Who doesn’t love dogs? They’re lovable and loyal and only want the best for everyone. If your kids can’t get enough of dogs, these cute, funny, heartwarming picture books about dogs will be perfect for them! We’ve rounded up the best options out there.
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Picture Books About Dogs
Published: September 29, 2020
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.
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
Published: October 4, 2016
Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. But she DOES want a gold star from her teacher. Except stars are for good readers, for understanding words, and for saying them out loud—things that Madeline Finn doesn’t believe she can do.
Fortunately, Madeline Finn finds a little help when she meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad, and when Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it’s okay to go slow—and, most importantly, to keep trying.
Can I Be Your Dog?
Published: March 13, 2018
A heart-tugging dog adoption story told through letters–deeply sincere and almost desperate pleas for a forever home–from the dog, himself!
This picture book shares the tale of Arfy, a homeless mutt who lives in a box in an alley. Arfy writes to every person on Butternut Street about what a great pet he’d make. His letters to prospective owners share that he’s house broken! He has his own squeaky bone! He can learn to live with cats! But, no one wants him. Won’t anyone open their heart–and home–to a lonesome dog? Readers will be happily surprised to learn just who steps up to adopt Arfy.
What Will I Do with My Love Today?
Published: March 8, 2022
What Will I Do with My Love Today? is a sweet adventure picture book by celebrity Kristin Chenoweth, known for her role in Broadway’s Wicked and her Emmy Award–winning performance in the ABC hit series Pushing Daisies. Join young Kristi Dawn as she joyfully walks around New York City, sharing her love through acts of generosity—from singing in the church choir to helping a neighbor weed her garden. When she meets a lonely dog looking for a home, Kristi shows that adoption is one of the most loving and life-changing gifts of all.
Through delightful rhyme and examples of child-friendly (and pup-friendly!) acts of generosity and kindness, Chenoweth shares the powerful message that the more love you give, the more love you get back! This read-aloud picture book
- is perfect for kids ages 4 to 8,
- tells a meaningful story alongside playful illustrations from Maine Diaz,
- is a great gift for baby showers, adoption parties, soon-to-be older siblings, and dog-loving kids,
- is a meaningful way to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, National Dog Day, and National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day,
- and is a fun gift for fans of Kristin Chenoweth.
Inspired by Chenoweth’s inspiring, love-filled message, your kids will jump out of bed every morning and say, “What will I do with my love today?”
Piglet Comes Home: How a Deaf-Blind Pink Puppy Found His Family
Published: June 7, 2022
When the pup pack’s owner leaves to bring them a new friend, the dogs wonder who will be coming back to join their family. Will it be a little pooch like Zoey or Annie? Or maybe a big dog with lots of energy like Gina?
But when Mom walks in carrying a teeny tiny box making lots of noise, everyone is confused. Pups don’t make sounds like that, and surely the creature is too small and pink to be a dog! And poor little Piglet is shy and nervous, the pack isn’t sure how to say hello. Will the dogs be able to make friends and show Piglet he has a place in his new home?
100 Dogs: Playful Pups to Count
Published: June 1, 2021
Leap dog, sheep dog, fallen fast asleep dog. . . . Follow Michael Whaite’s fun and lively rhyme as it weaves its way from happy dogs to yappy dogs to every type of dog in between.
This romp of a read-aloud is bursting with amusing details to spot and hilarious hounds that dog-lovers won’t be able to resist. Readers will want to pore over it again and again. Which dog is yours?
Mighty Pup Power!
Published: October 30, 2018
Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol become super pups after a mysterious meteorite crashes near Adventure Bay. But can Marshall, Chase, Skye, and the rest of the team stop Mayor Humdinger from getting powers and using them for his own sneaky purposes? Girls and boys ages 3 to 7 will find out in this all-new Little Golden Book.
Walter Does His Best
Published: September 7, 2021
Walter’s heart is full of kindness, but this little dog’s efforts to help his neighbors don’t go as planned. Journalist Eva Pilgrim’s charming narrative and Jessica Gibson’s vibrant illustrations make Walter Does His Best a wonderful way to introduce kids ages 4-8 to new adventures in kindness.
