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Best Dog Books for Kids

Our book reviewer, Sheila, has a new family member: Cinder, a puppy. That has inspired her to look for books about dogs. We hope her recommendations will make for some great reading over the Christmas break.

I hope our new dog, Cinder, will follow in the paw prints of our other canines and go to our local library where children can pet her and read to her.



The highly respected, well known author, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, wrote this novel, SHILOH, for middle-grade readers about a boy and a dog. Told from Marty’s point of view, it will capture readers attention immediately. In first person, present tense, Marty describes Sunday dinner at his house and how he’s having a hard time eating the meat on his plate. Not because it’s rabbit. No, he tells us, it’s because he’s afraid he’ll bite down on buckshot. Few readers in fourth through seventh grade will be able to resist reading on to find out how Marty deals with a dog – a dog who has run away from a mean owner. The author followed this book, winner of the Newbery Award, with two more about these realistic and memorable characters.


Dog man: a tale of two kittiesDog Man

DOG MAN: A TALE OF TWO KITTIES by Dav Pilkey fits loosely in a category labeled “graphic novels.” In other words, it’s like several  comics that tell a story and are bound as a book. This one is full of humor and silly surprises by the author of the incredibly popular Captain Underpants stories. If you have children who are just starting to read independently, this would certainly cause a lot of giggles while it might even encourage them to make up their own characters. Graphic novels are also a huge success with older kids who find reading a regular book a daunting task. DOG MAN is one book that could appeal to kindergarteners through fifth graders.   


Hero dogs: courageous canines in actionHero dogs

HERO DOGS: COURAGEOUS CANINES IN ACTION by Donna Jackson is a large format, non-fiction picture book with plenty of fascinating, informative text to accompany the full color photo illustrations. Divided into two parts and appropriate for readers in fourth grade on up, the book gives a detailed account of the dogs who were involved in attempting to rescue victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attack in New York City. The second part provides a range of facts about other amazing canines. The animals featured are trained for specific jobs such as “companion dogs” or “hearing dogs.” One dog is a family pet who saved the life of his owners’ baby son by alerting them to the little boy’s life-threatening medical condition. After reading this book, children will see their own pets from a different, more respectful perspective.


A dog named DougDog named Doug

Now here’s a story with an easy-to-read, picture book design that meets its goal of entertainment. A DOG NAMED DOUG by Karma Wilson, uses the name “Doug” to describe a canine who loves to dig. The delightfully zany illustrations by Matt Myers fit the story perfectly and expand it beyond the boundaries of the pages. The final double page spread shows Doug has dug his way into outer space. Kindergarteners through third graders will love hearing this bigger-than-life, tall tale read aloud.

All that remains for us to say is: Season’s Greeting from us to your families.