Hey parents, looking for something unique to read to your dog-crazy kids tonight? We’ve got six gorgeous and creative picture books you should definitely put into the rotation…and one that’s just for you. (No kids allowed!)
From dogs that talk to one who can’t, dogs on adventures and dogs solving problems, these stories are sure to please early readers—and keep you awake, too. There’s even a dog who will teach you Spanish. Who knew?
Martha is a dog who eats alphabet soup and gains the power of human speech. But Martha, being Martha, talks too much, and doesn’t quite get how to get along in polite, English-speaking society. Speech seems like a mixed blessing until the day she uses her voice to save her family. Now a beloved PBS cartoon series in addition to a wonderful book series, Martha Speaks is educational in the best way. Below, author Susan Meddaugh tells the store of the real Martha, an opinionated stray, who inspired the stories and stole her family’s heart.
Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh $6.99 via Amazon
An exciting and downright joyful telling of the absolutely true adventures of sled dog Balto. Did you know Balto’s adventures didn’t stop after the serum run? Meghan McCarthy’s charmingly bug-eyed illustrations bring wit and humor to a nonfiction story for thrill-seeking kiddos.
Check out this video of the author reading from her book, complete with some fun animation and real photos from Balto’s adventurous life.
Chowder the bulldog is a loveably unique character who just wants to make some friends. He’d rather have fun with a telescope than a tennis ball, so he doesn’t have a lot in common with his fellow dogs. Then he hatches a plan to make some new pals at the petting zoo. Does it work out? Here’s a Chowder read-along video if you can’t wait to learn more.
The story of a puppy who couldn’t bark, this book is a guaranteed laugh riot with the 3 – 7 year-old demographic, especially if they know and love animal sounds. They’ll love the juxtaposition of a dog who says the wrong words every time! Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer uses a deceptively simple drawing style that lends an uncanny energy and flow to this story.
Based on the real life adventures of the author, Doley is a bilingual English-Spanish book that takes you into the mind—and ears—of Doley, the rescued Guatemalan street dog. Explore Doley’s world through the sights and sounds of her village life.
Did you know that when he’s not writing top-selling suspense thrillers, Dean Koontz writes books about his dogs? True! In this photo book, Dean’s dog Anna is an advice columnist for dogs. She answers hard-hitting questions from modern dogs with warmth and wit. Not only is Anna a sweetheart, but her famous author parent donates 100% of the proceeds from his dog books to Canine Companionship for Independence, who train guide dogs. Suitable for ages 5 and up.
With a Little Golden Book inspired design and a charming canine protagonist, Inspector Pancakes appears to be an exciting adventure tale for children. After all, it’s about a cartoon American dog in Paris. And it is. Only, each page includes both large-format text to read out loud to children, and very, very small text that tells a much darker and gristly tale straight out of a hardboiled detective thriller. That story is completely unsuitable for children. An excellent gift for a parent with a penchant for the work of Edward Gorey and Stieg Larsson.
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