20 Great Dog Books For Kids – Fantastic Friends
One of the first sounds children learn to make worldwide is a dog’s bark. Whether its woof, woof (English); guau-guau (Spanish); wow, wow (Chinese); wuff, wuff (German); waouh, waouh (French); bub bub (Catalan); bow, bow (Hindi); they can’t help themselves barking in their language when they see a dog walking down the street. That is why dog books for kids are great early reading choices to make for your little ones.
There are many books with dogs as the key characters that could go on and on forever. I have split the list into age groups; of course, books can go beyond age, or you can read earlier – they are all child friendly so feel free to decide what is best for you 😉 I just thought splitting them might help, and I used as reference what my children enjoyed most at different stages.
Here are my 20 favorite dog books for kids.
Dog books for 0 to 2-year-old kids
1. Where’s the Dog? – Ingela P Arrhenius
A very simple but vibrant book with felt flaps that your child will love to discover. It is very sturdy and fun with a mirror at the end. Where is Mr. Mouse? And Cat? And Bird? And Dog? And you? This is one of our favorite animal books for babies.
2. Pop-up peekaboo Woof! Woof! – DK Publishing
Fantastic attention-grabbing lift-the-flap book. Under every flap, there is a different dog hiding that will surprise your little one for sure. From the Pop-up peekaboo series from DK, this is a beautiful book that will make your little one smile.
3. Oh, No, George! – Chris Haughton
George is a great dog with a big heart. But sometimes, his impulses take over, and he can’t help himself. He thought he’d be good, he said he’d be good… but he wasn’t. It deals with his emotions and how he learns from his mistakes. Like “Shhh! We have a plan”, it is illustrated in a modern and monochromatic style that brilliantly communicates what is happening. It’s a beautiful and sweet board book and great to chat about making sad choices and how to learn from our mistakes.
4. Where’s Spot – Eric Hill
This is a classic. I remember reading it over and over when I was a child. Maybe you did too. Spot’s mother is looking for Spot all around the house. Is he under the bed? Inside the piano? Behind the door? And in each hiding place, we see other animals waiting, from a bear to a crocodile. It is fun, and it is excellent to build anticipation and get a reaction.
5. Go, Dog, Go! – P. D. Eastman
I loved this book as a child; it is very simple but super engaging. It is a classic book, and that is great as well for early readers. Through its great party of dogs of all shapes and sizes, it is fantastic to learn opposites, the most basic colors, counting in low numbers, and about stopping and going. We really enjoy reading it at home, and it has been handy to learn these concepts.
6. Snuggle Puppy! – Sandra Boynton
This charming board book is a beautiful and simple love song from mommy dog (or daddy dog?) to their little Puppy. “Ooo Snuggle Puppy of mine! Everything about you is especially fine. I love what you are, I love what you do. Ooo, I love you!”.
7. Puppy Birthday to You!
If your little one loves to follow the adventures of Rider and his team of pups, this is an excellent short story about how the Paw Patrol gets ready to surprise Chase on his birthday! Based on the TV show episode with the same, they will probably end up knowing them by heart. So it is fantastic to read when their birthday is drawing near.
Dog books for kids: 3 to 5-year-olds
8. Odd Dog Out – Rob Biddulph
Oh my! I love this book. The illustrations and the story are just a masterpiece. It’s the story of the Odd Dog Out that leaves his town because he stands out. He finds somewhere where he fits in but then realizes from the odd dog that there was never anything wrong with him. That we must be who we are. What a lovely book about self-acceptance and realizing that being different is something we should be proud of. You must check out this musical adaptation animation by The Magnard Ensemble of the Odd Dog Out. It is lovely, and your little one will love it.
9. Oi Dog! – Kes & Claire Gray & Jim Field
This book is the sequel to “Oi Frog!” where the frog changes the rules. For example, he doesn’t want to sit on a log – he wants to sit on a dog instead. And so all the rules from the previous book get messed with, and it is brilliant. Really funny too.
10. Dogs Don’t Do Ballet – Anna Kemp & Sara Ogilvie
Biff is not like other dogs. He doesn’t think he is a dog… but thinks he is a ballet dancer and dreams about his name in lights. He spies on his little owner’s ballet class and follows her to a ballet show… where he will surprise everyone and save the day. It is a funny story with lovely illustrations.
11. Can I be your dog? – Troy Cummings
Meet Arfy, a lonely dog that lives in a box and just wants to be somebody’s dog. He writes letters to all the people who live on Butternut Street to see if they will adopt him but gets rejection letters. Then, when he least expects it, he receives a letter. It is a heart-warming story that teaches about dog adoption, rejection and that things can turn out beautifully, even if they are not what you imagined at first. Fantastic book for children that want a dog and families planning on adopting one.
