FeaturedPicture Books

Virginia Loves Dogs


Loved it! 😍

A cute story intertwined with a lesson all children should learn while retaining its sense of fun.

Virginia Loves Dogs is, on the surface, a simple story about a little girl named Virginia who loves dogs of all sizes, shapes, furs and the like. However, as you go through the story with your child, you will find a lesson that is crucial to child development and one that needs to be addressed more in today's world.


The author, Barbara Leary, keeps the concept quite simple and easy enough for children to understand. I love how Leary used Virginia's interactions with dogs as the approach to teaching this lesson so the child wouldn't feel lectured or preached to. By utilizing a cute animal and a relatable character in the form of a little girl, we get a creative way for parents to talk to their children about manners and respecting others, including their boundaries. The illustrations are also colorful and cute, which keeps the reader entertained.

Leary's writing, too, is straight to the point without including cutesy words or rhymes that could distract from the main point of the story. There is no passive voice throughout and the dialogue--when needed--is also pretty straight forward. Leary makes sure the text is short enough that it allows readers to fly through the pages to enjoy the story, as opposed to having long pages of text and losing the audience's attention. You can also sense the tone as you read, which brings the story to life for readers. This is also great because narration of a text can make or break how you tell a story, or discuss a lesson that a child needs to know, learn, or be reminded of after a mistake is made. Very good on all fronts!

If you need a story for your child before bedtime this is a good option to consider. Another thing, too, is that the colors are pretty basic and kept to a certain pattern, if you will: the pinks, blues, whites, etc. That is nice to keep things organized but, sometimes, a little more variety of color can make a story pop, so that might be something to look at for the next book.

Overall, Virginia Loves Dogs will be a great addition to your family's book collection. Even if you prefer cats, consider checking out this book for the purpose of manners and lessons to be learned. But if you love dogs, you have a winner here. Happy reading!

Reviewed by

I am an avid reader and enjoy writing of any kind. I have been a blogger for 4 years, writing book reviews since 2016 and reviewing books for Hallmark Publishing since 2018. Books and words inspire me and I want to share those thoughts and stories with others.


For every kid who ever loved a dog.

Virginia just wants to make ALL the dogs happy. She loves fluffy dogs and scruffy dogs, squeaky clean dogs and doggone dirty dogs. She loves dogs so much she’ll do whatever she can to make them happy. Her good intentions don’t always go over so well with the grownups in her life, but no amount of scolding dims the sheer joy she feels in the company of canines—until the day she meets a dog who doesn’t love her and learns an important lesson about "doggie manners" and loving some dogs from a safe distance. A sweet, funny story about unconditional love, with whimsical illustrations that will have the littles poring over every page.

About the author

Barbara Leary writes from her 100-year-old farmhouse with views of the Virginia hills, four massive oak trees, and a small flock of doggish chickens. Her granddaughters inspired her children’s books: Virginia Loves Dogs, The Climbing Tree, and the forthcoming Caroline and the Not-Mamma. view profile

Published on October 13, 2019

Published by

0-1000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by