All Dogs Go to Heaven
I am a dog person (check out my other doggy posts here and here). No apologies, no regrets—well, except maybe for the “lived-on” look of my couch. And while I love the look of many breeds (my favorites are anything spaniel), all of my current and future dogs will be rescues. I’ve even successfully fostered a former puppy mill mama—and for anyone not familiar with the term, a “successful foster” is when you were able to give up the dog to a new owner.
Four of the five featured picture books below are about lost dogs, unwanted dogs, and mutts. These dogs often have to work extra hard to find a loving home. Though they usually don’t need to justify their worth to children, because kids believe in the 1989 children’s film, “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”
A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko. 9780385383967. 2015. Gr PK-1.
When Mini finds a dog in the park wearing shoes but no collar, she begs to keep him. However, soon she realizes that whoever put the shoes on him must also love the dog and is probably missing him.
Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman (ill. by Chris Sheban). 9780823433919. 2015. Gr K-2.
Arriving at a farm with sore paws and an empty stomach, a dog tries to convince the farmer that he could be just as valuable as a cow, a horse, or a chicken. But the farmer is having none of it…until the dog shows just how useful he can be.
Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook by Anne Vittur Kennedy. 9780763674175. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Quite a few animals live and work on a farm. The rooster wakes the farmer, the cow gives milk, and the pigs, sheep, and chickens all have their particular jobs, too. In his handbook, Ragweed the dog gives advice to other canines that aren’t sure what their job entails. (Hint: It involves biscuits.) This doggy manual makes a great read-aloud and will have everyone laughing.
Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell (ill. by Tull Suwannakit). 9780763678265. 2015. Gr PK-2.
The dog given to Mr. and Mrs. Cripps is sad…literally. They are not dog people, and not only are they not pleased with their pet, they don’t even give him a name. So he calls himself Sad. When they move away, they leave him. But when a family moves in, the new boy is thrilled that their new house came with a puppy, and gives Sad a new name. The poignant illustrations prove that, while nothing looks sadder than a sad dog, only a lucky dog can look so happy.
Spare Dog Parts by Alison Hughes (ill. by Ashley Spires). 9781459807044. 2016. Gr K-2.
I’ve owned a couple purebred dogs, but most of mine have been mutts—or, as Hughes and Spires so beautifully describe, have been made from spare dog parts. The little girl says her dog was put together like a big dog puzzle—with a stubby body, leftover legs that don’t match, slobbering snout, and a tail “with a lifetime of wagging still left in it.” Though nothing goes together, the girl knows that these leftover parts fit together to make a perfect dog. Every humane society and rescue agency should make dog shoppers read this book.
Check out more titles about dogs:
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach. 9780375958601. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Fetch by Jorey Hurley. 9781442489691. 2015. Gr PK-2.
How to Behave at a Dog Show by Madelyn Rosenberg (ill. by Heather Ross). 9780062279279. 2015. Gr K-2.
Lazy Dave by Jarvis. 9780062355980. 2015. Gr PK-2.
A Lucky Author Has a Dog by Mary Lyn Ray (ill. by Steven Henry). 9780545518765. 2015. Gr K-2.
My Dog, Bob by Richard Torrey. 9780823433865. 2015. Gr PK-2.
El Perro con Sombrero : A Bilingual Doggy Tale by Derek Taylor Kent (ill. by Jed Henry). 9780805099898. 2015. Gr PK-2.
Simon’s New Bed by Christian Trimmer (ill. by Melissa van der Paardt). 9781481430197. 2015. Gr K-2.
Stay! : A Top Dog Story by Alex Latimer. 9781561458844. 2015. Gr PK-2.
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