12. Detective Dog – Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie
Peter’s dog Nell has an incredible sense of smell. So when she is not saving cases, she goes with Peter to school, where they enjoy listening to the children’s reading all kinds of books. But one day, they go to school to find out that they have all disappeared! Can they solve the case and find all the missing books? It is a fun story about books, passion for reading, and the friendship between a boy and his dog.
13. Monsieur Roscoe on Vacation – Jim Field
Do you want to learn some French? Then, follow Monsieur Roscoe as he goes on a multiple stop vacation where you can remember a lot of vocabulary with all his friends! Learn words from the city, the beach, the mountains, the countryside, at a restaurant and polite expressions like “hello!” and “thank you!” and many more. The illustrations are fantastic and colorful, and I think it is a beautiful way to introduce your little one to a new foreign language. There is also the version in Spanish with Señor Roscoe. Bravo!
14. 100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count – Michael Whaitem Field
Meet 100 dogs; each one is different, each one has another attribute that describes him. It is excellent to learn adjectives and a fun book to look at! The illustrations and situations are wacky and funny, and I’m pretty sure they’ll make any dog lover have a good time.
15. Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
We love this brilliant book where kindness and friendship are at its heart. The witch and her cat fly on a broom high across the sky, but the wind blows away her hat, bow, and wand. Lucky for her, three animals (the first one is a dog) help her find her lost items, and they ask to tag along, to which she always says “Yes!”. Unfortunately, their broom breaks as they encounter a Dragon who wants to eat the witch for tea. So they all join forces to help her kind friend who is in need! It also has a beautiful 25-minute animated adaptation that you can find on Amazon Prime or DVD. We love it!
16. The Poky Little Puppy
This picture book is a classic. One of the 12 original stories was published in the Little Golden Books collection in 1942. It became a bestselling book that has been around for over 80 years. It is the story of five little puppies that dig a hole under the fence to go for a walk in the wide, wide world. But their mother is displeased with them – because they should not be digging holes – and doesn’t let them have dessert until they correct their mistakes. The story is quite long and has proportionally more text than illustrations compared to current books. For this reason, I think it is for slightly older kids.
Dog books for kids: 6 year olds and above
17. Clifford the Big Red Dog – Norman Bridwell
Meet Clifford and Emily Elizabeth! Clifford is big. Clifford is red. But most of all, Clifford knows how to be a good friend. This is the original Clifford book published in 1962 and has since been a must-read for all dog-loving kids. In addition, a live-action picture with a big animated Clifford is scheduled to be released in September 2021. Check out the trailer. We’ll definitely be going to watch it!
18. The Invisible Leash – Patrice Karst & Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
From the creators of The Invisible String – this is a story to celebrate love after losing a pet. Zack is sad because his dog Jojo died this week. But his friend Emily tells him the news: when our pets are not here with us anymore, the invisible leash connects our hearts together forever. Zack is skeptical, but Emily gets to him to believe in it too. It is a book about emotions, friendship, sharing, and love. What I also like about this book is the diversity of the characters and Zack’s mix-race family. It is a very inclusive book for everyone who loves and has lost a pet. It is a heart-warming and delicate story that I highly recommend.
19. National Geographic Kids Dogs Sticker Activity Book
This activity book is great for dog lovers! It is packed with over 1000 stickers, filled with many facts about dogs and fun activities to keep them entertained for hours – like coloring sheets and mazes. It is a great educational and entertaining book for them to enjoy. I’d say it is excellent to take on travels, hospital visits and enjoy during rainy days indoors. There are many more books in this collection like ocean animals, dinos, and cats. Great gift for them to learn while having fun!
20. National Geographic Kids Everything Dogs
This is a fantastic non-fiction book filled with actual facts and natural pictures that will help you explore the world of these extraordinary animals! You’ll meet the dogs, learn about their life, see the dog family tree and learn all about having fun with dogs. They say that their friendliness combined with their ability to connect to humans make dogs one of the most loved animals in the world. Here you can learn a lot about them!
Fantastic dog books for kids
Depending on your child’s age and interests, some books might be more appealing than others. These are our favorite dog books, the ones my children are growing up with. I hope this selection will be helpful for you and your little (or not so little) one.
I will love to hear if you have enjoyed any of these or other books suggestions that work great for you and your family. So please share with me in the comment section below! We are always interested in discovering new books!
Happy reading! *