Saturday, February 28, 2009

Puppy Love: nonfiction books for young dog lovers

Kids love pets, so what better way to hook them on reading than give them books about dogs! It will certainly be puppy love. These are two nonfiction books that younger children will love - either to read aloud to children ages 4 - 6, or for 2nd and 3rd graders to read by themselves.
A home for Dixie : the true story of a rescued puppy
by Emma Jackson, photographs by Bob Carey
New York: Collins, 2008.
ages 4 - 8
This is a sweet picture book, perfect for the kid who dreams about getting a dog of their own. A Home for Dixie begins with a little puppy arriving at a dog shelter. Emma's family decides that it is time to get a dog, and they visit a local dog shelter. They decide that this little puppy is just right for them. A very touching part of the story shows Dixie's adjustment to her new home, and how Emma and Dixie grow to love each other. It's written by a high school girl about her real life experience with her dog, and the pictures are of the real dog with her family. I think kids will enjoy the real-life feeling of this book. Perfect for 1st and 2nd graders.
How to talk to your dog
by Jean Craighorn George
HarperCollins, 2003
ages 4 - 8
Have you ever wondered about how animals talk to each other? What about if they're talking to you? How to Talk to Your Dog shows kids that it's not all in the bark. Dogs don't just talk with barks and growls - they whimper, sniff, wag their tail, twist their ears, and touch noses. This humorous and informative book will let kids look into the world of dogs by helping them understand their canine friend's feelings. The author does a wonderful job of describing different ways dogs show their feelings. And the illustrations combine expressive cartoons of dogs with photographs of the author interacting and talking with the dogs. Clearly, both of these women have been around dogs their whole lives. Here's a sample:
"There is also the joyous hello. When you return home, your dog greets you bounding, tail wagging, body swishing, and with his head lowered in deference to you. He might lick you to seal the welcome. You don't have to lick back. That will please him, but he will love you even if you don't. A hug or head pat is your 'joyous hello' to your dog."
Find A Home for Dixie at the Oakland Public Library and the Berkeley Public Library.
Find How to Talk to your Dog
at the Oakland Public Library and the Berkeley Public Library.

This review is written by Mary Ann Scheuer for Great Kid Books. Copyright 2009, all rights reserved.


  1. thank you for bringing a smile to my face - almost like a warm fuzzy dog licking me to say hello :-)