For most families, the idea of a boy (or girl) with a dog is an iconic image and tradition, while for others the addition of a furry friend to the family is a totally new concept. Kids love pets, and even if you don’t have one of your own, they will enjoy reading about them. If you’re stumped for ideas, check out these great reads at your local library or bookstore. It will be a great way to celebrate National Reading Day, which is March 2, 2009!
- The Lonesome Puppy - Written and illustrated by Yoshitomo Nara, The Lonesome puppy tells the story of a puppy so big no one could see him. When a determined little girl climbs high enough to find him, they both gain a friend. It is the artist’s first children’s book, and offers beautiful pictures along with a sweet tale along with a little culture – the young girl is Japanese.
- Harry the Dirty Dog - “Harry the Dirty Dog” is a book written by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. This adorable story will appeal to children ages 3 to 8, and follows the life of Harry the dog, who hates to take a bath. He runs away from home and gets so dirty that his family doesn’t recognize him. Finally, Harry decides that taking a bath isn’t such a bad idea after all.
- Tails Are Not For Pulling - This book is written by Elizabeth Verdick and illustrated by Marieka Heinlen. It’s geared for preschoolers and helps to show them how to properly treat the family pet. Try reading it before bringing a new family friend home, or even if they are just going to go visit grandma and her cat. Besides teaching kids what actions are appropriated for pets, it also discusses some of the warning signs that animals give when they have had enough attention. The book also includes tips for parents on how to introduce animals to kids.
- The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside - Written and illustrated by Cynthia von Buhler, “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside is great for preschool-age children. It tells the true story of a stray cat who won’t come inside despite the woman’s best efforts and kitty-friendly gifts. The pictures are meant to appear three-dimensional, and the attention to detail will appeal to children of all ages. The book also includes tips for adults on how to get outdoor cats to come inside.
- Barkley: A Dog’s Journey - “Barkley” is a book written by Al Martinez and is geared for young adults and adults alike. The story is a sadder one, since it chronicles Barkley’s last ride with his owners after being diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. The author and his wife take Barkley on one last car ride from California to Oregon, with frequent stops along the way. It may help your child learn about love and loss in a gentle way, should your family pet pass away.
- The New Adventures of Curious George - This book is written by Margret and H.A. Rey and appeals to elementary school ages and up. While monkeys aren’t technically pets for most families, children still love the antics that George manages to get himself into. This book features eight new adventures with Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, and all his friends.
If you are looking for a book to share with your kids, then these just a few ideas of some of the books that are available for you to share. Kids love animals, and animal stories, so whether you are looking for life lessons or just for some fun, books are a great way to spend time with your children.