Picture Book Pups: Dog’s First Baby reviewed

Dog's First Baby cover. Photo by Wesley Coburn"
Dog's First Baby cover. Photo by Wesley Coburn" /

Dog’s First Baby is a new picture book published in October 2021, and since we love all kinds of children’s literature and dog books in general, we’re happy to let you all know about it.

Dog’s First Baby is a board book written and illustrated by Natalie Nelson, and it is published by Quirk Books, who published Gideon Kidd’s Pet That Dog! handbook fairly recently.

Told from the dog’s point of view but with a great deal of narrative distance (none of the characters are named), it consists of 28 pages, with a drawing style and colors similar to the collage-style animation of the Nick Jr/CBS animated series Little Bill.

There is also a companion book, also written and illustrated by Nelson, titled Cat’s First Baby, which we bet is terrific as well.

Dog’s First Baby is a terrific board book to get toddlers used to animals.

A floppy-eared dog (who looks something like our Dog Twitter fren Penny Lane Pup) meets the new baby his human mom brings home, very curious.

This tiny human puppy doesn’t smell like a dog, and its paws don’t match, and it doesn’t even have a tail!

But there are similarities, too – they both enjoy naps, and going for a walk, and eventually even play together.

Because it’s a tiny human, it must be protected, which is why when the baby howls, the dog does as well, and they share a love for eating as much as possible. (“I admire that,” the dog notes.)

As the baby gets older, sometimes they play hide and seek in the laundry pile, and sometimes the baby thinks the dog is a horse. This is not fun at all. But sometimes the baby thinks the dog is a pillow, which is true sometimes.

As the story concludes, the dog sums it up – “i am a dog. You are not. But we are friends.”

The illustration style is a bit like Peanuts in its pleasing sparseness, with only the relevant furniture shown in each frame. This would also be helpful for a toddler’s brain, as they have less clutter to sort through while identifying common objects. (For example, a sock, or a ball.)

The words are also just the right level of short-to-the-point-ness, which is ideal for a toddler’s comprehension.

Next. Dress your dog up as Baby Yoda for Halloween 2021. dark

Again, Dog’s First Baby can be found on the Quirk Books website, in addition to various bookstores.