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The Best Personalized Books For Father’s Day: Which custom books to gift dad for Father’s Day (and what not to!)

 

Father's Day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate Dad than with a Father’s Day gift that speaks volumes? Personalized books have taken the world by storm, and they make a great gift for Father’s Day.

They offer heartwarming tales tailored to the unique bond between father and child. However, let’s not kid ourselves—while there are some gems out there, many of these custom books can be very bland. I’ve plowed through these literary offerings with a critical eye (and a healthy dose of skepticism). Here’s the lowdown on what’s wrong with most of them, and a few that actually get it right.

What’s Wrong with Most Father’s Day Personalized Books?

Storyline: Yawn-Inducing Plots

Let’s start with the plot, or rather, the lack thereof,  it makes watching grass grow seem like a thrill ride. Cliches are a staple of the genre but some books take it to a whole new level. Some of them are as basic as “10 Things I love about Dad” or “My dad is the best”. Yes, all dads are the best, we get it, snoozefest. 

The problem with these plots isn’t just that they’re unoriginal; it’s that they’re unimaginative to the point of being insulting. They recycle the same tired tropes and platitudes, offering nothing new or engaging. It's like the writers took a checklist of generic compliments and strung them together with a bit of clip-art level illustration. Not the most original personalized gift for Father’s Day for sure!

Generic Characters, Generic Stories

Many of these personalized books come with characters and stories so generic they might as well come with a one-size-fits-all sticker. Personalized? Hardly. More like a copy-paste job with your dad’s name slapped on it.

These books often feature a cookie-cutter dad figure who embodies every stereotypical “dad” trait without any real individuality. He’s strong, wise, and loves you unconditionally—blah, blah, blah. Where’s the dad who tells terrible jokes, insists on fixing everything with duct tape, or falls asleep on the couch with a football game blaring in the background? I would want to gift Dad a personalized book that’s as personal as he is!

Poor Quality

You’d think shelling out a small fortune for a personalized book would guarantee quality, right? Wrong! Some of these books cost more than a fancy dinner but deliver less satisfaction than a soggy sandwich. From flimsy pages to amateurish illustrations, the quality often leaves much to be desired. The paper feels like it’s one step above newsprint, and the binding looks like it might not survive a single enthusiastic read-through by an eager child. The illustrations often look like they were done by someone who just discovered Microsoft Paint.

Too Cheesy

Sure, a little sentimentality is nice, but some of these books lay it on so thick you’ll need a shovel to dig through the mush. It’s like the authors were paid by the cringe-worthy line. "You’re my hero, Dad" and "I love you more than all the stars in the sky" sound more like a bad Hallmark card than a heartfelt story. A touch of genuine emotion can be beautiful, but there’s a fine line between touching and eye-rollingly saccharine.

Funny? Not So Much

Humor should be a given, right? Wrong again. Some of these custom books try so hard to be funny they just end up being cringe-worthy. There’s a missed opportunity here to capture the real, often hilarious dynamics between dads and kids.

Stick-Figure Caricatures

Sorry, but Dad deserves better than what looks like a child’s first attempt at drawing people. Stick figures? Really? These illustrations are not just simple; they’re simplistic to the point of being offensive. We’re talking about dad’s head being a perfect circle with a few lines for limbs.


Books That Made the Cut

Amidst the sea of mediocrity, a few personalized Father’s Day books stand out.

Daddy and Us - Manimal Tales

  • Rating: Personalization: 9/10, Story: 9/10
  • Pros: This custom book is the perfect gift for Father's Day or any day to show Dad how much he's loved. It can be customized for up to four children who can read it aloud, taking turns. It has customized text for each child's age and experiences with Dad with beautiful and vibrant illustrations, bringing the personalized story to life. In addition to that the story Highlights
    • Babyhood: Being held and cuddled.
    • Childhood: Playing board games and having long chats.
    • Ongoing Bond: Daddy is always there for his kids.
  • Cons: Despite personalization, some parts of the book might still feel generic, lacking deeper personalization beyond surface-level details

Daddy and Us  is a heartfelt, personalized read-aloud book that celebrates the special bond between father and child, making it a cherished keepsake for any occasion. 

