Studies show that the benefits of reading are life-changing. Here are a few:
- It makes kids smarter.
- Enhances comprehension.
- Increases their cognitive reasoning.
- They do better in school!
Whether it’s a young toddler with a picture book, young child reading primer stories, or a teen who has mastered the art, the gift of reading is precious and will last a lifetime. I’ve put together a list of 10 Great Kid Books For Dog Lovers. After all … kids and dogs are as natural a team as peanut butter and jelly!
You’ll notice the book list is diverse with one constant theme: There is something to learn from each one. Happy Reading!
By: Troy Cummings
New York Times Best Seller
Age Range: 3 – 7 years old
Grade Level: Preschool – Grade 2
I don’t know if it gets any more heartwarming than this. This picture book is a story of a homeless dog named Arfy, who lives on the streets in a box and is in search of a forever home. Arfy takes matters into his own paws as he writes letters to every family on Butternut Street, telling them why he would be a great addition to their family.
According to Amazon:
“Troy Cummings’s hilarious and touching story is a perfect gift for a child wanting a dog, and for pet adoption advocates. It also showcases many different styles of letter writing, making it appealing to parents and teachers looking to teach the lost art of written communication.”
El wrote this 5-star review:
“I am a mother of three and run a dog rescue. This book is my new favorite children’s story. The pictures were fantastic and the kids were so happy to read about Arfy looking for his new home. I read the book at my children’s preschool and then did an “adopt a dog” activity with the kids. They were so enthralled with this book! A perfect book to get them thinking about “dog adoption” at a young age. Well done!”
By: Stephanie Calmenson
It’s no secret that most kiddos love dogs, but not all kids (or even adults for that matter) know how to approach a canine stranger. May I Pet Your Dog will change that!
Harry the dachshund will pique your child’s interest as he narrates how to approach a dog you don’t know. Harry takes you on a journey where you’ll meet up with an excited puppy, a service dog, and even a not-so-friendly pooch. The object of this book is safety. It’s written in a positive, non-threatening manner. And it all starts with the words: “May I Pet Your Dog!”
The reviews on Amazon are glowing. K Janes writes in her Amazon 5-star review:
“I’m often disappointed by the popular books about kids and dogs, but this one is right on target! It could not have been more perfectly written! There is every element of teaching the child how to act appropriately around dogs, enough repetition that they will remember it, and has enough interaction to keep the child’s interest! I can’t say enough good things about it. I’ve worked with dogs and kids all of my adult life, including doing therapy work in the classroom as a Reading Education Assistance Dogs team. I’ve never seen anything better.”
By: Barbara O’Connor
New York Times Best Seller
Age Range: 9 – 12 Years Old
Grade Level: 4 – 6
Wish is the story of an 11-year-old girl, Charlie, who has an unstable home life and a special wish she’s been longing for since the fourth grade. With a disinterested mom and a dad in jail, Charlie is sent to live with an aunt and uncle who she hardly knows. Troubled from her situation, Charlie is losing hope that her wish will ever come true. I can’t tell you what that wish is … because you know the thing about wishes (you can’t tell anyone or they won’t come true)! While with her aunt and uncle, Charlie meets a new friend and a stray dog, and her world may just be on its way to turning around.
Amanda Schreiber writes in her 5-star Amazon review:
“The magical cover is only a start to this wonderful book! Wish has to be one of my favorites of 2016! Students will devour this book. Told with humor & honesty this book follows Charlie’s attempt to fit in, in a new town & capture a stray dog named Wishbone. Will Charlie love her new life? Or will her temper prevent her from making friends? Will her wish finally come true?
Charlie, Howard, Bertha, Gus & Wishbone are a cast of characters students will love & adore! My fifth graders have not been able to put down Charlie’s story! Barbara O’Connor’s Wish will transport you to North Caroline and you won’t want to come home! Add this to your TBR & library ASAP!”
By: W. Bruce Cameron
Winner of 2017 Colorado Children’s Book Award for Junior Novel
Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award
Age Range: 8 – 11 Years Old
Grade Level” 3 – 6
Ellie’s Story is an inspiring story written by the same author of the New York Times bestseller, A Dog’s Purpose. In this illustrated novel, Ellie, a dog with a purpose, has work to do. As a trained search and rescue dog, she thrives on doing heroic acts. But now Ellie has more on her plate. Follow her journey as she refocuses her purpose onto her human family, who is facing challenges of their own.
If your child likes this book, it is part of a series. Other titles include: Bailey’s Story, Lily’s Story, Molly’s Story, Toby’s Story, Max’s Story, and Shelby’s Story.
Sherry S wrote in her Amazon 5-star review:
“Purchased for my granddaughter’s ninth birthday. She had already read Molly’s Story and Bailey’s Story … so I expected her to love this one as well. She hesitated diving into it … I think Ellie just didn’t have the cute, cuddly look like the other two. But after she read it … she declared it the best of all three!”
5. National Geographic Kids Everything Dogs: All the Canine Facts, Photos, and Fun You Can Get Your Paws On!
By: Becky Baines
Age Range: 8 – 12 Years Old
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Just as the name implies, Everything Dogs is just that … everything dogs! Learn fun facts, get the real scoop from Nat Geo experts, get busy with some interactive activities, and enjoy the quality photos that National Geographic is known for. If your kiddos are dog-lovers, this is a great resource to have handy on the bookshelf for them. It’s an easy read and doesn’t have to be read in order. They can flip around the book while exploring topics they’re most interested in at the moment!
