Anything Is Paw-sible with These Literary Pups

By NYPL Staff
January 12, 2018

Don't let the Library's lion mascot fool you; we have a lot of love for literary dogs. Our four-legged friends often find themselves at the heart of a great book, or tagging along for the adventure as a faithful human companion. Do you have other favorite bookish pups? Let us know in the comments below!

White Fang fromWhite Fang by Jack London
The adventures in the northern wilderness of a dog named White Fang, who is part wolf, and how he comes to make his peace with man. When White Fang lives among man-animals, he must learn to fend for himself. And when he finds himself with a man who is kind to him, he must learn to love.

Tock from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams.

Clifford from Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
Emily Elizabeth loves her huge dog Clifford even though he is far from perfect. Clifford is a much beloved children's book character, and his adventures with Emily Elizabeth and friends can be followed through a charming series of books—there are even books about Clifford's first experiences as a small red puppy!

Lassie from Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
Lassie is Joe's prize collie and constant companion. But when Joe's father loses his job, Lassie must be sold. Three times she escapes from her new owner, and three times she returns home to Joe, until finally she is taken to the remotest part of Scotland—too far a journey for any dog to make alone. But Lassie is not just any dog. First published in 1940, Lassie Come-Home has become one of the best-loved dog stories In the world. 

Winn-Dixie from Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Little Ann and Old Dan from Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A loving trio that ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Oaklahoma. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.

Buck from The Call of the Wild by Jack London
A story of survival depicted through a half-St. Bernard and half-Scottish shepherd named Buck. Stolen from his domestic home and thrown forcibly into the harsh and wild northern California woods, Buck must learn how to withstand the elements.

Toto from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Swept away from her home in Kansas by a tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto find themselves stranded in the fantastical Land of Oz. As instructed by the Good Witch of the North and the Munchkins, Dorothy sets off on the yellow brick road to try and find her way to the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz, who can help her get home.With her companions the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy experiences an adventure full of friendship, magic and danger.

Book descriptions taken from NYPL catalog.


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!