Here are some of our favorite time-tested, kid-approved books featuring dogs along with The Best Dog Trick Book Ever!
One of the great things about books that feature dogs and other animals is that they appeal to both boys and girls!
Sometimes it's hard to find books that are going to work for all kids and finding books that feature our furry friends is a great way to span age gaps and genders.
We are including a range of genres and ages from chapter books, to non-fiction titles and even picture books- because picture books aren't just for the youngest readers!
Picture books are wonderful reads and kids of all ages delight in the art of children's book illustrations! If you ever are able, a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is always worth the trip!
Books featuring furry friends make terrific gifts as well and we've included a wide variety of books including activity and informational titles which are perfect for pairing!
If you are looking for more inspiration and ideas, be sure to visit our 50+ Best Books That Make Great Gifts for Kids Ages 7-12!
Here are 20+ Fab Kids Books for Dog Lovers of All Ages!
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1. Because of Winn Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
Because of Winn Dixie is a modern classic about a girl and her very special dog!
When Opal finds a dog at the local grocery store one summer day, the two become best friends from that day on! Winn Dixie is just the friend and nudge Opal needs to make friends and ask questions she's been needing to ask.
With quirky characters and a wonderful furry canine taking center stage, Because of Winn Dixie is a wonderful read, filled with friendship, family, and of course, fur!
After reading the book, be sure to watch the movie! It's a wonderful way to compare and contrast the story!
Also by Kate DiCamillo: The Tale of Despereaux, The Magician's Elephant, The Tiger Rising, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane
2. Hotel for Dogs
by Lois Duncan
Before Lois Duncan was the queen of the YA thrillers, she wrote Hotel for Dogs!
We usually read a book first and then see the movie, but a young friend recommended the movie, which we watched together and it was so, so good!! Loved it!
Hotel for Dogs
Andi and her brother, Bruce, move to a new town and are staying with their aunt - who is allergic to dogs. When they meet a stray that needs their help, they decide on a plan of action! The abandoned house down the street seems like the perfect place for their furry friend to stay!
Before they know it, many pups have moved into the dog 'hotel' and it becomes a very big secret to keep!
Hotel for Dogs is a super fun story with two sequels - News for Dogs and Movie for Dogs for kids who want to see what happens next!
The original cover for Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan
Whether you are a fan of canines or are just looking for some entertainment, this was a fantastic book that also made a super fun movie!
3. Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet)
by Phyllis Rehnolds Naylor
Back when I was teaching, Shiloh was one of the books that really made an impact on my students. I started each day with reading a few pages or a chapter of Shiloh aloud and this story really touched their hearts.
Marty, the main character, befriends Shiloh, a dog whose owner is abusive and he is determined to help this sweet pup who deserves so much better.
Shiloh is an award winning Newbery Medal book that will be a hit with kids and offers plenty of opportunities for discussion.
Loved the first book? Want to know what happens next with Marty and Shiloh? Here is the set so you can read them all!
by Barbara O'Connor
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese knows how to make wishes. She's been wishing every way she knows how since the fourth grade.
Charlie finds herself uprooted and sent to live with family she hardly knows in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She meets Wishbone, a stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a boy who is filled with surprises and becomes her best friend.
Like many things in life, what Charlie finds out she needs is not necessarily what she's been wanting. A wonderful, highly rated, best-selling middle-grade read, Wish is by an author who knows what kids love to read.
Wish is an emotionally driven story that will pull at the reader's heartstrings and is filled with character, heart, inspiration, love and friendship.
5. Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends
by Sarah Albee
If you have a dog-lover on your hands, he or she needs a copy of Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends! This book has fascinating facts about famous dogs, working dogs, presidential dogs and more that dog lovers of all ages will enjoy reading!
From ancient civilizations to the Middle Ages, Renaissance to modern times, the Dog Days of History: The Incredible Story of Our Best Friends is a beautifully illustrated book that is so much fun to read and a terrific choice for both kids and adults!
Sometimes kids are not as interested in non-fiction books and when you find a gem like the Dog Days of History, it's a perfect way to find out more about a topic with it still be as interesting as a novel!
Sarah Albee is also the author of Bugged: How Insects Changed History and Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History.
If you have a younger reader in the house, teach in a classroom or just love the illustrations and art that go along with picture books, here are some classic dog picture books that will keep your dog loving younger readers happy!
7. Gloria and Officer Buckle
by Peggy Rathmann
Officer Buckle is committed to teaching the schoolchildren safety tips and enjoys his job! Unfortunately, Officer Buckle is also pretty dull and his young audience members have a hard time staying awake and paying attention!
