As you all know, I live for my reading time.
I read a ton. It’s my happy place, wherever I’m reading. I tend to cuddle up with Coop, too, which makes it even better. I’m thrilled that Violet seems to share a love for books; she’ll sit by herself and flip through a few board books almost every day. She also has started to say “book.” So cute!
But, this past summer flew by and was so crammed full of stuff that I didn’t get as much reading time as usual. Now that it’s back-to-school time, I feel like the days will get shorter and cooler, and we’ll start to have quieter weekends, which means more reading time! I’ve been stockpiling review books that were sent my way all summer long. I decided to do one big roundup of 9 dog books to read this fall that I picked from the dozen or so that came in over the summer!
Let’s get into the books, shall we? (And don’t forget to scroll allllll the way to the bottom to enter to win each of the titles I’m recommending here!)
Back-to-School Dog Books for Adults
What do you do when your teenagers fly the nest? Well, if you’re Cara Sue Achterberg, you start a journey as a serial foster mama! Filled with miracles, laughs, and tears, if you’re looking for a feel-good story about one family’s heroic efforts to help dogs find their forever homes, you must read Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Anyone who’s ever thought about fostering a pup, especially if you thought it might feel too hard, MUST read this. Hint: There’s a retrofit puppy room! Also, this is a small thing but something I always appreciate in memoirs, the middle section of the book includes tons of pictures of some of the noteworthy pups, so you can put snoots to the names! Get yours here!
You guys, I’m obsessed. Legit fixated on this darling hardcover. In fact, I contemplated buying a second copy off of Amazon so that I could have a “clean” copy and one to do the drawing exercises. Doodled Dogs: Dozens of Clever Doodling Exercises & Ideas for Dog People is just that, and it’s darling. It includes a supplies list, step-by-step instructions to draw most of your favorite breeds, cute illustrations to accompany the sections, and some super fun pages of anthropomorphic dogs (think: funny hats and costumes) that you can copy. If you’re someone who likes a little creative doodling, or if–like me–you tend to doodle while you’re on the phone, this is the perfect little book to keep on hand. It would also make a great gift for a dog lover! Highly recommend! Get yours here!
OK, this one… it’s simply gorgeous. The photography is incredible, and the inspiration to hit the road with your pup is SO motivating. This one is actually the only one on this list that I bought before it came out because my friend Amy wrote it, and I’m so flipping proud of her I could burst! In fact, she doesn’t know I’m writing this! 🙂 (So, one thing to note: The free copy will come from me, not the publisher unlike the others.) If you travel with your pup, you NEED this book. She highlights pet-friendly destinations and includes what to do and see, along with the pet rules. Get yours here!
Back-to-School Dog Books for Kiddos
From my first-job alma mater, National Geographic, comes Dog Days of History. This isn’t a picture book, nor is it a chapter book–at least, not in the traditional sense of either. Instead, it’s a well-illustrated, captivating history of dogs from wolves to today. This book belongs on the shelf of every kid who loves dogs because there’s just so much to devour. Plus, there are tons of anecdotes about famous dogs throughout history that could spark a research paper for an inspired kiddo. I’m SO grateful we have this one for Violet. (Even though she’s many years away from enjoying it, I’m loving it now!) Get yours here!
This was a nostalgic book for me. It reminded me of the first half of Violet’s life with her evolving relationship with Cooper, including his joy at becoming Violet’s “vacuum” as she learned to eat real food. It’s narrated by the dog, Dolly, who tells of her relationship with newborn-to-toddling Jett and how they are constantly together. It has a thread “… Always by my side” that lends to the emotional resonance. At the end of the book, it mentions that this is the first in the Dolly and Jett series, so I plan to keep my eye out for the next installment. Bonus: The author page states that Jill E. Robbins donates a portion of her proceeds from the sale of this series to Best Friends Animal Society and the Midwest Mastiff Rescue! Get yours here!
John read this one to Violet before bed one night. Afterwards he said that this is the type of story line that a parent can unpack with their kiddo. Webster is a little hunting beagle who gets separated from his pack. A hunter finds him and returns him to his kennel–where the owner says that he’ll trade Webster to the guy for two bags of dog food. I feel like this is a good discussion starter for a small kiddo about animal welfare and how dogs sometimes find themselves in need of their forever family. From there, Webster is so sweet and cute and friendly that his family trains him to be a therapy dog. The illustrations are flat-out adorable, almost Disney-esque. It goes full circle to Webster loving life with his forever family, and I think this could be an awesome way to open a ton of conversations with an elementary-aged kid. Get yours here!
Paris lovers, this one’s for you. The premise: Lucy the puggle flies to Paris and spends her time doing all things Parisian. For anyone who’s looking to learn some of Paris’ notable sights–the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and so on–this is an adorable way to introduce them to kiddos. My only complaint? And this is probably just me, but I always resist stories where the dog does a bunch of people stuff (like hop on a plane to fly across the world, take a selfie, etc.) without people. I love stories where kids can learn about the world through the eyes of a dog, and this one is perfectly told in that regard. I just wish there were people with Lucy to make it feel a tad more grounded. And that’s probably, totally, 100% just me. The illustrations are super stylized and lovely, and I guarantee this book will spark some little girl’s dream to jet off to Paris! Get yours here!
Of all the books in this roundup, this one has the best illustrations. They’re gorgeous. Honestly, and at such an affordable price point, get this one just for the images. They’re spectacular: whimsical, and also somehow realistic. You will fall in LOVE with Isosceles just from the expressions on his face in the illustrations. The story is actually a brief poem, with two lines per spread, which makes it the perfect bedtime book, but you–the reader–will totally be distracted by the artwork! At least, I was! Get yours here!
Another National Geographic gem! Do you guys remember the endearing photo book, Underwater Dogs? This is from Seth Casteel, the author of that fun collection. This is a short tale of what puppies need to thrive, accompanied by adorable, awwwww-inducing puppy pics. Honestly, the puppies are so irresistibly cute, made even more so by Casteel’s photographic eye, that you’ll literally squeal. (This is the one Violet was looking at in the pic above! She couldn’t stop pointing, giggling, and shrieking!) This is the perfect gift for any kiddo (or puppy lover!) in your life! Get yours here!
WHEW! That’s a lot of great books, huh? And, now for the best part, you can enter win them for your own library or as a gift (teachers LOVE books, you know!).
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Thank you so much for supporting OMD! And a big, huge thank you to all the publishers and authors who have so graciously agreed to send these giveaway copies to our lucky winners! I’m so incredibly grateful for their generosity and for the ability to share these stories with you guys!