If you and your family are dog lovers, then there are a few kids books about dogs you must make sure to include in your family library. Here are ten of our favorite children's stories about dogs, puppies and their owners.
Go, Dog. Go!
P.D. Eastman's story has been a children's favorite since it was first published 1961, so I think we can officially call it a classic. This story is appropriate for younger children, but even adults will be entertained. Go, Dog. Go! uses simple words to teach kids about diversity, colors, opposites and more. Silly phrases and brightly colored illustrations will keep kids laughing while the subtler tale of an unfolding romance between a pink poodle and an oblivious yellow dog make this a fun story for people of any age.
Hank the Cowdog
John R. Erickson's long running series is narrated by Hank himself, a self-proclaimed "purebred cowdog" who has given himself the title of "Head of Ranch Security" and is now in charge of solving any mysteries that come up on the M-Cross Ranch. Hank's fumbling attempts to help out around the ranch often get him into some pretty thorny situations that will make you (and your kids) laugh out loud. Despite his flaws, Hank is a really loveable mutt who is just trying to keep his family out of harm's way. The Hank the Cowdog series is ongoing with over 60 titles to choose from.
The Poky Little Puppy
One of the original twelve Little Golden Books published in 1942, this story is one of the best selling picture books of all time. Poky is a perfect short story to read to babies and toddlers about a poky little puppy who digs under fences to have a host of adventures.
Where the Red Fern Grows
Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann are the perfect hunting team and the best of friends in this classic novel that will touch your heart, break it and then heal it with a message of love and hope. It is a timeless novel about the love and bond between a boy and his dogs, a must read for kids and adults alike.
Shiloh is an award-winning coming of age novel by author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. The story's narrator, Marty Preston rescues an abused beagle from the hands of his brutal neighbor, but ends up having to pay quite a price to keep the dog safe. Ethics, responsibility, social norms and human-animal relationships are all topics this book touches on quite eloquently.
Because of Winn Dixie
Kate DiCamillo's tale of the abandoned dog found at a grocery store (thus the name) and taken home by ten-year-old India Opal Buloni will most definitely tug at your heartstrings. As a friendship between Opal and Winn Dixie starts to bud, so do many other relationships in the girl's life. In fact, an entire summer is transformed into something outstanding all thanks to Winn Dixie.
This one is a "fast, foolish and funny farce" by Jules Feiffer. George is a dog, but when asked to bark, he makes all sorts of animal noises except the one that should be his own. This is a great story for younger kids with lots of fun animal noises and a great surprise ending.
Danny is a young trapper and Big Red a champion Irish Setter. They may seem like an unlikely pair, but theirs is a friendship that is steadfast from the very beginning as they live out one adventure after another in the Wintapi wilderness they call home. This is another great boy and dog bonding novel with one great perk (spoiler alert!): Big Red doesn't die at the end!
Officer Buckle & Gloria
This story keeps you laughing, underscores the value of friendship and honest and gives you plenty of practical safety tips too! Officer Buckle teaches kids about safety, you know - never stand on a swivel chair and don't go swimming during an electrical storm. The problem is, his speeches are very boring. That is, until he is joined by Gloria, a police dog who secretly acts out Officer Buckle's advice as he gives his speeches. The kids are soon delighted by Officer Buckle's speeches, they crack up at Gloria's antics as they learn important safety tips. But what will Officer Buckle think when he finds out what is really going on?
In Eric Knight's classic novel, Lassie is the prize collie of miner Sam Carraclough and his son Joe, but when the family finds themselves in financial peril, they must sell their beloved friend to man who will take her hundreds of miles away to a new home. The story follows Lassie's attempt to come back home - an epic journey full of perils and plenty of suspense.