This all changes when Gloria, the police dog, comes along one day!
Unbeknownst to Officer Buckle, Gloria acts out the safety tips behind his back while he's giving the presentation which makes the young audience cheer and is a turning point for the Officer and his presentation's popularity!
However, when Officer Buckle finds out it is Gloria that is the big hit with the kids, he is initially hurt. Like any great partnership though, Officer Buckle and Gloria work through it to an uplifting and thoroughly satisfying ending!
8. Harry the Dirty Dog
by Gene Zion
Pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham
Harry does not like to take baths! When he's clean, he's white with black spots, but after a busy day of doggy adventures, he's black with white spots!
Kids will love meeting Harry the Dirty Dog and seeing what happens in this classic picture book that's been entertaining young readers for decades!
Fans of Harry the Dirty Dog, will also want to read Harry by the Sea, No Roses for Harry and Harry and the Lady Next Door!
9. The Poky Little Puppy (A Little Golden Book Classic)
by Janette Sebring Lowrey
Illustrated by Gustav Tenggren
Age: Babies, preschoolers, and little ones that enjoy a good picture book!
Well, this wouldn't be a complete post if we didn't mention The Poky Little Puppy!
The Golden Books were on my bookshelf as a kid and there are plenty that are on my daughter's bookshelf as well!
A simple story told in an easily understood way The Poky Little Puppy is accompanied by adorable illustrations that will draw children in.
Did you know...?
The Poky Little Puppy is the bestselling picture book of all time! You learn something new every day!
Have some young readers that adore dogs and want more picture book titles featuring dogs? Visit this post which has some fabulous books starring canine characters!
Looking for another fun-filled picture book featuring a furry friend? Check out our Scaredy Squirrel post featuring a super fun character and fun extension ideas!!
10. The Secret Lake
by Karen Inglis
In full disclosure, the dog is really not the main character here, but after reading about it, perusing the reviews and being completely drawn in, we're adding it to the list!
Any book that gets kids pulled in (and that includes reluctant readers), convinced me that it should be included! Over 11,000 5-star reviews and many by kids who couldn't put it down says that The Secret Lake is worth a peek!
Described by the author as "...A time travel mystery adventure with modern twists - the kind of story that I loved to read as a child, but brought right up to date...." The Secret Lake has become a modern classic with a huge fan base!
Intriguing and filled with twists, The Secret Lake is part thriller and mystery and the element of time travel is the icing on the literary cake! Add this one to the TBR or gift list!!
11. The Call of the Wild
by Jack London
Taking place during the 1890's Yukon Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild is filled with adventure, history and a canine character that tells the story better than any human could!
Stolen from his home on a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley, California where he is treated like royalty, Buck, a St. Bernard-Shepherd mix, is sold into service to work as a sled dog.
Harsh conditions, treatment, friendship and more force Buck to adapt to his new life.
Written in 1903, Jack London spent time in the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush. His intent was to strike it rich but discovered ideas for his stories there instead! The Call of the Wild has been adapted to film 18 times since its publication - the most recent being this version starring Harrison Ford!
12. Balto of the Blue Dawn
Merlin Mission - Magic Tree House Series
by Mary Pope Osborne
Age 7 - 10
Balto of the Blue Dawn is a pawtastic read for fans of dogs and the Magic Tree House books alike!
Filled with surprises, action and history, siblings Jack and Annie get to meet the famous sled dog, Balto, in this popular page-turner! The Magic Tree House has taken them all the way to Alaska to help the husky, who has an important job to do!
The Magic Tree House books are beloved and enjoyed by many, so whether this is your first time reading a Magic Tree House adventure or your hundredth, Balto of the Blue Dawn will be a hit!
Be sure to also check out the Dogsledding and Extreme Sports Nonfiction Companion book after reading about Balto!
13. The Incredible Journey
by Sheila Burnford
Age: 8 - 12
Two dogs and a cat set out across the Canadian wilderness to reunite with their owner in this riveting adventure that will have readers turning the pages in anticipation!
Once you've finished reading The Incredible Journey, be sure to watch Homeward Bound, the movie that brought this classic story to the big screen!
14. Dogs in the Dead of Night
Merlin Mission Magic Tree House
by Mary Pope Osborne
7 - 10
Mary Pope Osborne wrote the most amazing book series for kids! Great for both boys and girls and filled with adventure, history, problem-solving and quick-paced writing every one of this author's stories is a hit!
In Dogs in the Dead of Night siblings Jack and Annie travel back in time to the Swiss Alps where they find themselves in a monastery filled with monks and St. Bernards!