This beautiful jacketed hardcover
- encourages children to look for opportunities to be kind
- affirms that everyone makes mistakes
- appeals to kids’ enjoyment of animals
- celebrates authors of color
- can be read aloud for story time or enjoyed as an independent read
- introduces kids to New York City landmarks in a fun, colorful way!
Join Walter for a jaunt through Central Park, inside a Broadway theater, onto subway cars, through the Rockefeller Center gardens, and all the way to Coney Island as he tries his very, messy best to be a good dog–and learns that what matters most is the love you share with others every day.
Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home
Published: September 17, 2019
In this heartwarming, wordless picture book that’s perfect for dog lovers, a woman visits a park and discovers a pup hiding under a bench–scruffy, scared, and alone. With gentle coaxing, the woman tries to befriend the animal, but the dog is too scared to let her near. Day after day, the woman tries–and day after day, the dog runs away. With perseverance and patience–and help from an enticing tennis ball–a tentative friendship begins. But it’s not until a raging storm forces the two together that a joyous and satisfying friendship takes hold. Guojing poignantly explores how trust doesn’t always come easily, but how, over time, and with kindness and determination, forever love can grow.
It’s Only Stanley
Published: March 17, 2015
Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. “That’s very odd,” says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he’s always reassuring: “It’s only Stanley; he’s fixing the oil tank.” “It’s only Stanley; he’s clearing the bathtub drain.”
But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he’s turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like Click Clack Moo and I Want My Hat Back.
Up On Bob
Published: February 11, 2020
Bob the dog doesn’t mind hard work when it means he can reward himself with a nap. But Someone is watching him sleep! Hopefully they will just go away if Bob lies really still. But Someone, who happens to be a cat, has other things in mind.
Please Don’t Tell Cooper He’s a Dog
Published: November 6, 2020
Dogs are people too! At least, that is what Cooper the rescue dog believes! This hilarious, delightful dog adventure helps to teach young readers about kindness to animals and pet adoption. If your children love dogs, they will love Cooper!
Published: April 3, 2018
Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog — it’s the family business, after all. 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. An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.
Hello Goodbye Dog
Published: July 25, 2017
For Zara’s dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with her favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side.
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed at school and Moose has to go back home.
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.
Published: April 11, 2017
Louie’s life is great! A walk on the leash every morning, ice cream on Sundays, snuggling in bed at night with Mom and Dad. Even the playdates with Mom’s friends — despite their little crawling creatures who pull Louie’s ears — aren’t all that bad. But then things get weird: cold food on the floor, no room in the bed, and lots of new stuff coming into the house in pairs — two small beds, two little sweaters, two seats in the stroller. Does that bode double trouble ahead, or could there be a happier surprise in store for Louie? With perfect visual pacing, Tony Fucile takes a familiar story and gives it a comic spin.
Odd Dog Out
Published: December 3, 2019
It’s a dog’s life in the big, busy city, but there’s one lonely pup who doesn’t quite fit in. She behaves differently from the rest, sports rainbow in a sea of gray, and marches to the beat of her own drum.
She’s one Odd Dog.
Join Odd Dog as she journeys to the other side of the world to find her place in it, only for her to discover that maybe she’s meant to be right where she started.
A Ball for Daisy
Published: May 10, 2011
This New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Best Illustrated Book relates a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy’s anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka’s signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.
Oh No, George!
Published: March 13, 2012
George is a dog with all the best intentions. And his owner, Harry, has all the best hopes that George will be a well-behaved dog when he leaves him alone for the day. But when George spies a delicious cake sitting on the kitchen table, his resolve starts to waver. You see, George loves cake. . . . Uh-oh. What to do now? It’s so hard to be a good dog when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up! What ever will Harry say when he gets back? Chris Haughton’s fetchingly funny story and vibrant, retro illustrations are sure to lure dog lovers of all ages — and anyone who has ever met a temptation too good to resist.
Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie
Published: February 15, 2021
Imbue good character and confidence within your child through easy life lessons, from a doggie!
Dogs make us laugh, and dogs bring us joy. But what can they teach us about life? With its lovable pictures and songlike rhymes, kids will pick up valuable lessons they can use throughout their lives. Sit Stay Love teaches that no matter how we are different, how we are the same is what matters most.
With so many things to learn in life, who’d knew that the best life lessons would come from a dog!
