The best children’s picture books about dogs we can learn from

Why am I passionate about this?

Chaco’s First Day at Work is based on my real life furry best friend, Chaco. Chaco is a Miniature Australian Shepherd and has been an amazing companion over the last 13 years. I work in Human Resources and am always focused on developing leaders in the company and am surprised by some of the things that people do. There are not many children’s books about leadership so I thought it would be great to pass along some new leadership lessons early to children through Chaco’s First Day at Work


I wrote...

Chaco's First Day at Work

By Mike Peterson, Barry Davian (illustrator),

Book cover of Chaco's First Day at Work

What is my book about?

This story is about a puppy named Chaco who takes over his father's family business of herding sheep. Follow Chaco as he struggles through his first day on the job. When he runs into some challenges he gets some help from a new friend and learns some new leadership lessons that help him find the inspiration needed to bring the sheep home safely.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie

Mike Peterson Why did I love this book?

Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie is a beautiful book packed full of life lessons. This book is a great way to instill good behaviors in your children from a young age using easy-to-understand concepts and rhyming that makes the book a ton of fun to read! 

By Chalaine Kilduff, Sally Brodermann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie 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?

Imbue good character and confidence within your child through easy life lessons, from a doggie!

Dogs make us laugh, and dogs bring us joy. But what can they teach us about life? With its lovable pictures and songlike rhymes, kids will pick up valuable lessons they can use throughout their lives. Sit Stay Love teaches that no matter how we are different, how we are the same is what matters most.

With so many things to learn in life, who'd knew that the best life lessons would come from a dog!

Children thrive on simple phrases, and easy to remember…


Book cover of Dorky Yorkie

Mike Peterson Why did I love this book?

This book teaches us that it’s ok to be yourself. In a world full of social media and TV it can be confusing for children to see themselves as different from the rest of the pack. I love this book because it teaches children that you can succeed by embracing who you are and using your own voice. 

By Joanna Krystal, Katarzyna Nowakowska (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dorky Yorkie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An endearing, vibrant story of how one tongue-tied, yet resourceful Yorkshire terrier beats the odds and finds her own voice.

Dorky Yorkie is unlike any other dog in her school. She is… well, herself. She blushes a lot. She giggles a lot. She often doesn’t know what to say. That’s why her biggest dream is to become president of the Woof and Bark Club. Then everyone would have to listen to her, right?

With all the tenacity she can muster, she sets out to achieve her ambition – only to realize that she really doesn’t have to be as brave…


Book cover of Don't Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs

Mike Peterson Why did I love this book?

This is a slightly different take on my list with a more practical teaching lesson. I have had so many children come up to Chaco and pull his hair or stick their hands in his mouth without permission. Luckily there haven’t been any injuries, but what if it was another dog that wasn’t so well behaved? It's important to train your children how to behave around dogs from an early age.

By Wendy Wahman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Lick the Dog 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?

Meeting a new dog is exciting, but it can also be scary. This humorous how-to manual shows kids the best ways to interact with unfamiliar dogs, providing helpful tips about all sorts of dog behavior. Children often don't understand what dogs' actions mean and can misinterpret a threatening signal for a friendly one and vice versa. Kids and parents will return to Wendy Wahman's playful illustrations again and again for useful reminders: Slow Down. Stay very still. And remember, don't lick the dog!


Book cover of Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis

Mike Peterson Why did I love this book?

Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis is a fun play on words. The book is a cute story about a dog with halitosis (bad breath) that was so bad that his family was thinking about giving him away. One night her bad breath came in handy knocking out two burglars that were breaking into her house. This book can teach us that we can embrace who we are, we can find positive things to do with our own personal quirks. 

By Dav Pilkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dog Breath 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?

Hally the dog has horrible breath. Even the skunks avoid her. So
when Mr and Mrs Tosis decide enough is enough and try to find a new
home for Hally, the Tosis kids hatch a plan to get rid of her
bad breath and save Hally. They try everything: a breathtaking view,
Breath of a Salesman and even a speedy rollercoaster, but nothing
works. Only a miracle can save Hally now...


Book cover of Don't Eat Bees: Life Lessons from Chip the Dog

Mike Peterson Why did I love this book?

This is more of a fun story than a life lesson. There are more lessons about what not to do that what you should do. That being said it’s a very cute book that does have one very important lesson: Don’t eat bees or they will sting you! This is story I wish I read as a kid before learning about bees the hard way. 

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Eat Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The comic duo that brought you I Don't Want to Be a Frog is back, with Chip the dog, a hilarious new character who's got some "wisdom" to share.

Are you a dog in need of advice? Fear not: Chip the dog is ON IT in this super-silly guide to living your best canine life. Chip is seven; he knows things. Like what to eat (important papers, the fancy bird the humans cooked for the fancy dinner, Grandpa’s teeth), and what not to eat (bees). He won’t get those mixed up, will he?
 
Pet lovers will see their own goofy…


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Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

By Linda MacKillop,

Book cover of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

Linda MacKillop Author Of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

For decades I have volunteered in different capacities, helping the hurting and those living on the margins by tutoring and teaching literacy to the formally incarcerated or homeless, teaching parenting in a maximum-security jail, and teaching ESL to resettled immigrants. Because my own suburban father fell into homelessness at the end of his life due to depression, job losses, divorce, and more, I feel tremendous compassion for anyone in this situation. And as the mother of four grown sons, we filled our home with books—especially books that taught compassion so our sons would grow into men with big hearts towards others. I believe we succeeded.

Linda's book list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers

What is my book about?

Home isn’t always what we dream it will be.

Eleven-year-old Sierra just wants a normal life. After her military mother returns from the war overseas, the two hop from home to homelessness while Sierra tries to help her mom through the throes of PTSD.

When they end up at a shelter for women and children, Sierra is even more aware of what her life is not. The kind couple who run the shelter, Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin, attempt to show her parental love as she faces the uncertainties of her mom’s emotional health and the challenges of being the brand-new poor kid in middle school. The longer she stays at the shelter, the more Sierra realizes she may have to face an impossible choice as she redefines home.

Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

By Linda MacKillop,

What is this book about?

Home isn’t always what we dream it will be. 

Eleven-year-old Sierra just wants a normal life. After her military mother returns from the war overseas, the two hop from home to homelessness while Sierra tries to help her mom through the throes of PTSD.  

When they end up at a shelter for women and children, Sierra is even more aware of what her life is not. The kind couple who run the shelter, Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin, attempt to show her parental love as she faces the uncertainties of her mom’s emotional health and the challenges of being the brand-new…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, life satisfaction, and behavior?

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

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