Children's Books featuring Golden Retrievers (or other dogs!)

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by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Caldecott Medalist, Janet Stevens, along with her sister, Susan Stevens-Crummel, tell a charming tale about a cat named Merl, who sees his peaceful life turn upside down when a Golden Retriever puppy moves into the household. First in the series, My Big Dog is perfect for storytime, bedtime, or anytime!


by Debra Barracca, Alan Ayers (Illustrator), Sal Barracca (Contributor)
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Maxi the taxi dog is back with his good friend Jim, and he's ready for Christmas! Full of seasonal joy and cheer, the two friends build a fine snowdog, rescue little kittens, and tour the city, taking in all the wonderful sights and sounds of the holiday season. Once again Jim and Maxi save the day! Full-color illustrations.

by Debra Barracca, Sal Barracca (Contributor)
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Maxi, a stray dog, is adopted by the driver of a Checker cab, who takes Maxi along on his daily rounds. The solid illustrations of busy New York City streets are suffused with a golden glow that echoes the friendly sentiments of the story.

by Debra Barracca, Sal Barracca
Reading level: Ages 4-8


It's westward ho for Maxi and Jim when a hip L.A. producer invites Maxi to try out for the new Doggie Bites commercial. And what a road trip it turns out to be. From cornfields to campgrounds, Kansas to California, each stop holds surprises. Still, nothing compares to Hollywood, land of glitter, glamour, golden opportunity...and maybe even fame!

by Debra Barracca, Sal Barracca, Mark Buehner (Illustrator)

Maxi the taxi dog and his partner Jim, first introduced in The Adventures of Taxi Dog, once again make a virtuoso appearance in Mark Buehner's brilliant and joyous paintings depicting the warm and affectionate relationship between two best friends. How Maxi catches a purse snatcher and is proclaimed a hero makes this a rousing tale for all young readers. 28 full-color illustrations.

by Kevin Henkes
Reading Level: Young Adults

Henkes tells the story of a girl and her father: about wanting, getting and realizing that nothing is simple or easy; about growing up; and a girl and her dog. The Caldecott Honor-winning author of The Zebra Walls and Words of Stone gets underneath the surface of ordinary events and relates them with humor and understanding. Recommended by Nicole Fassbender.

by Dav Pilkey

Big Dog is ready for some fun. Little Dog is ready, too. Join these irresistible puppy pals on five zippy adventures, together for the first time in one cozy picture book.

by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan (Author, Illustrator)

After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.

by Constance W. McGeorge (Author), Mary Whyte (Illustrator)

Boomer's ready for his morning walk. Here's his leash. There's the door. But try as he might, he can't get anyone to pay attention to him. The humans in the house don't rush out the door after breakfast as they normally do. And, most confusing of all, strangers arrive to pack all the things in Boomer's house into boxes. There's definitely something unusual going on. The simple text and heartwarming pictures charmingly depict Boomer's confusion, anxiety, concern, and ultimate delight on this day familiar to allmoving day.

by Constance McGeorge (Author), Mary Whyte (Illustrator)

Boomer knows something's up the day a shiny new bowl appears next to his, but imagine Boomer's surprise when he finds himself nose to nose with a new puppy! Just when Boomer thinks he's no longer top dog, he discovers there's room for two, and that the puppy is more than a new sibling—he's a new friend. Boomer's Big Surprise is filled with the same warmth and humor as the first two books in the Boomer series, and will have special appeal to any child facing the arrival of a new baby. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

by Constance W. McGeorge (Author), Mary Whyte (Illustrator)

In Boomer's Big Day, Boomer and his family moved to a new town. Now Boomer is going to school! Like many new students, Boomer finds that going to school can be a bit first. But in the end, he discovers that school is a great place for friends, learning, and fun!

by Jack Canfield (Author), Mark Victor Hansen (Author), Katya Krenina (Illustrator)

When Ben and his friend Kelly spontaneously decide to rescue an abused dog, they can’t possibly foresee the obstacles that accompany such a decision. Armed with patience and the immense power of his never-wavering love, Ben works toward—and waits for—his most cherished goal.

A Dog Of My Own is a tender story of the healing power of love—one that will long live in the hearts of all little souls.

This heartwarming story was beautifully illustrated by Katya Krenina, whose stylized, contemporary illustrations have been lavishly praised by reviewers and heralded as “stunning” by the New York Times Book Review. Publishers Weekly has compared her style to that of Chagall, for its intuitive, dreamlike quality.

by Carol Carrick (Author)

After his dog Bodger is hit by a truck and killed, Christopher must deal with his feelings of depression and guilt. "The subdued illustrations -- their details warmed by washes of golds, browns and tans -- are realistic and feeling. An honest look at grief with no tidy answers." -- School Library Journal IRA/CBC Children's Choice

by Natalie Babbitt (Author)

Wanting the very best thing for their prince son but not knowing what that thing is, a king and queen survey all of their royal subjects for suggestions, but the prince is the only one who knows the answer. Reprint. PW.

by Livingston Taylor, Ted Rand (Illustrator)

A rambunctious, young Golden has a difficult time being good, no matter how hard he tries. Written in rhyme and predictable, this is excellent for young readers.

by William T. George, Lindsay Barrett George (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

A father and son observe the plant and animal life around Long Pond before finding a Christmas tree. Beautifully illustrated, a Golden Retriever is in most of the pictures although not mentioned in the text.

by Colby Rodowsky, Kathleen Collins Howell (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 9-12

When a famous author and her dog move in right next door, 9-year-old Rosie thinks maybe her summer won't be quite so bad after all. "A funny, well-written story . . . Rosie is a likable and believable character."--School Library Journal.

