DiscoverChildren's Non-Fiction

Piki Goes to College


Loved it! 😍

This informative book blends narrative with factual information as Piki the dog navigates her journey to become a service dog.

Piki the dog has a very special job to do. Rescued from a shelter by her forever friend Joan, she is thrilled to be welcomed into a home by two Jack Russell Terrier siblings named Raleigh and Buster. Before long, Piki is learning the rules of the house, settling into the rhythm of life in this new space. One day, Joan takes Piki to meet Rick and Heather, two humans who are helping Piki and Joan learn about what it takes to become a service dog. It is not an easy task, but through persistence and patience, Piki and Joan work hard to achieve their goal.

Told from the perspective of Piki herself, this story helps readers learn about service dogs from the dog’s point of view. It begins as a narrative about Piki’s life as she goes through the rigorous training required to become a service dog. Later, pages of information are given to educate readers about the purpose of service animals, how to behave around them, and what businesses are allowed to ask pertaining to them. At the end of the book, resources are included to give readers even more information about these important animals.

Because of the quantity of text in this book, it is best suited to elementary school-aged readers. Direct sentences and familiar vocabulary make the book accessible to young readers, and while many pages feature illustrations along with paragraphs of words, several pages feature only text. Filled with helpful and informative messaging, this book gets to the heart of what a service dog’s life is like.

Each of the illustrations in this book feature at least one dog. Several breeds are depicted in intricate detail, using pen strokes and color to give the images a realistic feel. In the background, readers find frequent references to the New Mexican landscape and its iconic greens, browns, and bright blue skies. Occasional human references are made in the images, but the focus of the story is on Pika and other dogs as they are working and playing.

Service animals are increasingly more common in society today, though people without direct experience may not know very much about them. For those, books like this help educate without judgement, informing people of all backgrounds of the important work service animals perform. This is a useful addition to collections supporting the many varied needs of humans in the world.

Reviewed by

I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.


Have you ever wondered what kind of training a dog receives to become a Service Dog? Piki Goes to College is the story of a lovable shelter dog who is trained by Joan to become a Service Dog. Piki (rhymes with sneaky) tells her own story, which is fun, entertaining and educational for children and adults. Her antics during her training are not only described but shown with color illustrations, revealing her mischievous and independent personality.
Although Piki herself tells you a lot about Service Dogs, additional sources are included for adults, providing more advanced information about Service Dogs and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

About the author

I've loved children and animals all my life and I feel they are kindred spirits. Although I don't have any of my own children, I have worked with them in many different settings. Dogs will always be a part of my life. Piki Goes to College is Piki's first book of a series and my second book. view profile

Published on May 01, 2021

Published by IngramSpark

4000 words

Genre: Children's Non-Fiction

Reviewed by