Maddy Dennis-Perez writes in her Amazon 5-star review:
“This book was a huge hit with my dog-obsessed 8-year-old. She’s always trying to learn everything she can about different dog breeds, and this book has more than enough facts, pictures and fun little tidbits of information to keep her busy for a good long time. It’s not the kind of book that you need to sit down and read cover to cover either. You can pretty much open it up to whatever page you want and there will be something cool for a kiddo to read. I’m really glad I got her this book, and, more importantly, she’s totally into it and that’s what matters most. If you know a kid who loves dogs, this book will be an excellent choice!”
By: Barbara Soloff Levy
Age Range: 5 – 10 Years Old (I would expand this range to include anyone who wants to learn to draw)
Grade Level: Pre-school – Grade 5
From dogs to gerbils, How To Draw Pets offers step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions on how to draw 30 animals and creatures. Your children (or you) will follow along while drawing and connecting various shapes (like circles and ovals) until…viola…picture complete! When the drawing is done, grab a box of crayons and enjoy coloring the picture.
Jennifer Chadwell writes in her 5-star Amazon review:
“Really had to look around and at reviews for all the ‘how to draw’ books. Was on the hunt for such a book for my 9-year-old daughter who is not artistically blessed. This is perfect for her and she’s been enjoying it daily for a couple of weeks, now. It is well worth the price! So many different ‘pets’ to learn how to draw. While the steps aren’t hard for her, it does take time and concentration. Highly recommend this book for older children wanting to learn how to draw animals! The step by step instructions are perfect!”
And for all the adults who would love to relax and draw Delayed Echo writes in her Amazon 5-star review:
“This book is great not just for kids learning to draw but also for adults looking for a creative outlet. Some of the sketches are simple, others a little less simple, but they’re all easy enough for beginners. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment after drawing a few pets from the book, and with instructions from the book it’s easy to knock out 8-10 drawings of pets in an hour or two.”
7. I Want A Puppy Or A Dog (Best Pets For Kids) (Volume 4)
By: Tristan Pulsifer and Jacquelyn Elnor Johnson
Age Range: 8 – 12 Years Old
Grade Level: 4 – 6
This book will walk you through all the steps and tips necessary while on the journey to finding your new fur baby. You’ll get tips on:
- Where to find a new pooch
- How to assess your potential pup’s health status
- What to feed and not to feed a new dog
- How to pup-proof your house
- Bringing Fido home
- Naming him
- Training your pooch so he learns good manners
And so much more. I Want A Puppy Or A Dog is a great guide for kids and families new to dog guardianship or even experienced pup homes. Lots to be learned in this book.
Ashley Emma writes in her Amazon 5-star review:
“Great guide for kids with a new dog that covers everything from naming their new pet to cleaning up after him and making sure he stays out of the foods that aren’t good for him. Every kid with a dog needs this book, and it can even help adults too! There was a lot in here that I didn’t know before. Highly recommended for parents of kids with dogs or for kids with dogs and puppies. A fun, quick and delightful read.”
By: Luis Carlos Montalvàn and Bret Witter
Photography by: Dan Dion
Age Range: 4 – 8 Years Old
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Tuesday is a service dog to an army veteran, Montalván, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as other disabilities. Join Tuesday and Montalvàn as they navigate a typical day together in New York City. The story, told by Tuesday the dog, explains how he is always by his owner’s side to help care for him and how he does it. Whether they are hustle-bustling the crowded streets of NYC, catching a cab, riding the subway, or tucking into bed at night, Tuesday is always there to assist.
Experience the inseparable bond between Montalvàn and Tuesday. There are great lessons in this book for kids as they learn about PTSD in a gentle easy-to-understand read.
Jill writes in her Amazon 5-star review:
“As an elementary school teacher, my students have usually put working dogs into two categories: guide dogs for the blind and police dogs. In Tuesday Tucks Me In, Tuesday introduces himself as a different kind of service dog. Children can make connections with Tuesday’s routines that are similar to other dogs’, and they can expand their understanding as Tuesday describes his responsibilities as a service dog for Luis, a veteran with disabilities.
This story is a wonderful bridge to conversations about “invisible” disabilities, the sacrifices of our veterans, and the mutual devotion between humans and dogs. Additionally, Luis and Tuesday’s story helps us talk to children about the reality of stress and anxiety. Sadly, even young children have stress and anxiety, and many of them do not yet know how to put those thoughts and feelings into words. This book gives us a great way to have a dialogue about those feelings and the importance of asking for and accepting help.”
9. Ben: The Very Best Furry Friend – A children’s book about a therapy dog and the friends he makes at the library and nursing home
By: Holly Raus
Learn how Ben, a therapy dog, makes friends and helps so many people as he visits schools, libraries, and nursing homes. He helps children gain the confidence to read with more fluency, as well as helping older folks feel better. This is a heartwarming little book about a very special dog, Ben!
“According to a 10-week study conducted by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, students aged 7 to 12 who read aloud to pets increased reading fluency by 30%.”
By: Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
2019 Schneider Family Book Award Winner
Age Range: 5 – 9 Years Old
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
This is a true, inspirational, and heartwarming story about a girl named Jessica and a dog named Rescue. Together they work to help Jessica as she is recovering from a catastrophic injury to both of her legs.
In an editorial review, Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA writes:
“Kensky, and her coauthor and husband Downes, were both injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and have chosen to leave that particular detail out of the primary narrative. Instead, they focus on the work that Rescue does to aid Jessica every day and the intensity of their relationship.”
Author Jessica Kensky writes:
“Rescue brings so much joy and support to our lives. My husband, Patrick, and I wanted to write Rescue’s story to share with children the love we have for our own companion, to celebrate the extraordinary and varied abilities of Service Dogs, and to give insight into what it means to live with a disability. We can show them how dogs can play a special role in helping their disabled owners live full, happy lives.”
Watch and listen as Jessica and her husband tell you about themselves, the book, and the strength and friendship they have with Rescue. Meet Rescue.