top dog books for kids meme with boy and dog

Reading ability has a significant impact on all areas of academic learning. Poor reading skills at an early age are linked to lower self-esteem, underachievement, a dislike of school and an increased risk of dropping out.

While working on our  “Dogs Make A Difference” TV Episode, research showed that one way to encourage students to read more and improve their skills and confidence, is the introduction of dogs as reading buddies. Health and psychological studies indicate the benefits of contact with animals, particularly for children.  They can provide children with a relaxed and non-judgemental atmosphere where they can feel comfortable learning. A bit of reading time with the family pet can greatly improve your child’s literacy skills.  Guess what type of books the kids requested? Books about dogs.

Read: Dogs Helping Children – Reading to Dogs Programs.

We are currently creating a picture book series for kids so we have lots of respect for anyone who has produced a book. We have so many talented friends writing books, we wanted to show case some here, as well as some classics we love.

Enjoy our list of child-friendly books about our cuddly, protective, and smart canine pals recommended or written by dog lovers.

Our friends generously gave away:  Tales of French Scent Hound  By: Debucher Baguette aka Emma the GBGV, Chasing Bocker’s Tale by Marie and Bocker and What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy  By Dorothy Wills-Raftery

Visit all of the amazing authors to learn more about them and their books by clicking on their names or book titles.

If we missed your dog book or a dog book you love, add it in the comments and/or e-mail me susan at talenthounds dot ca.

Non-Fiction Dog Books for Kids

Chasing Bocker’s Tale


We absolutely love Bocker and his mom Marie. He is a very special Labradoodle who spreads smiles and happiness to everyone he meets and his charity and therapy work has inspired us greatly. About Bocker’s Story: “Even as a very young pup, Bocker the Labradoodle pondered on where his life would lead, what was his purpose in life. Follow Bocker’s own tale of his amazing journey and how he has touched the lives of so many throughout the world.” BUY NOW 

Quote from Marie, Bocker’s mom:  “From the first day that Bocker came into our lives, I always knew there was something very special about him.  He went on at a very young age to prove me right.  Chasing Bocker’s Tale is just that follows him on his journey and introduces us to some of the lives he has touched.”

Read more about : Bocker Labradoodle 

 Tales of French Scent Hound  By:Debucher Baguette aka Emma the GBGV

Emma of My GBGV Life's book Tales of a French Scent Hound

Tales of French Scent Hound is a fun book written by our fellow blogger pal, Debucher Baguette, aka Emma from My GBGV Life.

Your child will love learning about Emma’s tales and seeing 120 color photographs of her life as a French scent hound. Stay up to date with Emma adventures daily on her blog HERE        BUY Her Book NOW and  comment below to enter the GIVEAWAY.

Quote from Emma’s Mom who helped her write the book:

“I love the GBGV breed and wanted to help promote it. Emma is a big inspiration with her sweet and goofy traits. She loves to have fun and model which is why we started our blog. I thought it would be a fun idea to create a book from the blog to bring smiles, laughter, and GBGV breed recognition to more people.”

We are glad she did as Emma and her family make us smile!

What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy  By Dorothy Wills-Raftery

What's wrong with gibson book cover
 This book is a bright, positive educational tale of how the FiveSibes help Gibson when he has a seizure from Canine Epilepsy. A book for folks of allages, and a great tool for helping children understand pets with Epilepsy. BUY NOW
Quote from Dorothy:
” The inspiration behind my FiveSibes™ Tales books (ArcticHouse Publishingand my FiveSibes blog are my beautiful real-life FiveSibes –  Siberian Huskies Harley, Gibson, Wolf, Chloe, and Bandit! They are very loving, and can be quite silly at times! They bring such joy and smiles to anyone who is around them, and they love children!”

A percentage of proceeds is donated to Canine Epilepsy Resources “Emma’s Fund.” 

Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness   By: Dorothy Wills-Raftery

Getting Healthy With Harley book cover

Named “BEST IN PRINT” 2015 by American Pet Magazine 
This is the second book of the FiveSibes™ Tale series! Harley has her annual visit to the vet for a health check-up. As the alpha queen and leader of the FiveSibes pack family, upon her return home, she makes it her mission to help the FiveSibes adopt a healthier lifestyle through nutrition and exercise. A fun read for children and adults alike! BUY NOW   A portion of proceeds will benefit the  Save Our SiberiansSiberspace Rescue Fund     

Rumplepimple  (The Adventures of Rumplepimple) (Volume 1)
By: Suzanne DeWitt Hall

rumplepimple book cover

Life isn’t easy when your big sister is an annoying cat and your moms can’t understand a word you say. But that doesn’t stop Rumplepimple from saving the day in a most unusual way. Find out how a car ride transforms a naughty terrier into a grocery store hero.


