These books with positive male role models are some of our absolute favourites.
Action-packed books with physically strong male leads are not for everyone. Nor should they be the only male role models children are exposed to. Men are sensitive, caring and kind too, and it's so important to show that to our kids and encourage them to show that side of themselves.
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Here are some of our favourite books that contain positive male role models.
HOW TO BE A LION by ED VERE
This one is one of our favourite books in the whole list as it perfectly and age-appropriately explores the question of what it means to be a lion (or to be a man) in society.
In this book, it is said that there is only one way to be a lion and that lions can't be gentle. But, those who think this clearly haven't met Leonard - a gentle lion who enjoys long walks and feeling the sun on his back.
His best friend in the whole world is Marianne (a duck) and Leonard learns quite quickly that the other lions have a different opinion on his friendship with Marianne and what it means to be a lion.
ALFRED AND THE BLUE WHALE written by MINA LYSTAD illustrated by ÅSHILD IRGENS
Alfred is scared of pretty much everything - people, the outside world and more than anything, public speaking. When he is told that he must present a project about the Blue Whale to his entire class, he is terrified.
However, the more he learns about the Blue Whale, the braver he becomes. This is a great read about overcoming fear and shyness, and teaches us all that the true meaning of strength and bravery isn't what we might think.
MY DAD USED TO BE SO COOL by KEITH NEGLEY
This is a gorgeous, emotive story about a young boy and his dad as he reminisces on his life before he became a father. Although Dad might wistfully look back at his time getting tattoos and riding motorcycles, his son still thinks he's the coolest guy around.
This a great read for showing children the alternative roles men can play in life, and that the coolest thing you can be is kind and caring after all.
I’M NOT (VERY) AFRAID OF THE DARK written by ANNA MILBOURNE illustrated by DANIEL RIELEY
This is another great story about true bravery in the face of scary things. Being afraid of the dark might make you think you're not very brave, but even the strongest people have to overcome fear at some point in their life - that's what makes them so strong.
This is a gorgeous tale about a little boy who overcomes his fear of the dark when he realizes all the beautiful things that come with the darkness.
JULIAN IS A MERMAID by JESSICA LOVE
We absolutely love this one. The Sunday Times called it "celebratory and ground-breaking" and we can totally see why. When Julian sees three women dressed as mermaids while riding the subway with his grandmother, he cannot wait to go home and fashion his very own mermaid costume. But what will his grandmother think?
This is a beautiful book about expressing masculinity in your own way, and explores what it means to be unconditionally loved.
RAVI’S ROAR by TOM PERCIVAL
Last but certainly not least comes Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival. Ravi finds it very hard to control his emotions - especially his temper. In this book, Ravi is about to learn a very important lesson about expressing his emotions respectfully as well as how to make amends.
Have you read any of these books?
Family Friendly HQ are delighted to bring you this content in partnership with Children's Books Ireland. Children's Books Ireland works with families, teachers, libraries, publishers and communities all across the island to get books into children's hands. They believe that every child should have access to the joy of reading, regardless of their circumstances. Check out childrensbooksireland.ie for more information, reading suggestions and helpful resources.