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Best of Literary Google Doodles

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Who doesn’t get excited when there’s a great Google Doodle, especially when it’s book related? Here’s a roundup of some of the literary Google Doodles.

First, a look back at literary Doodles throughout the United States, from oldest to most recent:

2004 James Joyce Day Bloomsday

How about this celebratory Doodle in honor of James Joyce’s birthday and Bloomsday way back in 2004?

National Library Week

National Library Week gets a nice shout out in this 2005 Doodle.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyal's 147th birthday

Back in 2006, Google celebrated the 147th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with his most famous creation: Sherlock Holmes.

Beatrix Potter's Birthday

When we get back to 2008, there’s a celebration for a female literary icon, and it’s in honor of Beatrix Potter’s birthday. (Interesting side note: this is the only Doodle honoring a female in the US to date)

Dr Seuss's 105th Birthday

What better way to celebrate the 105th birthday of the iconic Dr. Seuss but with a Doodle that features his most well-known characters?

HG Wells Birthday

Science fiction writer H. G. Wells’s birthday was celebrated with an out-of-this-world Doodle.


Hans Christian Andersen's 205th Birthday

Had Hans Christian Andersen been around for his 205th birthday, he’d likely enjoy seeing his Thumbelina captured in this way.

Robert Louis Stevenson's 160th Birthday

Surely this one is recognizable as an homage Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, created in celebration of the author’s 160th birthday.


Will Eisner 94th Birthday

Google Doodle celebrates Will Eisner’s 94th birthday in early 2011.

Richard Scarry's 92nd Birthday

Anyone who knows picture books — or who has been a kid and had picture books read to them — probably would recognize this tribute to Richard Scarry’s 92nd birthday.

Mark Twain

In celebration of what would have been his 165th birthday, this Doodle features an image readers would easily associate with Mark Twain.

Charles Dickens 200th Birthday

Can you identify all of the iconic characters in this Doodle celebrating Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday? If you need some help, the team’s got you covered.

200th anniversary of grimm's fairy tales

In December 2012, the Doodle paid tribute to the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Moby Dick's 161st anniversary

There’s a whale of a creation to celebrate the 161st anniversary of Moby Dick‘s first publishing. It’s well-worth reading the development of this particular Doodle and how it evolved from concept to finished design.

Bram Stoker Google Doodle

For a “Happy 165th Birthday,” Bram Stoker was remembered for his legendary villain Dracula.

Douglas Adams 61st Birthday Google Doodle

Don’t panic and carry a towel. This Doodle celebrates Douglas Adams’s 61st birthday, in early May this year. This one is also interactive, so have at it.

Sendak 85th Birthday Google Doodle

Maurice Sendak’s 85th birthday gets a celebratory Doodle on June 10, complete with animation.

Franz Kafka Google doodle

July 3, 2013 would have been Franz Kafka’s 130th birthday, and they celebrated with an homage to his best-known short story “The Metamorphosis.”

It’s well worth your time to peruse the “Literature” tag on Google Doodle to check out the art done throughout the rest of the world, too. Here are a handful of knock outs from other countries celebrating literature:

Wislawa Szymroska's 90th birthday

Wislawa Syzmborska’s 90th birthday was celebrated with this Google Doodle in Poland.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 110th Birthday

In France and Germany, the 90th birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupery was celebrated with this image straight out of The Little Prince.

Fyodor Dostoevsky's 190th Birthday

Of course, there was a celebratory Doodle in honor of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 190th birthday in Russia.

300th Anniversary of Spain's National Library

In Spain, there was a celebration for the 300th anniversary of Spain’s National Library.

Agatha Christie's 120th Birthday

Agatha Christie’s 120th birthday is celebrated throughout other parts of the world with this great Doodle.

Who or what would you like to see honored in a Google Doodle? I know I’d love to see a little love for J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter. Since Google’s not featured many of our great ladies of literature, she’d be an excellent pick, as would others like Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, or Virginia Woolf, to name a few.


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