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21 New and Noteworthy Picture Books About Dogs

Looking for the best picture books about dogs to read with your kids? Here are some great picture books for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children’s books about dogs including real and fictional dogs, sled dogs, guide dogs and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children’s books with love as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Picture Books About Dogs

Hot Dog by Doug Salati

It’s summer in the city, and this hot dog has had enough! Enough of sizzling sidewalks, enough of wailing sirens, enough of people’s feet right in his face. When he plops down in the middle of a crosswalk, his owner endeavors to get him the breath of fresh air he needs. She hails a taxi, hops a train, and ferries out to the beach.

Forever Home by Henry Cole

What child hasn’t wanted a pet? How many parents have asked their kids to show that they can be responsible to get a pet? In this book, a boy with dog fever sets out to prove to his dads that he can be responsible enough for a dog going so far as to go on walks with a leash. He finally proves it to them and he notices a stray dog that he eventually rediscovers at the humane society. The boy follows through with all of his plans for his dog being a responsible dog, something many kids need to see, as he gives the dog its forever home. Henry Cole finds ways to communicate some of the deepest messages and changes in time while still including a lot of action and heart. He has another couple of books on this list as well. In the spreads with only the most essential color to draw attention, he tells a story that every student will relate to and inspire them to try similar things in their lives.

Looking for the best picture books about dogs to read with your kids? Here are some great picture books for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children's books about dogs including real and fictional dogs, sled dogs, guide dogs and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children's books with love as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.
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A Very Unusual Dog by Dorothy Joan Harris

Dog is a very unusual dog indeed. He is invisible, enjoys bread crumbs, and going for walks. His sister is convinced that Dog doesn’t exist. A visit to grandma’s house helps everyone understand a little bit better just how important man’s best friend can be.

A Stone For Sascha by Aaron Becker

This year’s summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride. But a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl’s grief. There, at the edge of a vast ocean beneath an infinite sky, she uncovers, alongside the reader, a profound and joyous truth. In his first picture book following the conclusion of his best-selling Journey trilogy, Aaron Becker achieves a tremendous feat, connecting the private, personal loss of one child to a cycle spanning millennia — and delivering a stunningly layered tale that demands to be pored over again and again.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Max Goes to the Space Station by Jeffrey Bennett

The prequel to the other books in the Science Adventures with Max the Dog series, this installment follows Max on his trip to the International Space Station where he shares in the adventures of astronaut life and helps save everyone from a potential disaster along the way. The book teaches children to see themselves and the planet in a new light and encourages readers to discover how they can help make the world a better place. Accompanying the story of how Max saves the day are numerous “Big Kid Box” sidebars that offer science facts and other pieces of fascinating information. Grown-ups and kids learn about science together with this fun and educational picture book about space.

Max Goes to the Moon by Jeffrey Bennett

Max the Dog and a young girl named Tori take the first trip to the Moon since the Apollo era, and their trip proves so inspiring to people back on Earth that all the nations of the world come together to build a great Moon colony. From the colony, the views of Earth make everyone realize how small and precious planet Earth is.

Max Goes to Mars by Jeffrey Bennett

Come with Max as he takes off on his next exciting science adventure, this time joining astronauts on the first human mission to Mars. Equipped with a specially designed spacesuit, Max sniffs for signs of microscopic life. Will he find any? Read the exciting story to find out, and to learn how his trip to Mars helps his young friend Tori reflect on the beauty and fragility of our own planet Earth. Astronauts on the International Space Station read this book in both English and Spanish – check out the Story Time From Space here.

Max Goes to Jupiter by Jeffrey Bennett

Scientifically-accurate illustrations and information-packed sidebars enrich this second edition picture book. Set in the future, Max the dog and his friend, Tori, are on the Jupiter Mission. The first editon of Max Goes to Jupiter was selected for NASA’s Story Time From Space Program and ILA Children’s Choices List.

