The best easy reader children's books featuring dogs

Trudy Krisher Author Of Bark Park!
By Trudy Krisher

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...

Bark Park!

By Trudy Krisher, Brooke Boynton-Hughes (illustrator),

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!

The books I picked & why

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Go, Dog. Go!

By P. D. Eastman,

Book cover of Go, Dog. Go!

Why 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.


How Rocket Learned to Read

By Tad Hills,

Book cover of How Rocket Learned to Read

Why 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.


Dig, Dogs, Dig: A Construction Tail

By James Horvath,

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

Why 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.


Big Dog and Little Dog

By Dav Pilkey,

Book cover of Big Dog and Little Dog

Why 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.


Biscuit in the Garden

By Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Pat Schories (illustrator),

Book cover of Biscuit in the Garden

Why 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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, gardens, and reading?

5,215 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 235 books about dogs
Gardens Explore 27 books about gardens
Reading Explore 13 books about reading

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like And Then It's Spring, Vinny Gets a Job, and Madeline Finn and the Library Dog if you like this list.