The best easy reader children's books featuring dogs

Who am I?

I belong to a family of dog lovers – Oscar, the black cocker spaniel; Buddy, the brown-and-white beagle; Riley, the buff cocker spaniel; Buffy, a black boxer mix, Milo and Max, Golden retrievers. In fact, cavorting with Riley at a San Francisco park was my inspiration for Bark Park. I also love children, especially my grandchildren Connor and Kasey. When Kasey, at five years of age, read my book Bark Park aloud for the first time, my heart swelled with joy! It took me back to my own young daughter Laura whose first all-by-herself read-aloud had been: Go, dog, go!  So it’s only natural for me to combine my two great loves – dogs and children – with these book recommendations.


I wrote...

Book cover of Bark Park!

What is my book about?

Welcome to Bark Park! Come along and play with all of the dogs at Bark Park in this exuberant rhyming picture book that’s a treat for animal lovers of any age. There are dogs running and dogs sunning, dogs riding and dogs sliding, dogs with a buddy and dogs getting muddy—all before returning home to a bubble bath, a cozy dog bed, and sweet dreams of—what else?—being back at the park. The jaunty rhyming award-winning text is perfect for beginning readers.

Bark Park! is a “canine tour de force” guaranteed to captivate early readers who love their dogs!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Go, Dog. Go!

Trudy Krisher Why did I love this book?

If your early readers love dogs, this classic picture book is alive with dogs who can help them read easy yet important words like colors, numbers, and directions. Best of all, its lively action-packed illustrations provide context cues for even the most struggling reader. “Stop” and “go” are illustrated with car-driving dogs braking at traffic lights or racing through intersections. “Over” depicts a dog helicoptering above a tree; “under” depicts a dog resting in a hammock under it. Action-packed doggy adventures – dogs on scooters and skates, on unicycles and carriages - invite young readers to join on this doggy adventure, preparing them for the adventure of reading itself.

By P. D. Eastman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Go, Dog. Go! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Whether by foot, boat, car, or unicycle, P. D. Eastman's lovable dogs demonstrate the many ways one can travel in this condensed, board-book version perfect for babies and toddlers.


Book cover of How Rocket Learned to Read

Trudy Krisher Why did I love this book?

How Rocket Learned to Read is a charming easy-to-read picture book based on the joys of teaching and learning. In it, a little yellow bird teaches Rocket, the spotted dog, to read. Rocket begins by learning the alphabet. After that, he picks up little words like “Grrrrrr!” and “Whoosh!.” Little bird helps Rocket move on to words like “fall” and “red,” signaling a change in seasons. When winter comes, the little yellow bird must fly south. Although Rocket misses little bird, he keeps up with his schoolwork by practicing writing his “ABCs” in the snow. When the little bird returns in the spring, Rocket is now splashing in a word he can now spell: “mud.” Best of all he can spell the word “wag,” which is what he does with his tail when the little bird happily returns for the next season of school.

By Tad Hills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Rocket Learned to Read as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rocket is an irresistible puppy who is not the least bit interested in reading - he'd much prefer to be chasing leaves, chewing sticks or listening to the birds sing. But one day, while trying to take a nap, Rocket unexpectedly finds himself in the classroom of a very determined little bird who captures his imagination with her lively stories. Together, they learn to read, one glorious letter at a time!


Book cover of Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail

Trudy Krisher Why did I love this book?

In Dig, Dogs, Dig early readers will delight in the rhymes and illustrations that are context clues to the words in the text. As the hard-working crew of dogs builds a new park, they dig with bulldozers and dump trucks and diggers and loaders. Along the way, they discover a dinosaur bone, which becomes the featured attraction of the new park.

By James Horvath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dig, Dogs, Dig as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Top dog Duke and his crew of construction-worker dogs are hard at work building a new park. They need lots of cool equipment to help them dig, haul, push, and plow-like a backhoe, dump truck, bulldozer, and grader. But what happens when the crew finds something unexpected buried deep in the ground? Beginning readers will love this I Can Read adventure starring a doggy construction crew! The text and art have been gently adapted from James Horvath's picture book of the same title. Dig, Dogs, Dig is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it's perfect for children…


Book cover of Big Dog and Little Dog

Trudy Krisher Why did I love this book?

This very easy early reader is a good choice for launching a child into reading. It follows Big Dog and Little Dog through their day as they eat, play, and – finally – sleep cuddled up together at night. This oh-so-simple story with its oh-so-simple illustrations provides a charming plot and a sense of reading mastery for the oh-so-very early young reader.

By Dav Pilkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Dog and Little Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Big Dog and Little Dog are canine companions who stick together through thick and thin. In this, their first adventure, Big Dog and Little Dog are hungry! And as any good dog knows, friends who chow down together nap together.


Book cover of Biscuit in the Garden

Trudy Krisher Why did I love this book?

Biscuit is a curious little dog who loves the garden. He scampers about enjoying the butterflies and worms and especially the birds. But when Biscuit accidentally knocks over a bag of birdseed, his accident has a happy ending, for the seeds attract even more birds to the garden. Biscuit in the Garden offers simple words and a simple but engaging plot for young readers who are just beginning to read.

By Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Pat Schories (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Biscuit in the Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Clifford and Spot, welcome everybody’s favorite little yellow puppy, Biscuit, in an I Can Read adventure!

Biscuit is excited to explore the garden. From the prettiest flowers to the smallest bugs, there's so much to see. And the little puppy even finds his own special way to add to the garden's bounty!

Biscuit in the Garden, a My First I Can Read book, is carefully crafted using basic language, word repetition, sight words, and sweet illustrations—which means it's perfect for shared reading with emergent readers. Books at this level feature basic language, word repetition, and whimsical illustrations,…


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Book cover of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

Sharman Apt Russell Author Of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

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Who am I?

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What is my book about?

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What is this book about?

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In a lyrical, often humorous voice, Russell shares her journey across a wild, rural landscape tracking this little-known species, an insect…


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Interested in dogs, gardens, and reading?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, gardens, and reading.

Dogs Explore 384 books about dogs
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