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  • Helping Kids Rise

WOOF! Barktastic Children's Books about Dogs

Updated: Jan 3


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Anybody else think dogs are magical? Dogs have the ability to lift our spirits, help us see the joy all around us, and make us feel like the most loved people in the world! This barktastic list is for all the dog lovers out there. These children's books honor the joy dogs bring along with the meaningful life lessons they teach, and the loving memories made that last a lifetime.


"Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love -- the love of God, really, I imagine that's what God's love feels like -- is the love that comes from your dog." ~ Oprah Winfrey


Diverse Children's Books

From Academy Award-winning Filmmaker Spike Lee and his wife, Beacon Award-winning producer Tonya Lewis Lee comes an energetic picture book full of tail-wagging fun.


Away from the gate,

puppy puppy, please, puppy.

Oh wait, puppy, wait,

please, please, please,

please...


What happens when a couple of high-energy toddlers meet their match in an adventurous pup who has no plans of letting up? Irresistible illustrations by Coretta Scott King Award winner Kadir Nelson unleash countless memorable moments of toddlerhood and puppyhood, which families with four-legged friends will enjoy over and over again.


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Throughout their father's twenty-two month campaign for president, Malia and Sasha Obama begged their parents for a dog.


Finally, when their father became the 44th President of the United States, he rewarded their patience and good behavior in his victory speech: "Malia and Sasha will get their new puppy."


Would the girls choose a Foxhound like President George Washington's? Or a chocolate Labrador Retriever like the Clintons'? Maybe a shelter dog?


Finally, on February 25, 2009, they decided to look for a Portuguese Water Dog to move into the White House. Art rendered in watercolor, gouache, and pencil.



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"An inspiring tale of compassion and perseverance." --Booklist (starred review)


Rescue thought he'd grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog, but when he gets the news that he's better suited to being a service dog, he's worried that he's not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she'd imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. Based on a real-life partnership, this 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Winner features an endnote from the authors about service dogs, including their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.


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This winning tribute to the enduring love between dog and child celebrates animal adoption -- from the dog's point of view!


In a pitch-perfect debut, animator Michael Relth channels the voice -- and artwork! -- of a loyal pup sharing the simple, sweet, and funny rhyming story of finding a forever family. It's a clever take on a dog's journey from being lost to found -- from shelter to home.


Ideal for pet owners, animal enthusiasts and growing families, Picture Book by Dog is brimming with heart and highlights the power of belonging.


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Don't miss Harry the Dirty Dog! This funny picture book about the strong-willed dog who really doesn't want a bath stands the test of time.


Harry the Dirty Dog has been recognized by the National Education Association as an all-time top-100 children's book. It has also been welcomed by a new generation at home, as Betty White's 2020 reading of the story on StorylineOnline has been viewed more than 8 million times.


Harry is a white dog with black spots who absolutely, positively hates to take a bath. After a day of adventure, Harry gets so dirty that he no longer looks like a white dog with black spots. Now he looks like a black dog with white spots!


Harry the Dirty Dog has become a classic, entertaining young readers for decades. Perfect for young fans of dogs...especially ones who also don't always want a bath!


For more fun with Harry the Dirty Dog, don't miss No Roses for Harry! and Harry and the Lady Next Door. As Children's Books and Their Creators said about all three books: There is a droll, seemingly effortless union of art and text in the Harry stories, a delicious mastery of everyday foolishness.


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Ziggy Marley's ode to his four-legged friend Romeo becomes a picture book that is sure to touch the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.


"My Dog Romeo"--a single on More Family Time, the follow-up children's album to the GRAMMY Award-winning Family Time--is a playful and endearing tribute to Ziggy Marley's beloved pet dog Romeo. Opening with Romeo's barking, Marley sings of his great love and friendship with his four-legged friend.


Now, with beautiful illustrations by Ag Jatkowska--illustrator of Marley's debut picture book, I Love You Too--My Dog Romeo becomes a vibrant picture book that follows a child and a dog throughout their days, sharing their love of music and play. The perfect accompaniment to Marley's charming children's album, My Dog Romeo is sure to be a hit among young, old, and, of course, our furry friends.

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The heartwarming friendship between a girl and the dog next door tenderly evokes the power of stories to bring--and keep--us together.


Two houses stand side by side: one is home to a dog, the other to a young girl. Though a fence divides them, girl and dog build a sweet and sturdy friendship rooted in make-believe . . . and are lonely no more. Paired with moving illustrations and based on a true story, this endearing tale from the author of I, Cosmo testifies to the transformative power of creativity and inter-species friendship.


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This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other.


Lulu's ears flap in the wind

as the rescue truck rolls into the lot.

Lulu's tail thumps--

Everything smells . . . new.


Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain.


Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq. Alma wears Mami's scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug?


In this heartwarming and moving picture book, a lonely child and a lonely dog come together and find warmth, companionship, and love in each other.


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Since it was first published in 1964, Whistle for Willie has delighted millions of young readers with its simple writing and its striking collage artwork depicting the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog.


The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Keats's illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world, and the shimmering heat of a summer's day."


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For Zara's dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with his favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school in her wheelchair, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side.


Hello, Moose!


Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed at school and Moose has to go back home.


Goodbye, Moose.


But Moose can't be held back for long. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.



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Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!


With a story that makes reading fun--and will even help listeners learn to read--this book is ideal for kindergarten classrooms and story hour or as a gift for that beginning reader. Fresh, charming art by Tad Hills, the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of Duck & Goose, will make this a favorite.


And don't miss the instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Rocket Writes a Story.


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Based on the true story of the beagle, Guy, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, who adopted him from a rescue shelter and brought him with her to the UK to live with her and Harry in a palace.


Alone and without an owner to care for him, Guy the pup was just like any other dog in the shelter - he liked to play and have fun, but longed for someone to take him home and love him. Little did he know, he was about to be the star of his own Cinderella story, when Meghan Markle turned up at the shelter looking for a dog to adopt.


This children's picture book is written by the awesome animal activist Nancy Furstinger and is illustrated by Julia Bereciartu with delightful and touching pictures.


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Diverse Childrens Books

Simply be like a dog with this irresistible picture book by beloved author Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by #1 New York Times bestselling artist Pete Oswald that introduces readers to mindfulness.


Join a young child and their dog as they experience every minute of the day to its fullest--from the second they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. Readers will love barking, wagging, and sniffing along with the gentle cues in the book.


Interactive backmatter includes prompts for a mindfulness walk that engages all five senses as well as a guided breathing exercise.



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Rescued from an animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah, Latke has trouble learning the house rules. Despite a series of mishaps, he is one Lucky Dog!


"On the first night of Hanukkah, a family adopts a little golden-brown dog and names it Latke. As the family celebrates the Festival of Lights, Latke joins in, thinking, 'I am one lucky dog!' But he has a lot to learn about how to behave. This engaging romp follows Latke as he chews his way through the eight nights of Hanukkah.


Told in Latke's voice, the story highlights the holiday's traditions as well as the love between the dog and his new family. Cheerful textured illustrations capture all of Latke's mischief." —starred, The Horn Book Magazine -Journal


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Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.





"Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love -- the love of God, really, I imagine that's what God's love feels like -- is the love that comes from your dog." ~ Oprah Winfrey
"Over the years I have felt the truest, purest love -- the love of God, really, I imagine that's what God's love feels like -- is the love that comes from your dog." ~ Oprah Winfrey





 

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