August 26: National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day. Founded in 2004 by Colleen Page, this day celebrates man’s best friend and brings awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment. Below is a list of Canadian children’s books that celebrate our little furry, four-legged friends.

Picture Books

Lumpito and the Painter from Spain
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press, 2012
IL: Ages 5-8  RL: Grades 2-3
Lump the dachshund is excited to escape his bullying housemate, Big Dog, and visit a painter in southern France. Lump meets another big dog, Yan, and a goat, Esmerelda, both of them friendly, and becomes fast friends with Pablo Picasso. Pablo renames the dachshund Lumpito and offers him a new home.
No-Matter-What Friend
Written by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Pierre Pratt
Tradewind Books, 2014
IL: Ages 4-8  RL: Grades 2-3
This poignant picture book tells the story of the special relationship between a boy and his elderly dog. Though the boy is growing up and the dog is getting older, they know they can always count on each other. This is a work of great tenderness, evoking the power of love between a child and his dog, which endures the passage of time.
Pierre Le Poof!
Written and illustrated by Andrea Beck
Orca Book Publishers, 2009
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3
Pierre lives the good life but yearns to run wild in the park. He dreams of chasing squirrels, digging holes and rolling in stinky stuff. One day he gets his chance to escape and sneaks out to the park. He has the time of his life and even makes new friends but when darkness falls Pierre wants Miss Murphy, his adored owner. How will Pierre find her now?
Pup and Hound’s Big Book of Stories: A Collection of 6 First Readers
(Kids Can Read)
Written by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Linda Hendry
Kids Can Press, 2014
IL: Ages 4-6  RL: Grade 1
Six of Pup and Hound’s delightful adventures are gathered here into one collection. With simple rhyming text, these gentle stories of an unlikely friendship are perfect for beginning readers. The stories included are Pup and Hound, Pup and Hound Move In, Pup and Hound Stay Up Late, Pup and Hound in Trouble, Pup and Hound Play Copycats and Pup and Hound Hatch an Egg.
Stanley at School
Written by Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Kids Can Press, 2015
IL: Ages 3-7  RL: Grades 2-3
Stanley knows school is for kids, not dogs. But every day he grows more and more curoius. What did the kids do in that school all day? Stanley rounds up his pals from the dog park to take a closer look. Will they find the answers they’re looking for? One thing is for certain: School + Stanley = TROUBLE!
Stop, Thief
Written by Heather Tekavec
Illustrated by Pierre Pratt
Kids Can Press, 2014
IL: Ages 3-7  RL: Grades 1-2
“Max,” said the farmer to his dog one day, “can you catch a thief?” Of course! Max can catch anything! So off he runs to catch the bandit who’s been stealing all the carrots, berries and beans from the farmer’s fields. Max gives chase to a little blue bug he is sure must be the thief, while the real culprits finish their munching!


Bagels Come Home!
(Orca Echoes)
Written by Joan Betty Stuchner
Illustrated by Dave Whamond
Orca Book Publishers, 2014
IL: Ages 7-9  RL: Grades 2-3
Meet Bagels Bernstein — back flipper, jig dancer and escape artist extraordinaire! Eight-year-old Josh and his family adopt an energetic puppy with a talent for trouble. Bagels gets into the laundry, the groceries and a neighbour’s koi pond! Even obedience school can’t seem to teach him good manners. Can Bagels clean up his act before he is sent back to the shelter?
Bailey’s Visit
(The Puppy Collection, Book 1)
Written by Susan Hughes
Illustrated by Leanne Franson
Scholastic Canada, 2014
IL: Ages 6-8  RL: Grades 2-3
It’s a new school year and things haven’t been great for dog-crazy Kat. She’s being teased, and her best friend, Maya, is in a different class. Then her aunt opens a kennel and dog-grooming salon. The girls meet a puppy named Bailey, and it’s love at first sight. Can they convince Kat’s aunt to let them help out?
Black Dog Dream Dog
Written by Michelle Superle
Illustrated by Millie Ballance
Tradewind Books, 2010
IL: Ages 9-11  RL: Grades 4-6
When Sam finds a dog in her backyard, she wants to keep him but can’t let her controlling mother find out so she hides him in the shed. Secretly caring for a dog turns out to be more difficult than she’d imagined, but Sam perseveres until one day she discovers the truth about the dog. Could Sam’s secret change her life in ways she never thought possible?
Brovko’s Amazing Journey
Written by Larry Warwaruk
Coteau Books, 2013
IL: Ages 9-12  RL: Grades 5-6
Brovko, a big shaggy sheep dog, has a good life with his master Andrei and his family. But when Andrei’s family decides to move to Canada, they cannot take Brovko with them. The dog tries to get along with his new family, but his heart just isn’t in it. It soon becomes clear that Brovko has to find a way to get to Canada and be reunited with Andrei. This is the prequel to Andrei and the Snow Walker.
Ice Dogs
Written by Terry Lynn Johnson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL: Ages 9-13  RL: Grades 5-6
Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, is determined to qualify for the famed White Wolf Classic. On an outing with her dogs, she finds an injured “city boy” in the woods and the two teens are caught in a freak snowstorm. With food gone and temperatures dropping, their survival and that of her dogs is entirely up to her. A high-stakes, high-adventure novel of endurance and finding the way home.
The Metro Dogs of Moscow
Written by Rachelle Delaney
Puffin Canada, 2013
IL: Ages 8-11  RL: Grades 4-5
JR is an embassy dog whose human, George, frequently moves around the world. With George working at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, JR befriends some stray dogs that seem more exciting than the other boring embassy pets. But when his new friends start disappearing and an embassy dog goes missing, JR must bring all the dogs together to solve the mystery.
Prince for a Princess
(Orca Echoes)
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by David Parkins
Orca Book Publishers, 2012
IL: Ages 6-8  RL: Grades 2-3
Christina desperately wants a dog, so her parents reluctantly take her to a kennel that houses former racing dogs in need of homes. Christina is drawn to Prince, a large greyhound, and her parents agree it is a match that was meant to be. One day, however, Christina’s mom leaves Prince in the backyard, and he disappears.
A Simple Case of Angels
Written by Caroline Adderson
Groundwood Books, 2014
IL: Ages 8-12  RL: Grades 4-5
It’s Christmas, but everyone seems cranky and off-kilter. Nicola’s dog June Bug gets into so much trouble she might be sent away. Nicola decides to take June Bug to a local seniors’ home to help cheer up the residents and makes some amazing discoveries. But… will the good deed make up for a little dog’s bad behaviour?


No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs
Written by Rob Laidlaw
Pajama Press, 2011
IL: Ages 8-14  RL: Grades 3-5
Animal advocate Rob Laidlaw explores the world of homeless, free-ranging, mistreated and exploited dogs, and the challenges they face. But more importantly, he focuses on “dog champions” — individuals and groups who dedicate their lives to helping dogs. Rob also describes the best way to find a new pet and provides excellent advice about how to adopt and care for your future companion.