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Doggone Funniest Canine Picture Books Around


Recommended by Kim, a reference librarian in our Children's Library.

Check our other Fave Five lists, too!

Martha Speaks

by Susan Meddaugh
1094403.jpg One day, a peculiar thing happened to Martha the dog when her owner gave her alphabet soup. Instead of traveling down to her stomach, the letters from the soup went up to Martha's brain. Having alphabet soup letters in her brain didn't harm Martha. Instead, they somehow made her able to speak English! At first, the family enjoys having a talking dog and continues to give Martha alphabet soup daily. Martha learns that she loves to talk and does so non-stop. Will Martha's family tire of her newfound verbal exuberance? Will Martha keep talking forever? Martha Speaks and the other Martha books are favorites of mine due to lovable Martha and the hilarious things she says and does. One of my favorite scenes comes after Martha's family has taught her to use the telephone.

Bark, George

by Jules Feiffer
1178755.jpg George's mother just wants her son to bark like a normal dog. After George makes other animal noises instead of barking, his frustrated mother takes him to the vet. What the vet discovers is hilariously unbelievable. Will George ever bark? This is a picture book that makes me laugh out loud every time I read it, especially due to Jules Feiffer's illustrations. Bark, George is also a great read-aloud for all ages.

The Best Pet of All

by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama
1325198.jpg After begging his mother for a pet dog, the boy in this story gives up and asks for a pet dragon instead. Much to his surprise his mother agrees, if he can find one. The boy ends up finding the best pet of all. I can relate to the boy in this story since I spent many fruitless hours of my childhood begging my parents for a pet dog. I wish I would have asked for a dragon.


by Lyn Rossiter McFarland and illustrated by Jim McFarland
1216430.jpg Widget is a sad but loveable little stray with no home and no one to love him. One cold and rainy night, starving Widget finds a home with a door just his size. Is it real or just a mirage? After peeking in, he spots six warm beds, six bowls of food and six cats. He decides to go for the food and runs right into the owner of the home, Mrs. Diggs. Mrs. Diggs says she wants to let Widget live with her but she can't because "the girls" don't like dogs. Widget shocks Mrs. Diggs and the girls when he replies with a "meow?? Will the girls accept Widget and let him stay if he acts like a cat? This humorous and heartwarming picture book is one of my favorite read-alouds.

Arnie the Doughnut

by Laurie Keller
arniethe.jpg If you have never read Arnie the Doughnut then you may be wondering why a book about a doughnut is included in a Fave 5 about funny dog books. You'll just have to read this book to find out the dog connection. I will tell you some about the story, though. Arnie is created early one morning at the Downtown Bakery, "Home of the Best Doughnuts A-'round." Life is good for Arnie after being made into a ring, deep-fried, cooled, iced, sprinkled and named. Arnie watches as his fellow doughnuts are taken away in paper bags by the friendly people that come into the bakery, and wonders if he will ever be lucky enough to be chosen. One day, Mr. Bing enters the bakery and selects none other than Arnie. He is thrilled that Mr. Bing picked him, that is until he realizes the truth about what people really do with doughnuts. Will Arnie escape from Mr. Bing's apartment or will he be eaten? Arnie the Doughnut is one of my family's favorite picture books of all times. My daughter has to look for Arnie whenever we stop by our local bakery. This is one delicious read for ages 4 and up. WARNING: Reading this book may cause an unstoppable desire for doughnuts, preferably those with sprinkles. Donut? err? Do not read unless you are properly prepared.