The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be  By: Farley Mowat


Farely Mowat’s best loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies.  Mutt’s pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable.  He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up a raw, untamed wilderness. Hear stories of the human-animal bond between a boy and his dog.  BUY NOW

A Puppy’s New Home   By: Rayah Jaymes and A.J. Richards

A puppy's new home book cover

A series of educational children’s books that teach youth how to care for specific canine breeds retrieved from expert research.

Including the books: Max the Golden Retriever, Louie the Labrador Retriever and  Bella the Bichon Frisec48478_f33916d67ea14178b845fa26427434c6.jpg_srz_p_265_269_75_22_0.50_1.20_0c48478_b4939730e91d4fe5b7747f196c9dfe89.jpg_srz_p_287_290_75_22_0.50_1.20_0c48478_8b7a600d5f5f4dbabb7e1ab70aef246c.jpg_srz_p_271_271_75_22_0.50_1.20_0

Breeds interact with youth in each book to help them understand specific breed behavior, health management, and their origins. Books include other academic components: alphabet, numbers, vocabulary, geography, history, character counts, and the importance of community and service learning. BUY NOW

Doggies (Boynton on Board) Board book – by Sandra Boynton

Doggies cover

NORBERT & LIL BUB: What Can Little WE Do 

Norbert+&+Lil+BUB_BOOK+COVEROur pal Norbert, the little dog with a BIG heart, is preparing to release the third picture book in his series. In this picture book, Norbert the dog and Lil Bub the cat are joining forces to teach young readers the importance of teamwork to make the world a better place. It will be ready for November 2015.

Quote from Julie and Norbert :
“Norbert and Lil BUB are the perfect duo to show us that despite our differences, we can all work together to create something magical, amazing and inspiring.”

For each book sold, a $3.00 donation will be made to the Lil BUB’s Big Fund to help animals with special needs. Pre-Order Now.

Read our article: The Importance of Teamwork With Norbert & Lil Bub

Fiction Dog Books for Kids

JJ The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House by Diane Rose-Solomon (Author), Rachel Cellinese (Illustrator)

JJ The American Street Dog

Maya has wanted a dog for as long as she can remember. Just when her parents decide to buy her one, her Uncle Jerry finds a homeless puppy that he can’t keep. Although Mom is skeptical about keeping a dog from the street, she agrees to take in the pup and they name him JJ. Before long, JJ warms his way into their hearts, and Maya and her family learn about homeless animals and how they can be a part of the solution to end pet over-population. Buy here

Before You Were Mine Hardcover   by Maribeth Boelts (Author), David Walker (Illustrator)

Before You were mine

A little boy imagines what life was like for his new dog before he adopted him from a shelter. Maybe he had a boy who loved him, but the family had to move and couldn’t keep him. Maybe he belonged to someone who didn’t appreciate how mischievous puppies can be. Maybe he was treated badly, and now he can be shown all the love he’s been missing. This boy wonders about all of these things, but maybe they don’t matter. Because now, his dog is home. Buy Here Winner of the Humane Society KIND Children’s Picture Book Award and the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, this touching story celebrates all who support, care for, and adopt shelter dogs.

My Dog Is the Best  By: Laurie Ann Thompson

My Dog Is the Best book coverWhat do you get when you combine one energetic, enthusiastic little boy with his sleepy but tolerant dog? Unconditional love. My Dog Is the Best celebrates the special bond that exists between a young child and a beloved family pet. BUY NOW

Ranger in Time #2: Danger in Ancient Rome  By: Kate Messner

Ranger in Time #2: Danger in Ancient Rome book coverRanger, the time-traveling golden retriever, is back for the second book in Kate Messner’s new chapter book series. This time, he’s off to save the day in ancient Rome! BUY NOW

Pig and Pug  By: Lynne Berry

Pig and Pug book cover

Pig and Pug are very different (but not really). See how their similarities show up in this mischievous picture book that’s perfect for pet lovers. BUY NOW

Skeeter Maghee Finds a Home  By: Molly Harrison

skeeter maghee finds a home book coverDid a dog ever choose you? Skeeter Maghee races into the Town Pound in hopes of finding an owner. He is greeted by the lady, Mrs. DeWitt, who plans to return Skeeter to his former owner.  But Mrs. DeWitt’s attempts to find the owner change her mind and her heart. This is a heartwarming story of a puppy from a shelter that wants very much to have a home.  BUY NOW

