If there’s anything Dav Pilkey is a master at, it’s creating chapter books that kids can’t get their hands on fast enough. I tore through the Captain Underpants books as an elementary schooler and, almost 20 years later, am overjoyed that he’s created a series for the next generation of young readers: the Dog Man books.
Parents and educators, we’re answering your most common questions about the series today. Read on to learn all of the essential lore and what you need to know to appreciate the series as much as your children or students.
What Are The Dog Man Books About?
When Officer Knight and his police dog Greg are caught in a freak accident caused by the evil Petey the Cat, there’s only one way to save them. Doctors carefully sew Greg the Dog’s head onto Officer Knight’s body to create an all-new superhero: Dog Man. Half-dog and half-man, he is here to sniff squirrels and save the city—and he’s all out of squirrels to sniff. The series follows him and his friends as they bring peace and tail-wagging justice to their city.
How Many Dog Man Books are There?
As of 2019, there are seven published books in the series. For Whom the Ball Rolls is the most recent addition. The next book in the series, Fetch-22, will be released on December 20th.
What is the Dog Man Series Reading Order?
Including Fetch-22, the current series order is:
- Dog Man: A new superhero with the head of a dog and body of a man, is here to fight crime and keep his city safe. But can he resist the tempting allure of chasing the mailman?
- Dog Man Unleashed: Now that Dog Man’s got a handle on being a superhero, he feels ready to take on his nemesis: Petey the Cat.
- A Tale of Two Kitties: When Petey the Cat drops a cute little kitten on Dog Man’s door, what’s a pup to do? Be kind and fight crime, of course!
- Dog Man and Cat Kid: Our favorite furry hero is back and, this time, he’s not alone. Joining him in this volume is his feline sidekick, Cat Kid!
- Lord of the Fleas: To protect the city from a new group of supervillains, Dog Man may need to team up with an unlikely ally. But what if Petey the Cat won’t help?
- Brawl of the Wild: This book begins with an unlikely person in the pound: our hero! When Dog Man is jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, can Cat Kid prove that he’s innocent?
- For Whom the Ball Rolls: Dog Man is out of jail and determined to make the most of his freedom. But when a new supervillain comes after him when he’s at his weakest, it will take the help of his friends to save the day.
- Fetch-22: Petey the Cat has turned over a new leaf and devoted his life to good. Or has he?
You may notice a theme in this list: many of the titles are allusions to classic literary works. And who said that comics couldn’t be educational?
Who Wrote the Dog Man Books?
Dav Pilkey is the author and illustrator of the Dog Man series. You may recognize his name from another popular children’s series: Captain Underpants, which follows the misadventures of students George and Harold as they fight crime with their school principal-turned-superhero.
Pikley is also the writer behind The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot, and The Dragon Tales. Chances are that if you’ve known any elementary school students within the past decade-and-a-half, you’ve heard of at least one book by Dav Pilkey.
What is the Dog Man Reading Level?
The series’s official Lexile level is GN390L, which puts its reading level at around 2nd–3rd grade. The fun illustrations and engaging plot make it a popular series among early readers who are just starting to pick up chapter books.
Who Are Some of the Main Dog Man Characters?
Since the series is now seven books long and running, jumping into the series can be intimidating for a newcomer. Here’s a primer on a few important characters from the series to help you out:
- Dog Man: Dog Man (aka “The Bark Knight”) is half-dog, half-man superhero who protects his city from all kinds of dastardly villains. He is friendly and playful, but when danger arises he’ll do anything he can to save the day.
- Petey the Cat: Petey is a grumpy, evil cat whose plans often involve taking over the world. He spends much of his time inventing contraptions in his secret lab.
- Sarah Hatoff: Sarah is a news reporter who brings stories about superheroes to the public. Whenever she goes on an adventure with Dog Man, she’s sure to tell all about it on her blog the next day.
- Chief: Chief is the leader of the city police department. He has a hot temper but, underneath his fiery personality, he cares a lot about his friends.
- Lil’ Petey: Lil’ Petey is Petey the Cat’s son. After Petey kicks him out, Lil’ Petey becomes the crime-fighting ward Cat Kid.
- Piggy: Piggy is a supervillian who turned to crime after he was kicked out of the Critter Scouts by Peter. He built a robotic dinosaur to get revenge on Petey, but his evil plans don’t always go as he expects.
When is the Next Dog Man Book Coming out?
Fetch-22 is set to come out December 20th, just in time for the holidays! While little is known about this volume yet, it’s sure to be just as fun as previous books in the series.
Although Pilkey hasn’t yet announced any releases for 2020, the series is so beloved among elementary students that we imagine Fetch-22 isn’t the last we’ll see of this crusading canine.
Are There Any Dog man Games or Toys?
If you’re doing your winter shopping early, Dog Man toys could be a great choice for little readers. While Scholastic hasn’t yet released a board or video game, they do have plush dolls of many of the main characters available for purchase.
Once your children or students have read through the whole series, what should you give them next to keep their love of books alive? Check out these recommended reading lists to discover books perfect for little bookworms:
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