Author Keris Stainton, whose debut Young Adult novel Della Says: OMG! is out now, guest reviews some dog-themed children's books.
Dogs Don't Do Ballet by Anna Kemp. Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
This book pretty much had me at the title. And at the gorgeous cover illustration. It would take a stronger person than I to resist a pug in a tutu. Fortunately the story lives up to the cover. A nameless little girl is mad about ballet and so is her dog, Biff. But everyone keeps telling him that dogs don't do ballet. But when he sneaks into a performance by the Royal Ballet in which the prima ballerina falls over, he's able to take over and save the day.
I really loved this book. It's written in a very simple style and the illustrations are hilarious. The dog's expressions are conveyed brilliantly and, like I said, a pug in a tutu? What's not to love? It also features the message that you can be anything you want to be and you shouldn't let others dictate your dreams. Me and my 5-year-old (boy) both loved it.
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
Dog loves books so much that he decides to open his own bookshop, but he soon realises that not everyone loves books as much as he does and it's not very busy. In fact, he's a bit bored. That is until he realises that he can take any book from the shelf and be transported to an adventure. With dinosaurs! Kangaroos! Aliens! And then he does get a customer. A little girl who wants a book about ballet and Dog knows the very one to recommend.
Again, this book features really cute illustrations (including - yes! - a dog in a tutu!) and a great message about the joy of books.