Emus love dogs, especially literary ones!

It’s easy to see that we Emus love books, and you may have figured out by now that many of us love dogs, too, so what could possibly be better than combining the two? To continue this week’s celebration of Maria Gianferrari’s Penny & Jelly: The School Show, which released yesterday, here is a collection of our favorite dogs from literature. Woof!

Penny & Jelly cover

First, we have some classics…

Susan Vaught:

I’m a sucker for Lassie, not the television one (okay, that one, too), but the dog in Lassie Come Home written in 1940 by Eric Knight. I read it when I was about 10, nice and hefty, around 270-300 pages? Something like that. I absolutely lived in that book.

Penny Parker Klostermann:

Toto from The Wizard of Oz. “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” I worried about him through the whole movie even though was feisty and brave and revealed that the Wizard of Oz was not a wizard at all.

Carole Gerber:

Snoopy, of course! He is beloved by people all over the planet and still appears in cartoons and books sixteen years after the death of Charles Schultz, creator of “Peanuts.”

Donna Janell Bowman:

Hands down, my fave literary dogs were Old Yeller, and Old Dan and Little Ann from Where The Red Fern Grows. As a kid, I read each book a billion times. More than the actual plots (which would be questionable by today’s standards,) I was so enamored by the dogs’ personalities and with the bond between boy and dog(s).


And then there are some more modern middle-grade canines…

Megan Morrison:

As an avid Harry Potter fan, I’ve got to go with Hagrid’s dog Fang. I love that he’s huge, and his name is fierce, but he’s really just a lovable, slobbering coward who runs from the fight – unless he’s protecting Hagrid, in which case, he’ll take a Stunning Spell to defend his big best friend.

Mylisa Larsen:

I’m always amused by Hagrid’s dogs–Fang and Fluffy (aka Cerebus). I also love Winn-Dixie because you’ve gotta love a dog who can smile.

Elaine Braithwaite Vickers:

Ranger, the kind old bloodhound from Kathi Appelt’s THE UNDERNEATH. So inherently good and true, as literary dogs should be.

Rebecca Van Slyke:

Winn Dixie. He helps India Opal negotiate the tricky business of moving to a new town and making friends in unlikely places. Plus he can smile so hard it makes him sneeze.

Tamara Smith:

Both my daughters and I are madly in love with Bigfoot, from Alison McGhee’s JULIA GILLIAN series. According to Julia, they can telepathically communicate! Too awesome! Bigfoot is the quintessential big-hearted canine best friend.


And, of course, we wouldn’t forget the picture books!

Janet Fox:

My favorite literary dog is Martha from MARTHA SPEAKS by Susan Meddaugh. I remember how much I loved reading that book to my son!

Christine Olson Hayes:

I love the adorable dog named Hondo from Peter McCarty’s picture book, HONDO AND FABIAN. The story is simple and sweet, but it’s the art I adore–it gives off a warm, cozy glow that makes me want to curl up in front of a fire with a favorite book!

Kevan Atteberry:

I was moved by a graphic novel I read recently about Laika, the first dog in space. It was terribly sad though. I read the Plague Dogs years ago and enjoyed it but don’t remember the two dogs’ names. Brian from Family Guy probably wouldn’t count, so I’ll go with Olive from Olive the Other Reindeer.

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman:

I’m partial to “Dog” from Dog in Charge by K.L. Going and illustrated by Dan Santat. It’s a sweet and funny story about a dog left in charge of five cats with this refrain to describe him: “He’s a good dog, a smart dog, a very good dog.”

Adam Shaughnessy:

I always loved Clifford the Big Red Dog when I was little. I remember being especially fond of the illustrations and drawing (or trying to draw) Clifford again and again. I went through a lot of red crayons.

Laurie Ann Thompson:

Harry the Dirty Dog was one of my favorite books as a child, and it still is. I just love his transformation from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots! And, of course, I love the happy ending.