Verdict: It is a versatile gift suitable for Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion and a timeless gift Dad will treasure


Lost for Words - Librio

  • Rating: Personalization: 9/10, Story: 6/10
  • Pros: From skin color to facial hair, even glasses, Dad's character comes to life in this story. With 13 language options, Dad can enjoy the story in his preferred tongue. It’s a genuine reflection of family life, perfect for fathers with children over 16.
  • Cons: The storyline jumps quickly, lacking continuity, and it doesn't do a great job of making the narrative engaging or fun.

The story begins with the child as a baby, including funny anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of early fatherhood—think loud crying and messy first meals. It’s best for the first child as it captures the newness of fatherhood. However, it jumps around too quickly, losing continuity. It tries to show the perspectives of both the child and dad but doesn’t quite succeed in making it engaging. Despite this, it has some fun details, like Dad helping with homework and dealing with fights, culminating in a touching ending where the child returns home with their own child.

Verdict: Great personalization and some touching moments, but the story could use more coherence and depth.

I Love You Dad - Hooray Heroes

  • Rating: Personalization: 10/10, Story: 7.5/10
  • Pros: This book scores a perfect ten on personalization. With 12 skin tone options, 33 hair color options, and 23 hairstyles, Dad's character truly comes to life. You can choose up to 10 mini-stories to highlight Dad's unique qualities and quirks.
  • Cons: The storyline is somewhat fixed, leaning heavily on mini-stories and poems about how great Dad is. It’s less customizable in terms of narrative and more suited for older children.

The stories are endearing and hit all the right notes for older children who want to reminisce about the good old days. You get to pick qualities to attribute to Dad, making it feel somewhat personal despite the standardized format. Think of it as a customizable love letter with illustrations. It starts with a flashback to childhood and includes fairytale-esque elements, like Dad being a prince or a warrior. While it’s not the most “personalizable” in terms of narrative, it’s not overly cutesy or corny.

Verdict: A solid choice for those who value visual customization. Just don’t expect a Pulitzer-winning plot.

Super Dad - ISeeMe

  • Rating: Personalization: 7.5/10, Story: 8.5/10
  • Pros: This book is hilarious, depicting Dad as a superhero who tackles everyday tasks with ease. It’s relatable, funny, and doesn’t drown in clichés. Plus, it’s one of the few books that includes an option for "Dad-to-Be."
  • Cons: It lacks variety in personalization with only three skin tone options.

The narrative here is genuinely funny, portraying Dad as a superhero who handles everyday tasks like mowing the lawn and fixing stuff around the house with superheroic ease. It pokes fun at the stereotypical “dad skills” with a loving wink and nod, making it a joy to read. Plus, it acknowledges that Dad isn’t perfect, which is a refreshing change. Dad is the super fixer who can fix everything with duct tape (or so he thinks) and he teaches you good from bad. 

Verdict: This book will make Dad laugh and maybe shed a tear—of laughter. It’s perfect for dads with children of all ages.

Daddy’s Magic Hugs For You - Wonderbly

  • Rating: Personalization: 9/10, Story: 8.5/10
  • Pros: Excellent personalization with nine skin tones, 12 hairstyles, and 16 hair colors. It’s a cute, mushy story that works well as a bedtime staple for younger kids (ages 0-7).
  • Cons: The storyline is very saccharine, which might not appeal to everyone.

This book excels with young children, presenting a sweet and simple storyline about the magic of Daddy’s hugs fixing everything from boo-boos to bad days. The personalization is impressive, making each illustration feel truly reflective of the child and their dad. The story covers the child's day from morning to night, emphasizing that a hug from Dad makes everything better. It ends with an “I love you,” making it a perfect bedtime read.

Verdict: A great bedtime story for young children and their dads, filled with heartwarming moments.

All About Dad - Manimal Tales

  • Rating: Personalization: 9/10, Story: 8.5/10
  • Pros: All About Dad is a highly personalized gift, offering extensive customization with personal photos and heartfelt messages. It is tailored to capture the unique details of Dad’s life, making it a truly special keepsake. This book holds significant sentimental value, serving as a cherished memento filled with personal memories .
  • Cons: It does come with a few challenges. It requires 11-14 specific types of photos, such as childhood, family, and current pictures, which might be difficult for some families to gather. The process is time-consuming, There's also a potential for errors, as personalized text and photo placement require careful review to avoid mistakes that could affect the final product’s quality.

