The best joyful picture books about dogs

Who am I?

As a little kid, I wanted nothing more than to be best friends with every dog I met. Our family dog was a Yorkie and she was my little buddy for 17 years. A Family for Louie came about because of my love of dogs, food, and family. Naturally, my first picture book would be about all of these things! Dogs are such wonderful creatures, brimming with love, loyalty, and so much personality. I hope this round-up of books featuring our furry four-legged friends brings a little joy and laughter to your storytime. 


I wrote...

A Family for Louie

By Alexandra Thompson,

Book cover of A Family for Louie

What is my book about?

A foodie French bulldog finds a forever home in this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book.

Meet Louie. He’s a dog of very fine taste. He knows every chef in town, and each day he wanders the city, visiting his favorite restaurants. It’s a good life, except… Louie is all on his own. What Louie wants more than anything is a family. But try as he might, Louie can’t seem to find a family that’s right for him. Where-oh-where will Louie find a just-right family of his very own?

The books I picked & why

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Gaston

By Kelly DiPucchio, Christian Robinson (illustrator),

Book cover of Gaston

Why this book?

I’ll start this round-up with another book featuring an adorable french bulldog. Gaston is a story about family and that just because you might not look the same doesn’t mean you don’t belong. This story is a wonderful read-aloud with beautiful bold illustrations by Christian Robinson. This book celebrates blended families, being yourself, and as an added bonus, there are cute puppies. Who doesn’t love a book with cute puppies?!


This Is a Dog

By Ross Collins,

Book cover of This Is a Dog

Why this book?

This hilarious and charming book features a dog that just wants to be the star of the show. With sparse text and humorous illustrations, this book is perfect for littles learning about their animals. I love the bright colors and expressive faces on all of the animals, especially the mischievous main character. You’ll have to read to find out what the dog does to get rid of the rest of the competition so that he can have the spotlight all to himself.


Can I Be Your Dog?

By Troy Cummings,

Book cover of Can I Be Your Dog?

Why this book?

This adorable and funny picture book is about a stray dog looking for his forever family by writing letters to each family on Butternut Street, but no one wants to take in poor Arfy. The illustrations are bright and colorful with lots of fun details for kids to point out. I love the exchange of letters between Arfy and the prospective families - each one unique to the sender. Will he ever find the right family? You’ll have to read to find out!


Dog Loves Drawing

By Louise Yates,

Book cover of Dog Loves Drawing

Why this book?

In this fun follow-up to Dog Loves Books, Dog receives a special package in the mail - a blank book! His Aunt Dora tells him it’s for drawing. Dog begins to fill the pages with characters and draws himself right into the adventure across the pages. I love how the illustrations are approachable and will get kids excited to break out pen and paper and draw their own adventures. It makes me feel like breaking out my sketchbook right now!


The Stray Dog

By Marc Simont,

Book cover of The Stray Dog

Why this book?

I absolutely love this story and the painterly illustrations in this book. It’s about a family that befriends a stray dog in the park and names him Willy. After thinking about Willy all week, they decide to go back to find him. It’s a heartwarming story with little moments of humor and joy, one that I come back to again and again.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, animals, and Boston?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, animals, and Boston.

Dogs Explore 252 books about dogs
Animals Explore 137 books about animals
Boston Explore 107 books about Boston

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Excellent Ed, Time for Bed, Fred!, and Boot & Shoe if you like this list.