Penny & Jelly author and fellow Emu Maria Gianferrari shared some of her favorites, too, as well as those of Penny and Jelly themselves!

Some of my favorite literary dogs are Bob (from the One & Only Ivan), Rontu (from Island of the Blue Dolphins),
Dismay (from Each Little Bird That Sings), and Rain (from Reign Rain).

Penny’s favorites are Winn Dixie, Hound (from the Penderwicks), and HMS Beagle (from Susan Patron’s Lucky books).

Jelly’s favorites are Gaston, Daisy (from A Ball for Daisy), and Hachiko.

(Of course, they’re all really my favorites too!) 😉


As you know, this week we’re all celebrating the launch of our newest favorite literary dog in Penny & Jelly: The School Show, and I’m sure the delightful Jelly will soon be one of your favorites, too! Don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of this heartwarming book or some Penny & Jelly swag. You can visit Penny & Jelly at pennyandjelly.com, and be sure to purchase a copy for yourself and your favorite dog lovers by visiting one of the sites below:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Amazon.com Books-a-Million Barnes & Noble IndieBound Politics and Prose Powell's The Toadstool Bookshop
Also available as an eBook in several of these locations, and at iBooks and Kobo.


Filed under Book Giveaway, Book Launch, Celebrations, Picture books, Updates on our Books!

34 responses to “Emus love dogs, especially literary ones!

  1. I recently read “I’m My Own Dog” by David Ezra Stein. It’s a great picture book told from the dog’s point of view. Read it, if you haven’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    Chiming in to praise the doggie duo of Mr. Bud and Zorro in Carter Goodrich’s funny “Say Hello to Zorro” and its sequels. Oh and Mudge, with his sidekick Henry!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Alexandra Day’s Carl books have a special place in my heart. We named one child after this lovable loyal canine!

    Liked by 2 people

    • mariagianferrari

      Yes! And I also love that Carl is a Rottweiler, and so gentle, since it’s always about the dog, and not the breed (and I’m a lover of mixed breed mutts!) Thanks, Wendy!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. tamaraellissmith

    I just love these! There is something inherently good and cozy about a book with a dog in it. I instantly feel like I am in for a safe, sweet ride when there’s a canine companion prominently placed in a story. Even the scary, full of adventure ones. Thank you Laurie!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We have excellent taste in canines around here – and I just thought of another literary dog I love: Nana, from Peter Pan. I wish I had a Nana. Welcome to the list of lovable literary dogs, Jelly!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mariagianferrari

    I love the selection too, Megan! There are really so many to choose from!


  7. mariagianferrari

    Thanks so much, Laurie!! Who are Prim’s favorite dogs? Becca and Winn Dixie share a terrible fear of thunderstorms!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kevanjatt

    This is a doggone good list!!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Fun list! And Megan, yes! I’m a fan of Nana too. (The Disney version since I haven’t read the original books yet.)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Lindsey Lane


    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a fun post! These are some of the best literary dogs ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mariagianferrari

    I agree, Penny!


  13. As a kid I loved P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dogs. Go! (first book I remember reading on my own.) My own kids were big fans of Henry and Mudge.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lots of fun dogs! I loved Old Yeller, too!


  15. I love dogs! Snoopy was always my bulletin board theme for my 38 years of teaching! Dog books can make you laugh or cry!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I love Hally Tosis by David Pulley and Rrralph! By Lois Ehlert. Clifford is big fun and I admire Puddle Pug’s tenacity ! Dog’s make great literary characters and although I do not currently have a dog if my own, I certainly love visiting them. We just visited my Mom’s dog, Buddy, in Iowa. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hayley B

    How about Beverly Cleary’s wonderful Ribsy?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have to say that Clifford the Big Red Dog was always a favorite in our house!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mariagianferrari

    One of my childhood favorites too, KD!


  20. Pingback: Dog Days of Summer Have Ended or So They Say « A Writer's Playground

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