Before the night is through, they are hoping Barry (their new furry friend) will help lead them to a mysterious flower which is needed to save a friend's life!
15. Paint by Sticker Dogs
by Workman Publishing
Age: 5 on up
This Paint by Sticker Dogs book is a lot of fun for kids of all ages (and adults)!
With plenty of pages and breeds to create, kids, teens and adults will enjoy taking a break from life and de-stressing with this relaxing and fun sticker book!
16. 101 Dalmations
By Dodie Smith
A fabulous book that was the story and inspiration behind the Disney movie, The 101 Dalmations has been entertaining audiences for decades!
After Mr. and Mrs. Dearling's Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita have puppies which is a joyous occasion! The happiness is replaced by panic when the puppies are kidnapped by the evil Cruella de Vil who is determined to make them part of her fashion-gone-bad plan!
With the help of everyone from Scotland Yard to dogs everywhere, readers will be at the edge of their seat with suspense as the search for The 101 Dalmations is on to find them before Cruella can follow through with her plan!
Enjoy the movie adaptions of The 101 Dalmations, (Live Action) and Cruella after reading the novel!
17. Dog Man
by Dave Pilkey
Age: 7 - 9
Half dog, half man- all hero! Dog Man is a best-selling graphic novel series and is absolutely a hit with kids!
Graphic novels are such a great way to get books into kids' hands even if they're not big fans of reading! The Dog Man series has plenty of titles to keep kids turning the pages!
18. The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts
by Larry Kay and Chris Perondi
If you're looking to help your canine learn some moves and impress the neighbors, this is the book you want!
The result of two of the most amazing minds known to canine-kind, The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever! is everything you're looking for to help your dog learn tricks and have fun doing it!
Kind of a funny story. So, we received The Big Book of Tricks for The Best Dog Ever and we were excited to share it both with our dog, Abby and her friend down the street - Emily the Havanese!
We knew that Emily enjoyed learning tricks and her mom had even taught Abby a few. We were chatting after admiring the dogs' skills and I was about to mention The Big Book of Tricks for The Best Dog Ever, when my friend whipped out her own copy of the same book and proclaimed it was the best book for dog tricks and the one everybody uses!
(Her dog has been doing trick training for a couple of years, so she knows people!)
Well, I wanted to know why she and her friends liked the book so much and this is what she said:
It has very clear directions & steps.
There are a lot of tricks included with plenty of variety.
The book is set up so the tricks are gradual - it starts with Beginner tricks and goes all the way up to Dog Dancing and Extreme level like stunts and sports!
The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever also has plenty of extras including:
An introductory section on how to use the book
Building on behaviors
Want to see some of these tricks and stunts in action? Check out these videos!
They feature both the professionally trained dogs and there's a video at the bottom with regular folks and their dogs showing off their accomplishments!
19. How to Draw Dogs & Cats from Simple Templates / The Drawing Book for Pet Lovers
by Christopher Hart
Chris Hart is the world's best-selling author of art instruction and has put together a fabulous collection of tutorials for drawing dogs and cats! How to Draw Dogs and Cats is filled with a variety of poses, breeds, looks, puppies, kittens, cats and dogs in an easy to follow step-by-step collection!
Simple instructions and clear examples and helpful hints make How to Draw Dogs and Cats a terrific book for any aspiring pet-loving artist!
Find more of Chris Hart's amazing instructional How to Draw books here!
20. If You Give a Dog A Donut
by Laura Numeroff & Illustrated by Felicia Bond
Written by the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book, here is one of the many books in this fun series that is a winner for sure!
A circular tale that is a favorite among young readers, If You Give a Dog a Donut makes a great addition for story time and is sure to be read again and again!
21. Oliver Gilmore: A Doxie's Diary
By Greg McGoon & Illustrated by Dave Reed
We really enjoyed Oliver Gilmore: A Doxie's Diary and had to include it in our Best Books featuring Dogs List! A great non-fiction read to help kids and dog-lover's everywhere learn about Oliver, his life and his journey after being diagnosed with diabetes.
Check out the full post featuring Oliver Gilmore here or purchase it here!
22. How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language
by National Geographic Kids
Great information in a kid-friendly format that will have dog-lovers of all ages enjoying the facts, stories, captions, photos and more!
How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language the perfect book for kids (and adults!) to find out what their dog is saying!
From interpreting the tail to stares, barks and doggie demeanors and everything in between, How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language translates a lot of dog language! This book makes the perfect addition to any dog lover's library
(Above: Abby Rose, our Corgi mix very comfortably hanging out in Cenz's arms!)