The tenth annual Suffolk Dog Day takes place at Helmingham Hall on Sunday 30 July. To mark this celebration of the county’s canine friends of all shapes and sizes, we’ve put together a list of our favourite dog-related children’s books.
“Spot, Mum and Tom can’t wait to visit the museum. When Spot goes missing after being distracted by the gift shop, Tom and Mum search high and low, in some unexpected places, before finding him at last.”
“Gorgeous canines of every shape, size and colour are bounding through the irresistible ‘Dogs’ by Emily Gravett. Can you choose one dog to love best of all? With playful pencil and watercolour illustrations to delight children and adults alike, everyone will long to bark along with the chihuahua and tickle the dalmatian’s tummy.”
“Frog is changing the rules - dogs no longer sit on frogs. Phew! Dogs now sit on logs - and everyone else is going to have to sit somewhere different too. Will cats want to sit on gnats? Will spiders like sitting on gliders? Will whales be happy to sit on nails? And, most importantly, where is FROG going to sit?”
“It’s a dog’s life in the big city… Come join one busy dog on her journey to find her place in the world, in this third sublimely illustrated book from the bestselling, award-winning Rob Biddulph.”
“Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam are two hapless robber dogs who decide on career change after one bungled burglary too many - proving that crime doesn’t pay, but cupcakes certainly do!”
“A little squeaky mouse comes running across the page and hides himself inside the ‘foldy bit’ in the middle of the book. Will the cat find him? Not if Kipper can help it.”
“Harris is off to do some shopping. ‘Will you be good, George?’ he asks. George hopes he can. He really wants to, but chocolate cake is just so very delicious and he does love to chase cat. What will George do now?”
“Dave has a very special soft brown toy called Dogger. Dave is very fond of Dogger and takes him everywhere. Then one day Dogger goes missing - and Dave won’t rest until he’s found.”
This classic is 40 years old this year and still as relevant as ever.
“This is the story of the scruffy dog Hairy Maclary, who went off for a walk with a few of his friends, and got a nasty surprise. It is told in rhyme, using repetition to make it more accessible to young children.”
Short chapter books
“Introducing Dixie O’Day and also, of course, his friend Percy! This dashing duo are always getting into adventures - here they enter the All-Day Car Race little knowing what is ahead of them! Dixie and Percy run into all sorts of peril, as does their arch enemy, Lou-Ella. But who will win, and will Lou-Ella get her comeuppance?”
“Streaker is no ordinary dog. She’s a rocket on four legs with a woof attached, and Trevor has got until the end of the holidays to train her. If he fails, he’ll lose his bet with horrible Charlie Smugg, and something very nasty will happen.”
“Whenever there’s a pong, poo or puddle that can’t be explained, Norman and Ringo are the hounds that take the blame. Determined to exploit their status for profit, Blamehound Inc. is soon in business and small dogs the world over are admitting responsibility for accidents, eruptions and even the occasional war.”
Part of Barrington Stoke’s wonderful range that dyslexic readers can enjoy.
“He felt a curious tingling in his hands and feet. He felt his nose becoming cold and wet, his ears becoming flappy. The thought in his mind was: ‘I’m turning into a dog!’
“Eric is a perfectly ordinary boy. Perfectly ordinary that is, until the night when, in fifteen seconds flat, he turns into a dog! Eric and his best friend are determined to sniff out the truth - what makes an ordinary boy go ‘woof’?”
Some parents might remember the TV adaptation that ran on CITV from 1989-1997. Woof! is still a great story for kids 30 years after it was first published.
“For months, Ben Blewitt has been thinking about dogs. So he is very disappointed when, for his birthday, he receives not a dog, but a picture of a dog. But Ben’s imagination soon gets to work, and then the strange adventures begin.”
“This is the very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy. There’s a shipwreck off Kirrin Island - but where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail looking for clues but they’re not alone!”
If your child has already devoured the Famous Five series, the Secret Seven books feature a cocker spaniel called Scamper, while the canine element of the Five Find-Outers and Dog is a Scottish terrier named Buster.
“Pongo and Missis Pongo, pampered dogs from Regent’s Park, have their 15 beloved puppies stolen by the outrageous Cruella de Vil, who thinks their coats will make a nice fur jacket. The Pongos set out to rescue their pups from an isolated mansion.”
Picture books for older readers
“The day has arrived for the Dogs’ Summer Ball. It’s so high class in fact, that each dog must remove their bottom before they are allowed inside the hall. But in the middle of all the frivolity something unexpected happens and the dogs have to make a hasty exit - with or without the correct bottom!”
How could we make this list without Tintin’s dog, Snowy?
“When Professor Calculus is kidnapped, Tintin and a desperate Captain Haddock set off to Peru on a rescue mission, braving runaway train carriages, yellow fever and avalanches. Then they must find an ancient Inca tribe if they are to find their great friend.”