10 Doggy Picture Books to Delight Young Children

10 Doggy Picture Books to Delight Young Children

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's DairyMany kids are fascinated by dogs from a very early age, whether they simply watch the neighbourhood dogs play in the street or park or have their own canine best friend at home.

Here are ten of our favourite picture books for little ones, featuring cheeky, inquisitive, adventurous, loving – and yes, naughty – dog characters.

Click on the titles or covers below for more information about each book.




First dog books for little ones …

Doggies –  lots of dogs to count and lots of dog noises to make, in a board book format for little hands.

The Spot series – these lift-the-flap books have been favourites with generations of kids, and no wonder, given the warmth of their depiction of family life, charming illustrations of the sorts of daily activities that are familiar to  preschoolers and gentle humour (like the image of a hippopotamus squeezed into a piano in Where’s Spot?).

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – we count the Hairy Maclary series among our favourite rhyming read-alouds of all time. Lynley Dodd’s rhythm and rhyme are spot-on and delightful to perform (even after repeat readings). And we adore her collection of dog (and cat) characters , from Schnitzel von Krumm with the very low tum to Bottomly Potts covered in spots.

Stories with universal ‘kid appeal’…

Pig the Fibber – this hugely entertaining rhyming story is even better than the original Pig the Pug. Naughty Pig likes telling lies that get his friend, Trevor the sausage dog, in trouble. Will he get his comeuppance?

Harry the Dirty Dog – we love the humorous switch of perspective when Harry (who does not like baths) gets so dirty that he changes from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots! Will his family recognise him?

Clifford the Big Red Dog – a tale of friendship and love: Clifford was the runt of a litter of puppies but the love of his owner Emily Elizabeth changed him dramatically …

Digger Dog – this story has a winning combination of a doggy lead character and some very cool technology! Digger Dog employs bigger and bigger machines to try to get to the bone he knows is underground. The large novelty gatefold at the end lets young readers into a VERY big surprise about that bone …

Life with a troublesome pet…

Dog ownership can sometimes have its problems  and the family in The Trouble with Dogs have a destructive dynamo on their hands. But will the trainer they’ve chosen help? As always, Bob Graham’s illustrations depict family life with warmth and humour.

A very special story with a big theme…

John Brown Rose and the Midnight Cat – Better Reading Director Cheryl Akle says ‘this is one of my all-time favourites as an adult and as a child. Good picture books are great short stories. I still enjoy them now as much as I did then. It’s the most beautiful tale of an English sheepdog called John Brown who loves an old lady called Rose and won’t let the cat in – the Midnight Cat – who Rose has befriended. John Brown is a jealous dog, just like my dog who is named after him. Rose starts to suffer depression and one morning she doesn’t get out of bed. John Brown is so sad and asks if it will help if he lets the Midnight Cat in. She says yes, the cat comes in, and they all live happily ever after.’

A true Australian story…

Bob the Railway Dog – recounts the adventures of a dog who famously rode the trains of Southern Australia during the 1880s. Originally sent to South Australia to be an outback rabbit hunger, he was adopted by a train guard. While Bob loved his guard owner, he loved the trains even more and continually headed off on trips. Beautifully illustrated by Andrew McLean, using watercolour and charcoal and black coloured pencil.

Which are your favourite picture book dogs? Please tell us in comments, below.

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