Lassie Come-Home  By: Eric Knight 

lassie come home book cover

Lassie is Joe’s prize collie and constant companion. But when Joe’s father loses his job, Lassie must be sold. Three times she escapes from her new owner, and three times she returns home to Joe, until finally she is taken to the remotest part of Scotland–too far a journey for any dog to make alone . . . But Lassie is not just any dog. BUY NOW

Old Yeller  By: Fred Gipson

old yeller book cover

The stray dog was ugly, and a thieving rascal, too. But he sure was clever, and a smart dog could be a big help on the wild Texas frontier, especially with Papa away on a long cattle drive up to Abilene.  Travis soon learns that appearances can be deceiving and that the stray dog he takes for a rascal has a fierce sense of loyalty and is committed to protecting his new family. Strong and courageous, Old Yeller proved that he could protect Travis’s family from any sort of danger. But can Travis do the same for Old Yeller? BUY NOW

The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog!  

By: Cynthia Rylant 

the great gracie chase book cover

Gracie Rose has always been a good, quiet puppy, but when she barks at some noisy painters she’s put outside. Your child will follow Gracie as she takes a walk around the neighborhood, which turns into a hilarious chase. Outstanding illustrations capture the comic fun from a dogs-eye view as the entire town joins in the chase. BUY NOW

Schnitzel Von Krumm, Dogs Never Climb Trees (Hairy Maclary and Friends)   By: Lynley Dodd

dogs never climb trees book cover

Schnitzel von Krumm – with the very low tum – is up to mischief, chasing, digging, hiding and hustling. He should remember that dogs never climb trees – but that’s not going to stop him scampering right to the very top of the tree!  BUY NOW

The Good Dog  By: Avi

the good dog book cover

McKinley, a malamute, is a good dog — he’s reliable and trustworthy. Whether it’s watching over the other dogs of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, or taking care of his human pup, Jack, McKinley never even thinks of letting anyone down — until he meets Lupin. Lupin is a she-wolf and she’s urging the dogs of Steamboat Springs to leave their domesticated lives and join her wild pack.
For the first time, McKinley’s loyalties are torn. Should he stay with his humans and continue to lead the dogs of Steamboat Springs? Or should he join the wolf and live freely, like his ancestors did? When the wild calls, what will McKinley’s answer be? BUY NOW

Where The Red Fern Grows    By: Wilson Rawls

Where the red fern grows book cover

Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains — and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that’s only found… An exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget. BUY NOW

Shiloh  By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

shiloh book coverMarty will do anything to save his new friend Shiloh in this Newbery Medal–winning novel from Phillis Reynolds Naylor. When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

Not only will you love the beagle puppy Shiloh, but also his kind-hearted rescuer, who, although young, still shows readers the very best of human nature. BUY NOW

The Poky Little Puppy  By: Janette Sebring Lowrey

the poky little puppy book cover

One of the original 12 Little Golden Books, The Poky Little Puppy has sold nearly 15 million copies since 1942, making it one of the most popular children’s books of all time- a true classicv. Now this curious little puppy is ready to win the hearts and minds of a new generation of kids. BUY NOW

Ribsy   By: Beverly Cleary 

ribsy book cover

Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary gives Henry’s dog, Ribsy, the center stage in this dog’s-eye view of the adventure of a lifetime.

Good ol’ Ribsy’s ever-curious mind has always gotten him into scrapes, but this time he may have gone too far. After a comical turn of events, Ribsy finds himself in the wrong station wagon with the wrong children. Ribsy will do anything to find Henry, but there’s plenty of excitement to be had along the way—and scoring a touchdown for a local high school team is only part of the fun! BUY NOW

Henry Says, “Hello”    Written and Illustrated by S.L. Parker

Henry Says Hello book cover

Henry Says, “Hello” is a unique, true-to-life children’s book full of adult wisdom. It is a teaching tool for parents and teachers, designed to teach children how to safely and gently say “Hello” to dogs by reading the dog’s body language and recognizing signs of imminent danger. n this book, Henry is a real-life, sweet little dog, whose main purpose in this story is to teach children how to safely and gently say “Hello” to dogs.

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

Spot book coverOne of my favourite picture flap books- simple and cute adventures of curious Spot.

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell


Although Clifford was the runt of the litter, the love of his littlest owner, helps him grow and grow and grow.