As a versatile gift, it is perfect for Father's Day, birthdays, or any special occasion, appealing to a wide age range and appreciated by the entire family. The All About Dad : Photostory is also engaging, and a great keepsake of memorable events.

Verdict: It places Dad at the heart of a heartfelt narrative, celebrating his role in the family and making him feel like the Most Valuable Pop while having the option to add photos to make it even more special!

 

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, when it comes to finding the perfect personalized Father’s Day book, we recommend the above list as being the best of the lot (and obviously within that, we think Daddy and Us and All About Dad are the bestest!) . These books combine meaningful personalization with engaging and heartwarming stories, making them ideal gifts to celebrate Dad.

Daddy and Us offers a highly personalized and versatile read-aloud experience. With vibrant illustrations and customized text for up to four children, it beautifully captures the special bond between father and child. This book is perfect for creating lasting memories and engaging the entire family in heartfelt storytelling, making it an excellent choice for Father's Day or any special occasion.

All About Dad is great simply because you can add photos to the personalized story and make it a treasured set of memories you can preserve for years to come. Nothing beats picking up a book with photos years later and taking a walk down memory lane. The uniqueness of this PhotoStory book and its ability to add your own photos to the personalized story is what sets it apart from the rest.

Both custom books successfully avoid the pitfalls of generic and overly sentimental personalized books, providing a thoughtful and delightful way to honor and celebrate the most important man in the family.

 

General Questions

Manimal Tales is a publisher of beautifully illustrated personalized books. We have personalized books for children and adults. From birthday books to new baby tales, and from bedtime stories to ABC books, we have custom books for all occasions!

We even offer PhotoStories, our personalized picture books with photos.

At Manimal Tales, we fervently believe every child should be the hero of their own story!

Personalized books (or custom books as they are sometimes referred to) allow the reader to become the hero of the story - literally.

The main character in the story is the reader / receiver of the book, and is represented by an avatar that looks like them. There are usually lots of additional personalized details printed in the stories, including the receiver's name, age, family members and more.

Our PhotoStories offer a whole new level of personalization by allowing you to add your own photos into the story and have them printed out with the book.

Browse through our collection of custom books to see which ones work for your loved ones!

It's super easy to personalize your own book!

Browse through our collection of personalized stories and select the titles you want. On the product page, add the details required to personalize the book (name, age, family members, photos etc.). You can then preview the entire book before you buy, so you know exactly what you're going to get!

Once you're satisfied, add the book to your cart, enter your payment details and your unique, one-of-a-kind personalized book will arrive on your doorstep in 6 to 9 days!

The short answer is that it depends on the personalized book title in question!

All books will have your loved one as the main protagonist and their name will be printed on the book cover as well as in the story.

In some of our books like Dreamland and What Will I Be? the (the An ABC Story) your loved one's name is printed on every page.

In our Manimal Tales series, in addition to your child's name, you can select an avatar that looks like your child.

In our custom baby tales, Your Baby's Story and Your Baby's Story (Sibling version), you have to enter names and select avatars for the parents and the siblings as well.

And for our PhotoStories, you can further customize the books by uploading and adding your own photos directly into the book. The stories have been written to incorporate the photos as part of the story itself.

Whichever personalized book you do choose, we guarantee your loved one's will love our custom tales just as much as we do!

We have books for all ages and occasions! On the menu bar at the top of the page you can filter through our collections of personalized books by a variety of different criteria.

We have personalized books for:

- Birthdays

- New babies / baby showers

- Bedtime books

- Back To School / ABC books

- Seek & Find books

We also offer custom books with engaging stories about:

- Friendship and bravery

- Standing up for your beliefs

- Animal rights and adventure

We have personalized books across all ages:

- 0 to 3 years

- 3 to 6 years

- 6 years and above

- Adult stories

Lastly we have our PhotoStories, which allow users to upload photos and have them become part of the story!

- Happy Birthday Personalized PhotoStory

- Your Baby's Personalized PhotoStory

Nothing beats getting a book with your name on it!

Personalized books are treasured and loved by all, and make great keepsakes.

We offer custom books for all occasions, ensuring you will always find a book to meet your needs.

You can always reach us by filling out our Contact Form.

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