Children thrive on simple phrases, and easy to remember ideas. With a loveable dog-friend as a guide, children will relate to the kind words and advice on every page. Sometimes the guidance parents instill each day seems a bit easier to remember when it comes from a friend. This is one manners book your child will want to read over and over again.
The perfect friendship book for toddlers and children ages 3-8
Integrity and honesty come from self-awareness at an early age. When kids learn morals and virtues in a fun way, they can apply them to everyday situations, bringing kindness and compassion to their relationships. Sit Stay Love will become your go-to book to help give your kids solid ethics and morality.
Published: August 30, 2016
Groovy Joe was living the dream.
He had a spoon and tub of doggy ice cream.
And he started to sing:
Love my doggy ice cream! Love my doggy ice cream!
Eric Litwin, author of the bestselling and beloved Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, and bestselling artist Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, have created a captivating new canine character who will groove his way into readers’ hearts and have them grooving and giggling all the while. In his debut adventure, Groovy Joe faces three roaring dinosaurs hungry for his doggy ice cream! Oh no! But Joe knows just what to do and soon enough he has them all sharing while moving and singing along.
Jake the Growling Dog
Published: May 31, 2019
Jake s voice has a different sound.
Other critters won’t come around.
But he is sweet and only wants to play.
Will others start to see him that way?
Follow Jake, a sweet, kind, and misunderstood dog as he tries to make friends despite his differences.
Meet forest critters of all kinds while getting to know Jake. Jake loves to swim, hike, and play, but when he realizes he’s lonely a true friend comes to his aid. Soon others find friendship and understanding filling this tale with heart and hope.
Published: January 23, 2018
Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine.
One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling.
What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected―and finding friendship that takes you to new heights, in John Himmelman’s Floaty.
Dogs Don’t Do Ballet
Published: June 15, 2010
Meet Biff, an adorable little puppy who will stop at nothing to become a ballet dancer.
Published: June 3, 2014
This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters.
But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?
Published: May 17, 2016
Everyone in the Ellis family is excellent–except Ed.
Ed wonders if this is why he isn’t allowed to eat at the table or sit on the couch with the other children. So he’s determined to find his own thing to be excellent at–only to be (inadvertently) outdone by a family member every time.
Now Ed is really nervous–what if he’s not excellent enough to belong in this family?
Pig the Pug
Published: July 1, 2014
“Pig was a Pug and I’m sorry to say, he was greedy and selfish in most every way.”
Pig is the greediest Pug in the world. He is ill-tempered, rude and unreasonable. When Pig the Pug is asked to share his toys, something unexpected happens. Hopefully Pig has learned a lesson!
A Dog Wearing Shoes
Published: September 29, 2015
When Mini finds a small moppet of a dog, with fluffy ears, no collar, and wearing yellow booties, she understandably wants to take it home. Despite Mom’s insistence that the dog probably already has a family, Mini gets attached and is awfully proud of her new pal, who can sing, sit, and give both paws. But when the pup runs off one day at the park, Mini comes to understand how someone else out there might be missing the little guy too.
Harry the Dirty Dog
Published: January 24, 2006
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!
Published: July 27, 2010
A picture-book treat for the youngest dog lovers.
Dog loves books SO much he opens his very own bookstore. At first he’s short of customers. But that’s all right, because when Dog is surrounded by books, he is never short of friends—or fun. And when customers begin arriving, he knows just which books to recommend.
Louise Yates’s expressive little white dog—and his many expressive doggie customers—extend an irresistible invitation to the very youngest to try reading. It’s fun!
Love Is My Favorite Thing
Published: November 24, 2015
Starring an enthusiastic pooch whose joy, optimism and love know no bounds, this lively picture book is based on Emma Chichester Clark’s own dog, and joyfully celebrates unconditional love.
Plum has lots of favorite things—catching sticks, her bear, her bed—but really, LOVE is her absolute favorite thing. She loves her family and all the things they do together. Sometimes, however, Plum’s exuberance causes trouble, and she just can’t help being naughty. But fortunately, love is such a great thing that even when she makes mistakes, Plum’s family still adores her.
