16 Of The Best Dog-Inspired Children’s Books On The Market

Written by: Elise Remp

June 1, 2022

Some things in life just go together – like peanut butter and jelly, Spiderman and Dr. Strange, Burt and Ernie – and of course, children’s books and puppies! We’ve rounded up this list of some of the most adorable, silly, and sometimes hilarious children’s books filled with man’s best friend as the main character.

As you take a scroll down the page, you’ll work your way from baby’s first book, The Poky Little Puppy, all the way to hilarious books for your older kids like Walter The Farting Dog! And don’t worry, we put a tissue box warning on the sad ones for you!

Noodle and the No Bones Day

The Poky Little Puppy (by Janette Sebring Lowrey)

Ages 0-3 Years
If you ask anyone for their list of fav children’s books about dogs, The Poky Little Puppy is bound to be among their list. This beloved classic is actually one of the original twelve Little Golden Books first published in the 1940s, and still stands the test of time as a favorite among families decades later! The original Poky story is about a curious puppy who digs a hole under the fence and gets sent to bed without dessert, but over the years Poky’s adventures have expanded into an entire series!

Whistle For Willie (by Ezra Jack Keats)

Ages 0-2 Years
Are you one of those people who never learned to whistle? Whistle For Willie is a classic tale of Peter whose only wish is to be able to whistle to help find his dog Willie, lost in the big city. If Peter can learn to whistle, maybe you can too! (Maybe! But, to be honest, we don’t hold out much hope if you’re over the age of, like, 20. Just kidding!)

The Other Dog (by Madeleine L’Engle)

Ages 0-12 Years
In The Other Dog, this pup’s owners came home with a new dog, and she just doesn’t get what all the fuss is about! This “other dog” is pinkish colored, with no fur or tail at all! How odd! Why would the family have chosen to bring home this strange breed known as “Baby”? You’ll enjoy this witty tale of a pup’s experience learning to adapt to a new baby in her home. 

Where’s Spot? (By Eric Hill)

Ages 3-5 Years
The series of Spot’s playful adventures all started with “Where’s Spot?,” which is the first book ever with a lift-the-flap interactive design. It’s about the playful search for a hiding puppy on his birthday. Something about Spot is so lovable that even your slightly older kids who outgrew the age range may one day go to a Scholastic Bookfair day at school and make a huge scene over their determination to go home with an interactive Spot book. 30 years later the’ll still hold a soft spot in their heart for the series! (Oddly specific, you say? We have no idea what you’re talking about!)

Clifford The Big Red Dog (by Norman Bridwell)

Ages 3-5 Years
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s never heard of Clifford the Big Red Dog before – he’s just that popular and loved! This giant sized red pup and his owner, a little girl named Emily Elizabeth now have over 80 books of adventures together, multiple TV series, video games, and even movies, including a brand new Clifford the Big Red Dog movie released last year in 2021. You can even preview the original book in this fever dream of a video we ran across and needed to share (or curse you all with) where Reginald, a puppet badger (his exact species of puppet is questionable) reads aloud for story time.

Pig the Pug Series (by Aaron Blabey)

Ages 3-5 Years
Pig the Pug is a series of books with all the life lessons to help teach your kids how not to be a greedy, selfish jerkface when they grow up! Follow Pig the Pug on his journey of learning some of life’s relatable lessons the hard way with a little bit of help from his friend Trevor.

Bluey Series (by Penguin Young Readers Licenses)

Ages 3-5 Years
Join Bluey and her silly imagination on a series of adventures with friends and family – but don’t forget to give her an Australian accent as you’re reading! This book series is based off an Australian cartoon about this 6-year-old Blue Heeler pup. May we suggest starting with this goofy story in the Bluey collection: Good Night, Fruit Bat, where Bluey wishes to become a flying fruit bat so she can stay up all night.

Can I Be Your Dog (by Troy Cummings)

Ages 3-7 Years
Omg, for the love of dog, someone please give this pup a home! Can I Be Your Dog is a hilarious and heart-warming book about a homeless pup named Arfy who will tug at your heart-strings! In this story, Arfy writes hand-written letters showcasing all his good qualities, trying out all different kinds of writing styles in hopes to catch the eye of his perfect new owner. Stay tuned for a happy ending!

I’ll Always Love You (by Hans Wilhelm)

Ages 3-7 Years
*Warning: have a tissue box nearby*
Prepare yourself for this tear-jerker of a story with a loving message. Elfie the Dachshund’s owner ends every day’s big adventure by telling Elfie “I’ll always love you” before it’s time for bed. Like every dog, Elfie is the best dog any pet parent could ever want to grow up with, but as we all know, dogs always leave us too early in life. (We know! We warned you it’s sad!) This book aims to make that loss a little bit less scary for kids. But let’s be real, us adults probably need this book more. *furiously keeps typing words to avoid thoughts of this at all costs*

The Invisible Leash (by Patrice Karst)

Ages 4-8 Years
*Warning: don’t put that tissue box away yet*
Fair warning that you may need a box of tissues while reading this one too! The Invisible Leash aims to help kids see that when their pets are no longer with them in person, they still have a connection to their hearts forever. They have an invisible leash. *sobs uncontrollably*

Biscuit Series (by Alyssa Satin Capucilli)

Ages 4-8 Years
The Biscuit series follows this fun-loving pup on a bunch of first big adventures – the beach, a day at the park, meeting new friends – but the original Biscuit story is about a pup who just has too much fun playing and doesn’t want to go to bed! These feel-good books are the pallet cleanser you may need to cheer you up after reading The Invisible Leash and I’ll Always Love You.

Arthur’s New Puppy (by Marc Brown)

Ages 4-8 Years
Don’t worry! Even though the Arthur TV series abruptly ended its 25 year run last year in 2021, new generations can still grow up going on adventures with Arthur through his books – like this one about Arthur’s New Puppy. Arthur has a lot of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to training dogs, but puppies always have a way of surprising us with their turmoil and silly antics!

Ella (by Mallory Kasdan)

Ages 5-8 Years
Not all kids grow up in a house in the suburbs, so why should all the characters in children’s books? Ella, her dog Stacie, and her fish Rasta live at Local Hotel in Brooklyn and wouldn’t have it any other way! This story of a young black girl and her adventures through the city is a modern day take of Kay Thompson’s classic Eloise. A tattooed male nanny named Manny? This book’s got it! Racial diversity? This book delivers! Nods to hipster culture? You’ll find them here! Dreams of owning a grilled cheese truck? Yup that too!

Harry The Dirty Dog (by Gene Zion)

Harry The Dirty Dog HAAATES getting a bath! He avoids them at all costs – even when his white coat with black spots ends up looking like a black coat with white spots!

Walter the Farting Dog (by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray)

Ages 5-9 Years
If you don’t mind laughing so hard that you may accidentally fart a lil, then Walter the Farting Dog is right up your alley! It’s a silly and hilarious story of Walter’s overly stinky flatulence helping to defeat some house burglars, and in the process, winning his entire families love, and acceptance of his stinky butt! If fart jokes aren’t really your thing and you find yourself more toward the “girls don’t fart” side of denial, then you might find your kinda people among the party POOPERS who originally tried to have this book withdrawn from libraries! Something tells me those people have SUPER stinky farts and don’t want the world to know about them!

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Written by: Elise Remp

June 1, 2022

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