"First Day of School"

"First Day of School" was the subject line of an email I got from my dad today. Given that my younger brother and I have been out of school for *cough cough* years, this could only mean...Puppy Preschool! My parents' four-month-old dachshund puppy, Lilly, started "school" yesterday. Here she is, looking like a Big Kid:

They grow up so fast. *sob*

Got (human) students who are soon-to-be new-to-school or back-to-school? Check out:

And, just for fun, here's a short — heh — list of recent-ish books starring doxies. (Of course, don't forget the classics Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats and Pretzel by Margret and H. A. Rey, and look for a review of the brand-new picture book The Peculiar Pig by Joy Steuerwald in the forthcoming September/October Mag.) Reviews reprinted from The Horn Book Guide.


Picture books

Boyer, Mitch Vivian the Dog Moves to the Big City
40 pp. | HarperCollins/Harper | October, 2017 | Trade ISBN 978-0-06-267327-5 $17.99

K–3 Giant wiener dog Vivian thinks her new "big city" home (NYC) is too cramped for a "big dog" like her. Regular-size neighbor dog Lulu highlights famous locations and the benefits of city living. Crisp digital photo illustrations amusingly make dachshund Vivian appear huge against city scenes. The text, written from Vivian's point of view, is less polished than the art.

Doodler, Todd H. Hot Rod Hot Dog
40 pp. | Little Simon | August, 2016 | Trade ISBN 978-1-4814-6607-3 $12.99 | Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-6608-0

K–3 Underdog Rod (a dog) longs to defeat Shelly Turtle, the perennial winner of the Pickleberry Grand Prix. Unfortunately, his oddball hot rod designs just don't work. He perseveres, however, and with his modified lawnmower he heroically rescues Shelly from a near-crash and wins the trophy for them both. The cartoon illustrations, featuring quirky animal-driven hot rods, are a good match for the jokey wordplay.

Huang, Rebecca Minhsuan Bobo and the New Baby
40 pp. | Houghton | January, 2018 | Trade ISBN 978-0-544-71358-1 $16.99

PS Bobo the dog likes having Mr. and Mrs. Lee's undivided attention, but after the couple's new baby arrives, they start shooing him away. When Bobo chases a bee ("He will not let it hurt the baby!"), the parents recognize his good intentions and introduce him to Baby Lee. Huang's clean linocut and digital-mixed-media illustrations cleverly reflect Bobo's feelings in this satisfying twist on the new-sibling story.

Kerby, Johanna Little Pink Pup
32 pp. | Putnam | June, 2010 | Trade ISBN 978-0-399-25435-2 $16.99

K–3 Tiny pig Pink is in need of intensive mothering when his siblings prevent him from getting the food he requires. With the careful ministrations of Tink, a dachshund with a new puppy of her own and several fosters, Pink survives and thrives along with his canine companions. Easy-to-read text and lively photographs tell this true story.



Pilkey, Dav Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk
24 pp. | Houghton | June, 2015 | Trade ISBN 978-0-544-43072-3 $12.99 | Paper ISBN 978-0-544-43071-6 $3.99 New ed. (1997)

K–3 Green Light Readers series. Originally published as board books, this endearing story about dog buddies is now available in an easy-reader edition — an effective new format for the well-loved books. The text is simple enough for new readers to master, and the visual jokes in the brightly colored illustrations enhance the deadpan narratives. Six pages of related activities are appended. Look for sequels Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble and Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters.

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories
32 pp. | Roaring Brook/Porter | April, 2007 | Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-053-2 $12.95

K–3 As in all successful friendship stories, the balance shifts, with Dog (a dachshund) and Bear (a teddy bear) taking turns being the friend-in-need and the friend indeed. The two are drawn with robust black ink outlines and filled in with paint in five colors using thick, visibly uneven brush strokes, giving the pictures an energetic, endearingly childlike quality. Look for sequels Dog and Bear: Two's Company, Dog and Bear: Three to Get Ready, and Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats.

Rissi, Anica Mrose Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade
117 pp. | Simon | January, 2016 | Trade ISBN 978-1-4814-1614-6 $15.99 | Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-1616-0

1–3 Illustrated by Meg Park. Anna's two best friends, Isabel and Sadie, convince her to enter her dachshund, Banana, in the Puppy Parade. But when the girls take over the preparations, Anna is afraid her friends think that Banana isn't good enough. Park's illustrations depict a diverse cast of characters (with Anna's non-white family at the center) in this friendship-affirming tale of elementary-school conflict. Look for additional entries in the series.



Freeman, Martha Strudel's Forever Home
184 pp. | Holiday | March, 2016 | Trade ISBN 978-0-8234-3534-0 $16.95

4–6 Energetic dachshund Strudel is adopted by the boy in his read-to-a-shelter-dog program, but will he be allowed to stay? Subplots involving Jake's antagonistic relationship with his mom's boyfriend, Strudel being bullied by local cats, and the mystery of Strudel's previous owner's fate all resolve happily. Strudel's boisterous narration is balanced with well-observed descriptions of dog body language and behavior.

Halahmy, Miriam Saving Hanno: The Story of a Refugee Dog
104 pp. | Holiday | April, 2019 | Trade ISBN 978-0-8234-4165-5 $17.99 | Ebook ISBN 978-0-8234-4218-8

4–6 Nine-year-old Rudi escapes Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport to England. Rudi finds a way to smuggle his beloved pet dachshund Hanno into England, where British citizens are euthanizing their pets ahead of the inevitable bombings. But Rudi, with the help of like-minded new friends, is determined to save his pet. Even though the telling feels rushed, this is an readable and touching WWII story.

Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, formerly editor of The Horn Book Guide, is a freelance children’s and YA editor. She's also a former bookseller who holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons University. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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