It's said that a dog is man's best friend. And, what's not to love about these four-legged furry creatures? Help your canine-loving kids celebrate all the beagles, poodles, dachshunds, and lovable mixed breeds out there with these doggy titles.
1. For over 50 years, children have been reading Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. Little ones who have protested taking a bath will identify with Harry. To avoid his bath, Harry heads out on a little trip which brings him through town exploring all sorts of messy encounters. By the time he reaches home, he is so dirty even his own family doesn't recognize him, leaving Harry to rethink the benefits of a having a bath.
2. Speaking of classics, one of the most beloved dogs in children's literature is Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. When Emily Elizabeth gets a small puppy, she has no idea just how big her fluffy red fur ball will grow. Clifford's size can cause mischief but he always tries to be helpful.
3. What is life like on a ranch? It's all country living for Charlie the basset hound in Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond. One would think there's lots of work to do on the ranch, but there also seems to be plenty of rest involved. Have the kids be on the lookout for the little chipmunk hidden on each page. And if your kids enjoy Charlie the Ranch Dog, check out the other books in the series.
4. Kids will be cheering Scruff on as he sniffs out the sausage thief in town. With the help of his trusty canine friends, they scour the town in search of the stolen tasty treats from the butcher shop - the reward for the capture being worth the pursuit. Follow the chase in One Hundred Sausages by Yuval Zommer.
5. The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog! by Cynthia Rylant is full of adrenaline. The story picks up more and more characters as Gracie the dog runs through the town. Poor Gracie just wants a little calm and now the whole town is trying to catch her. Will she ever just get some peace and quiet? Your kids will be eager to see what happens.
6. Your kids will also root for Willy in The Stray Dog by Marc Simont. During a picnic, a family finds a playful stray dog. When the family returns home, they can't stop thinking about the dog and they return the next weekend to try to find him. But, someone else is looking for him too. Your kids will be filled with puppy love after enjoying this Caldecott Honor book.
7. My kids were fascinated with From Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs by Hudson Talbott, where they learned dogs are ancestors of wolves. This historical journey is full of fun facts and lots of illustrations that will appeal to even the youngest listeners.
8. Dogs can even be heroes. National Geographic Kids Chapters: Hero Dogs by Mary Quattlebaum shares stories of dogs who are real-life heroes. Your kids will meet the pet protector named Willshire, Glory the detective, and Coco and Molly, who are conservation heroes. Short chapters make this book a good choice for newly independent readers or a great read-aloud book for younger kids.
9. Speaking of dog heroes, Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog by former Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan with Bret Witter is truly an inspiring read for your children. When a veteran suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, Tuesday the service dog comes to live with him. Your kids will travel through a day in the life of this trusty companion and the person he serves.
Cuddle up with your kids and a furry friend to enjoy these books together. They are barking good!
Connect with Jodie Rodriguez at her site, Growing Book by Book.
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