fatherhood, from the feeling of anticipation before a baby's arrival to the unique and important experience of having a child to raise and care for. The father is very doting, involved, and eager to share his interests and passions with his kid, taking a hands-on approach to parenting. 

Is it any good?

This warm, tender picture book is a poignant exploration of the father-child relationship and a moving tribute to that very special dynamic. It shows how the dad's devoted feeling begins even before his baby comes into the world. This sweet story captures the special relationship of a father and daughter but could help kids understand what an emotional experience it can be for any parent or caregiver toward a kid of any gender.

You Made Me a Dad  captures many standout moments, from sharing stories, music, and laughter together to exploring what it means to raise a child with empathy, kindness, curiosity, and an adventurous spirit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how fatherhood is shown in You Made Me a Dad. How is a father's experience unique? How can it differ from the experience of a mother, grandparent, sibling, or friend? 

  • What kind of activities are shown here between father and daughter? What kind of things do you like to do with your family? 

  • Do you think being a parent is any different for a dad than it is for a mom? What would be different, and what would be the same? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dads and family

Themes & Topics

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