Akiak by Robert Blake

What happens when you can’t control your life? How do you take control of your fate? When she hurts her paw on the fourth day of the race, Akiak can no longer compete in the Iditarod—the famed dogsledding race through 1,151 miles of Alaskan terrain. Her musher has no choice but to leave her behind. The rules say once a dog is dropped from the race, it may not rejoin the team. But ten-year-old lead dog Akiak doesn’t know the rules, and nothing will stop her from catching up to her team. Akiak has never won the race before. Will she be able to help her team win this time? A great book to read in winter or to talk abou the Iditarod race in March.

Togo by Robert Blake

Heard of Balto? Probably. Heard of Togo? Probably not, but Togo is the name you should know. Togo wasn’t meant to be a sled dog. He was too feisty and independent to make a good team member, let alone a leader. But Togo is determined, and when his trainer, Leonhard Seppala, gives him a chance, he soon becomes one of the fastest sled dogs in history! His skills are put to the ultimate test, though, when Seppala and his team are called on to make the now-famous run across the frozen Arctic to deliver the serum that will save Alaska from a life-threatening outbreak of diphtheria.

Storm Run by Libby Riddles

In 1985, Libby Riddles made history by becoming the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race. This brand-new edition of Riddles’s timeless adventure story is complete with updated narrative details, sidebars on all aspects of the race, photographs, and all-new illustrations by beloved illustrator Shannon Cartwright. An inspiration to children and adults everywhere, this is a compelling first-hand account of the arctic storms, freezing temperatures, loyal sled dogs, and utter determination that defined Riddles’s Iditarod victory.

Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio

Antoinette’s three burly brothers each have a special talent. Rocky is clever. Ricky is fast! And Bruno is STRONG. Mrs. Bulldog reassures Antoinette that there is something extra special about her—but Antoinette is not so sure. Then one day, while Antoinette plays in the park with her friend Gaston, Gaston’s sister Ooh-La-La goes missing. Antoinette feels a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. She must find Ooh-La-La. She will not give up! Can Antoinette rescue the puppy in peril—and discover what makes her extra special along the way?

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

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?

Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky

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.

Rags: Hero Dog Of World War I by Margot Theis Raven

During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog’s battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend’s side.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Officer Buckle knows more about safety than anyone in the town of Napville. But whenever he tries to share his safety tips, nobody listens – until the day the Napville Police Department buys a police dog named Gloria, who has her own way of demonstrating safety tips. A book so beautifully illustrated that it won a Caldecott Medal!

Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she realizes “Olive… the other Reindeer… I thought I was a dog. Hmmm, I must be a Reindeer!” So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised that a dog wants to join the their team, in the end Olive and her unusual reindeer skills are just what Santa and his veteran reindeer team need. Colorful graphic illustrations accompany this zany dog story from the well-known author and artist team, Vivian and J.otto Seibold. Adorable Olive and her hilarious adventures are sure to make anyone’s Christmas merry.

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their prize-winning garden, which grows big and beautiful. One day the unthinkable happens: Evan’s dog dies. Heartbroken and trying to cope with the loss, Evan destroys the garden and everything in it. The ground becomes overgrown with prickly weeds and thorns, and Evan embraces the chaos.

But beauty grows in the darkest of places, and when a twisting vine turns into an immense pumpkin, Evan is drawn out of his isolation and back to the county fair, where friendships—old and new—await.

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda Child

When Uncle and Windy Girl and Itchy Boy attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers in their jingle dresses and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Now Uncle’s stories inspire other visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers–all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow.

Because of Winn-Dixie

One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket (a Winn-Dixie supermarket) for some groceries—and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.

Best Children’s Books About Dogs

What are some of your favorite picture books about dogs? Are there any must read children’s books about dogs that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Looking for the best picture books about dogs to read with your kids? Here are some great picture books for classroom read alouds or for students to read. Children's books about dogs including real and fictional dogs, sled dogs, guide dogs and more. Ideas for elementary school teachers looking for children's books with love as a central theme including lesson plans and activities! Great for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade.
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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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