The long, hot days of August are often called dog days, but dog days can be any time you read about the canine adventures of man’s best friend. Discover all kinds of dogs in these recommended tales.

  1. Hello, Puppy
    By Jane Cowen-Fletcher

    Kids will fall for an irresistible puppy and her owner while learning all about puppy behavior. Kids will also get a good sense of the responsibilities for taking care of a pet.Watch Nicolas read the book below in this episode of Can I Read to You?

  2. Dogzilla
    By Dav Pilkey

    What will the inhabitants of Mousopolis do when invaded by Dogzilla, the larger-than-life (but harmless looking) pooch? Can they reclaim their town before it’s chewed to bits? Collages using photographs and paintings illustrate this zany parody of old horror films. Those who enjoy Dogzilla may also appreciate Kat Kong; the titles tell it all!
  3. Go Dog Go!
    By P.D. Eastman
    With Seuss-like silliness and a clipped rhyme with lots of repetition, dogs of all sizes and hues race through the pages of this ever-popular easy-to-read book. The absurd but concrete text is illustrated with energy and humor in this jaunty book.
  4. Good Dog Carl
    By Alexandra Day

    A lovable Rottweiler named Carl has everthing under control while Mom steps out on an errand. Or does he?
  5. Harry the Dirty Dog
    By Gene Zio

    Recommended by David – Harry was a white dog with black spots – until he slid down the coal chute. Then he became a black dog with white spots. When my mother read me this story, I still remember worrying that the family would never recognize Harry. But lo and behold, Harry digs up the scrubber brush and they finally give him a bath. Great illustrations, fun story, happy memories!
  6. Henry & Mudge: The First Book
    By Cynthia Rylant

    There are no other kids on Henry’s block so his parents agree that a dog to play with will ease Henry’s loneliness. This is the start of an unforgettable friendship between a boy and a big pooch named Mudge.
  7. Let’s Get a Pup! Said Kate
    By Bob Graham

    Her parents are receptive to Kate’s suggestion, “Let’s get a pup!” and head to the shelter. They bring home a puppy, but ultimately return to add Rosey, an older dog, to their family. Line and wash illustrations depict a very contemporary and loving family with wit and compassion.
  8. Martha Speaks
    By Susan Meddaugh

    When Martha, a slightly frumpy white and brown mutt, eats alphabet soup, the letters go to her head not to her stomach. The result is the first in a series of very funny adventures with a talking dog and her sometimes flummoxed human family.
  9. New Pup on the Block
    By Susan Saunders

    Can Tracker, Fritz, Sheena, and Jake find Rosie before the dogcatcher finds them all? The quest starts when Rosie heads back to the city to find her former owner. Each puppy has his or her distinct personality; each lives with loving humans in Buxton, a small town where Rosie comes to live, too. The canine sleuths are captivating in this and other books in the series. Black and white sketches throughout enhance the dogs’ individuality.
  10. The Great Gracie Chase
    By Cynthia Rylant

    Gracie Rose is an obedient dog who likes her home just as it is: comfy and quiet. When Gracie barks to tell intruding house painters to leave, she is put outside and so begins the Great Gracie Chase, which eventually involves the entire town! The illustrations use flat colors and rounded forms to convey the circular chase that’s led by an appealing dog who finds her way back home.
  11. Walter’s Tail
    By Lisa Campbell Ernst

    Mrs. Tully’s puppy, Walter, is friendly and happy. His wagging tail is fine while he’s small but when Walter grows into large dog, the folks in town dread seeing Mrs. Tully and Walter’s tail coming. Sad and despondent, Mrs. Tully and Walter talk a long walk out of town where Mrs. Tully slips into trouble and Walter’s tail becomes an asset. Line and wash illustrations effectively convey the mood and movement of this familiar and appealing story.

Visit our companion site, Start with a Book! Parents can:

  • Strengthen kids’ literacy, inquiry, and problem-solving skills with free science-themed activity packs that combine great book recommendations with easy hands-on activities
  • Energize kids to explore their community! Choose from 24 themes to jumpstart summer adventures with recommended books, activities and apps. Then download and print an Adventure Tracker and encourage kids to track their learning adventures with a fun map and log sheet or a~Summer Book Tracker ~to~log all of their summer reading.
  • Sign up for Summer Reading Tips to Go and get more great ideas for reading, writing and hands-on summertime fun texted right to your phone, in English or Spanish.

About Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national literacy initiative that gives parents and teachers the resources they need to help young children become strong readers and writers. Our website offers lots of video (including our PBS Launching Young Readers series), hundreds of articles about helping young readers, parent tips in 11 languages, a bilingual parent e-newsletter, video interviews with well-known children’s authors, a big library of themed booklists – and much more!

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