A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up

by Caroline Arnold
Reading Level: Ages 4-8


This book follows Honey's two years of training to be a Guide Dog for the Blind - from her puppy experiences with a 4-H family, to her days on the Guide Dog campus, and finally to her full-time work with a woman who cannot see.

by Constance W. McGeorge (Author), Mary Whyte (Illustrator)

In Boomer's Big Day, Boomer and his family moved to a new town. Now Boomer is going to school! Like many new students, Boomer finds that going to school can be a bit first. But in the end, he discovers that school is a great place for friends, learning, and fun!

by Mary Jane Auch, Cat Bowman Smith (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Now that Sam's mother has a job and no one is at home to keep their Golden Retriever company during the day, it looks as though Sam will have to give up his dog, Amber. Sam's attempts to keep Amber result in an appropriate solution and he learns about being part of a working family. This is a chapter book.

by Audrey Osofsky, Ted Rand (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

A young boy with Muscular Dystrophy tells how his Golden Retriever service dog helps him to be independent.

by Cynthia Rylant, Stephen Gammell (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

The relatives come to visit and everyone has a wonderful time. The Golden Retriever depicted in the illustrations is not mentioned in the text, but participates in all the family's activities.

by Frances Ward Weller, Robert J. Blake (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Inspired by his obituary, this is the story of a beloved pet who loved the sea and was the "nineteenth lifeguard" on Cape Cod's Nauset Beach.

by Joan Hewett
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool

Rosalie is an old Golden Retriever, in poor health. She is still a cherished member of the family, treated with great tenderness.

by Michael J. Rosen (Editor)
Reading Level: All Ages

This is a collection of illustrated anecdotes about dogs by forty-three children's book illustrators including Natalie Babbitt and Ted Rand. The editor also tells about his Golden. A portion of the publisher's profits have been donated to The Company of Animals Fund.

by Margaret Wild, Noela Young (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

When Toby, an old Golden Retriever, gets old and sick and finally has to be put down, the children in the family express their love in different ways.

by Jimmy Buffett, Savannah Jane Buffett, Lanbert Davis (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

A famous environmentalist has crashed his seaplane in the Florida Everglades. With the help of her Golden Retriever, Spooner, and a family of tiny Guatemalan trouble dolls, his daughter sets off on a dangerous mission to save him.

by Cheryl Christian, Laura Dwight (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool

A colorfully photographed Golden puppy can be found behind the flaps in this little cardboard book for the very young.

by Nancy Tafuri
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool

A frisky Golden puppy scampers through fields and farmyards counting the creatures he meets along the way. This is a counting book (1-10) for the very young.

The following titles suggested by: Susan Kaplan

by Jim Strain, Warren Hile (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool

A rhyme book based on the movie "Bingo."

by Terrance Dicks, Valerie Littlewood (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

When a disappearing dog on the day of the local dog show suggests foul play, David's pet Goliath helps solve the mystery.

by Nancy Tafuri
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool

David wants to give his dog a birthday party. David's father says, "If I don't get one single complaint about Goliath, he can have his party." The problem is that Goliath is always getting into mischief.

by Terrance Dicks, Valerie Littlewood
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

A heavy snow just before Christmas and preparations for a party for the senior citizens in his neighborhood bring excitement for David and his dog Goliath, until the party money and old Mrs. Gorringer both disappear.

by Terrance Dicks, Valerie Littlewood (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

David's clumsy and lovable dog Goliath helps him get out of trouble with a seemingly mean math teacher and saves the teacher's job at the same time.

He's Your Dog

by Pat Schories
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Story of a boy and his golden who think the way to deal with problems of misbehaving is to run away and who realizes the solution lies with training.

by Ellen Howard, Mark Graham (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Similar in story and feeling to Toby - a young girl and a golden growing up together.

by Maurice Sendak
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Sendak shows what it is like to have a dog.

The Wise Passerby helps two children establish a happy relationship with their new rambunctious puppy.


by Christine Harris, Catherine Walters (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 4-8

A cute story about a golden puppy's adventures when his family leaves him home alone with the Christmas decorations and tree.

The following title suggested by: Renee McGrath

by Harriet Hains, Sheila Hanly

Part of the "Starting Out" series of books for the pre-school child, this book looks at owning a puppy. Each of the titles in this series encourages young children to venture beyond the home environment and explore the world around them. The books combine photographic sequences with painted scenes and include simple text for those just starting to read for themselves. This book is about Jack, who discovers that taking care of his puppy can be hard work, but fun too.

The following title suggested by: Nancy Brooks

by Cynthia Rylant

God created Dog Heaven, a place where dogs can eat ice cream biscuits, sleep on fluffy clouds, and run through unending fields.

by Dan Pilkey

Hally's breath is so awful, even skunks hold their noses. With tongue firmly in cheek, the renowned author/illustrator of Kat Kong, Dogzilla, and The Dumb Bunnies tells the story of a good dog with a bad problem. The skewed humor and wacky watercolor illustrations make for a rollicking tale sure to leave children laughing--and breathless! This book recommended by Katie Coyne.