< Board Books


Support developing literacy with Dogs!, uniquely designed to help families establish reading habits from an early age.

Play and learn with your favorite furry friends! Questions within the book provide a built-in tool for grown-ups to engage in dialogic reading with children, inviting them to actively participate in the story and relate it to their own lives—an excellent way to promote early literacy skills. Start reading and learning today with Dogs!


"Reading to young children is the single most important thing parents can do to stimulate early language development. Dr. Hutton has provided an outstanding much-needed resource for parents (and teachers and librarians too!) to encourage thoughtful book-sharing interactions between parents and children. Sharing this book with children is sure to cultivate rich interactions that foster children’s language skills far into the future. " - Dr. Laura Justice, College of Education & Human Ecology Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University
"Welcome to the world of dialogic reading! As a speech-language pathologist, I can attest to the benefits of dialogic reading, where children have fun while improving vocabulary and oral language skills. By inviting the child into the story with questions and responses, the child is more attentive and involved. Dr. Hutton’s wonderful new children’s book, Dogs!, provides a great way for families to practice these skills, and have fun doing it! I encourage you to cuddle up with your child and these lovable dogs, and enjoy reading together!" - Rachelle Schmitz, CCC Speech-Language Pathology, CALP, CDT
"[Hutton's] approach is novel and engaging. Cenko's richly colored paintings, in what looks to be acrylics, are winsome, imbuing each pup with a distinct personality." - Kirkus Reviews

What is dialogic reading?

Dialogic reading is reading aloud in a way that invites the child to actively participate in the story and relate it to his or her life. Some families read naturally in a dialogic way (pausing to ask questions and expand, etc.), but many do not. Dogs! makes it easy to practice this technique at home.

Dialogic reading looks like this:

Introduce the book to build interest.

CROWD Prompts

Completion (“When dogs talk, they say _____.”)
Recall (“Remember the dog on the last page?”)
Open-Ended questions (“Share your thoughts on that.”)
Wh- Questions (“Where does this dog live?”)
Distancing (“Does this dog remind you of ____?”)

PEER Sequence

Prompt (“What color is this dog?”)
Evaluate (“That’s right, it’s yellow!”)
Expand (“It’s a yellow, furry dog.”)
Repeat (“Can you say ‘yellow, furry dog?'”)


Discuss the book after reading to maintain interest—and build interest in the next book!

Publication Information

List Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-936669-54-7
Publication Date: April 2017
Format: Board book
Dimensions: 5.5" x 5.5"
Page Count: 14
Ages: 0-3

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About the Author: 

Dr. John Hutton is a pediatrician and clinical researcher at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Reading and Literacy Discovery Center, and owner of blue manatee children’s bookstore.

About the Illustrator: 

Doug Cenko is an illustrator living in Chicago, IL. He has worked at an animation studio, a live special effects company and design agencies, but illustration is what he truly loves to do. When he’s not drawing, you can find him (or better yet, not find him) mastering the art of hide-and-seek with his wife and daughter.