just-dad-meJust Dad and Me, (edited by Erin Falligant with illustrations by Stacy Peterson, $10.95, www.americangirl.com, ages 8 and up)
I love a book that encourages daddies and daughters to bond, like this interactive book, appropriately sub-titled “The fill-in, tear-out, fold-up book of fun for girls and their dads.” It boasts a page with coupons redeemable for things like “a silly face to make you smile,” a chart where daughter and dad can list their favorite season, sports team, band, etc., and a “Trading Places” section. Here’s a chance to interview Dad about the kind of boy he was growing up, and for his daughter to imagine what she will be like when she’s a grown-up. There are instructions for painting on rocks, making paper helicopters, writing poems, even a push-out backboard for a game of waste basket hoops, but my favorite has to be “Make a Pact,” which father and daughter fill in and affix to the fridge as a reminder to spend more “together” time every month.

nfldads_300NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters: Inspiring Personal Accounts of Fatherhood from the Men of the NFL, (edited by Leslie Satchell (Triumph Books, www.TriumphBooks.com, $24.95)
I bet when you think of an NFL football player you think of eye black, heavy padding and mouth guards, but what about the softer side of these athletes, the more sensitive daddy side?

Here’s a collection of insights on fatherhood from over 70 NFL players including Donovan McNabb, Torry Holt and Matt Hasselbeck. These “heartfelt words” will shed light on the more playful, nurturing side of these gridiron action men along with their interpretations on what it means to be a man and role model in society today.. The charming photos that accompany each essay only add to the beauty of the overall message of love and caring conveyed by these professional athletes. Players’ thoughts about preventing domestic violence and empowering women makes this a most meaningful book to share with girls .

Brian Waters, Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Guard
“My relationship with my daughters is so special. Their tenderness awakened a different side of me.”

Tony Gonzales, Atlanta Falcons: Tight End – “Honoring commitment and demonstrating healthy love and affection between a man and a woman will be more powerful than just lecturing young people.”

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