Biscuit   by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit book cover

This pint-sized book tells the story puppy parents know all too well – bedtime equals snack time, play time, basically anything but go to sleep time. I particularly like the illustrations of this little cutie.

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Henry and Mudge

On a street without other kids to play with, Henry finds companionship with the lovable (and often slobbery) 180-pound Mudge.

Big Dog…Little Dog by P.D. Eastman

You really can never go wrong with a mismatched friendship duo. Ted and Fred are no exception.

My Dog Skip by Willie Morris

This memoir encapsulates the love of a boy and his dog and their never-ending adventures in small-town America.

Sparky the Fire Dog by Don Hoffman Illustrator Todd DakinsSparky the Fire Dog cover

This adorable Dalmatian puppy is an important member of the team at the fire station. But he’s more than just a cute character in a book: Sparky is the official spokesdog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and what he has to say can actually save lives. This canine hero rescued a little girl and her family, and now he’s helping kids become junior fire inspectors right in their own homes.

The Incredibly Journey by Sheila Burnford


An inspiring story of the unbreakable bond between animals and their family that no distance can destroy.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London


This harrowing story of Buck who is transported from his life as a pet and sent to Alaska to become a sled dog where he must adapt quickly in order to survive. Jack London’s series – more information here.

Because of Winn-Dixie Paperback by Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-DixieWinn-Dixie proved to be a keeper — a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor winner, the inspiration for a popular film, and most especially, a cherished classic that touches the hearts of readers of all ages.

A Diary of a Dog Named Belle  by Gianna Laezzo (Author)

This book is about a wonderful adventure of a dog named Belle. Follow along on Belle’s exciting adventure as she learns how to deal with peer pressure, bullying and decision making. Watch Belle triumph over the many obstacle facing her in this real life parallel. Also, this book features a diary section in order for a child to share his or her own thoughts and experiences. Diaries and journals are wonderful places for kids to share and open up about their own private thoughts, feelings and concerns. Also, this diary and journal can be a great place for a child to dream and imagine. An escape mechanism if you will in order to cope with the many issues that life presents kids with on a daily basis.

Of course we also love the classic Disney Movies that have been made into books like 101 Dalmations and Lady and the Tramp.

Penny P Pug created by Susan Nation

We are also developing our picture book series Penny P. Pug, about a curious mischievous little pug, her brother Paco and her friends (including Kilo and other collaborations). We celebrate the joy of active discovery as this little girl has “things to see and things to do, things to smell and things to chew”. Here is a preview of her picture- illustration by the talented Shelley Davies.

Penny P Pug photo of one sheet

 For More, check out our Top Dog Books List of 2014.

Have a dog book we should know about? Leave a comment with a link. 

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  • Thank you so much for including us in this fun list of children’s books!

  • Wow, this is a wonderful collection of books! I’m going to bookmark this for my nephews. Christmas will be here before you know it!

  • I love the idea of reading to dogs. Great list. I’ve always loved Sandra Boynton, and Clifford was a favorite of mine even before I became a crazy dog lady.

  • Awh, how cute! Clifford was always my favourite as a young child! :-*

  • That is quite an extensive list! Thank you so much for including my book!

  • What an excellent review and thanks for including A Puppy’s New Home. I am very excited to be working with them and can’t wait to see #Finndawg in “Finn The Rescue Dog”! Will be sure to let you know when it’s published. Cheers, Annette

  • Wow, nice, broad selection of dog books for kids.

  • Awesome compilation! Some great classics and some new ones I havent heard of. Will definitely have to purchase some for our human cousins!

  • What a nice selection of books. Now that my grandson is getting a little older, I’m always on the lookout for good reads. I do have a few on this list already. Thanks so much!

  • Ribsy and Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary was one of my favorites as a child. Charlotte’s Web will always be my absolute favorite. ♥

  • These are really pawesome books for kids! I remember having a few of these when I was a kid. I loved Clifford! 🙂

  • Thank you SO much for including both of my FiveSibes Tales books on your fab list! 🙂

  • I am so taken back to my childhood with this post!! I LOVED Ribsy. And Biscuit and Mudge and Spot and Poky – at least some dogs (kinda) last forever!

    …. I’m gonna go cry now.

  • It’s so cute that Lil Bub has a book with a puppy! I also love that there are books to teach children about canine epilepsy and specific dog breeds. I shared this post with my sister who has two young boys. Hopefully she will check some of these out as they all love dogs 🙂

  • Oh man! You brought back some memories. I used to read the Spot books and Call of the Wild has to be one of my favorites!