Lulu Is A Rhinoceros
Published: June 26, 2018
Everyone thinks Lulu is a bulldog, but she knows that can’t be true, because Lulu is a Rhinoceros-that is what she sees staring back at her when she looks in the mirror. But sometimes, being yourself can be a difficult road to walk. And just when all hope seems lost, Lulu finds a small friend that makes a big difference in her life when she realizes that the courage to be herself has been inside of her all along…
If You Give a Dog a Donut
Published: October 4, 2011
The If You Give… series is a perennial favorite among children. With its spare, rhythmic text and circular tale, these books are perfect for beginning readers and story time. Sure to inspire giggles and requests to “read it again!”
Other favorites in Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond’s bestselling series include:
- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
- If You Give a Moose a Muffin
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake
- If You Give a Pig a Party
Published: February 9, 2010
Gorgeous canines of every shape, size and color are bounding through this irresistible book. Can you choose one dog to love best of all? With playful pencil and watercolor illustrations to delight children and adults alike, everyone will long to bark along with the Chihuahua and tickle the Dalmatian’s tummy. This is a wonderfully satisfying book with a twist in the tail.
Douglas, You’re a Genius!
Published: September 11, 2018
Pals Nancy and Douglas think their baseball game is over after their ball rolls through a hole in the fence. But when the ball rolls back, followed by a note in an unfamiliar language, they have to discover who’s on the other side of the fence. And so in a series of truly outrageous–and hilarious–stunts, Nancy tries to launch, vault, and fly Douglas over to the other side to see what’s what. Finally, after all Nancy’s plans fail, Douglas gets his turn to execute a plan–and it works! And who do they find? New friends who speak Spanish. Readers will laugh out loud at the antics in this zany picture book, which proves that working together makes everything more fun.
Published: May 22, 2003
Snuggle Puppy is a year-round valentine from parent to child. It is bright, chunky, a pleasure to hold, and has a die-cut cover that reveals a glimpse of the joy inside before it’s even opened. Best of all, it’s packed, of course, with pure Boynton: her inimitable language, her inimitable illustrations, her inimitable sense of fun.
OOO, Snuggle Puppy of mine! Everything about you is especially fine. I love what you are. I love what you do. Fuzzy little Snuggle Puppy, I love you. Featuring a sweet and cuddly doggie cast and rhyming verse, Snuggle Puppy is the perfect bedtime book to read last, because of an ending that kids will want again and again: I started with OOO. . . . Now we’ll end like this: [BIG SMOOCH!]
Dog’s Colorful Day
Published: February 24, 2003
Dog starts off the day with one black spot on his ear. But it seems that wherever he goes, he runs, rolls, and trots right into colors. As he wanders around town, Dog collects spots made of red jam, blue paint, pink ice cream, and more. When he finally arrives back home, Dog has ten different colored spots. And then it’s bath time for this colorful canine, who makes learning colors and numbers easy, messy, and fun!
Published: September 24, 2019
Everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in a unique way. Polly belongs to Molly, Eric belongs to Derek, Berry belongs to Terry. But poor Mr. Scruff, alone in the rescue shelter, doesn’t belong to anyone. Then a boy named Jim walks in, and they seem to get along. Jim and Mr. Scruff don’t look anything alike, and their names certainly don’t rhyme, but they may end up belonging to each other just the same. From author-illustrator Simon James comes a warm, winning story about friendship and finding a home.
Published: May 4, 2011
It’s picture day at the dog park. But before the first photo can be taken, an exuberant pack of pups needs a bit of grooming. So they’re off to Shampoodle, the local pet salon, where the eager dogs simply cannot sit still. And when some curious cats stop by, things go from messy to mayhem. Shampoodle is perfect for animal lovers and children who are just starting to read on their own, taking their cues from lively art and bubbly, rhymed text.
Published: August 4, 2015
The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him…a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don’t want turns out to be exactly what you need.
Thoughtful care goes into a child’s efforts to help an abused dog learn to trust humans again. Stooping near the bush where the dog is hiding, offering scraps of food, and leaving an umbrella in a rainstorm all convince the dog that the child’s offering of friendship is real. The boy is worried when Mom insists on putting up “lost dog” signs. But in the end, the dog and child find a new friend in each other.
There they are: 40 of the best picture books about dogs! Which of these books have you read and enjoyed? Which ones did I miss?
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