Tales to Tails- Kids Read to Dogs at the Library

by Christine@TheAums on February 16, 2011 · 7 comments

We did a really cool thing this past weekend.  I took my 6 year old son, an emerging reader, to the library to read out loud to a dog.  Ok, how cool is that?! 

The program is called Tales to Tails and works with the Furry Friends Therapy Dog Group, Therapy Dogs International, and Therapy Dogs Incorporated to bring dogs to the library to listen as children practice reading out loud for about twenty minutes.  It doesn’t matter at what level your child reads, the whole point is:

Research shows that children who have frequent reading experiences such as reading aloud become more eager, skilled readers. Studies also show that therapy dogs provide a comfortable, nonjudgmental environment for children to practice. Children enjoy choosing a book they think the dog might like and they become more confident the more they read.  ~Santa Cruz Public Library

My son, Aumar, recently borrowed a book called the Hallow-wiener about, you guessed it, a wiener dog, and he anticipated reading that book to his dog all week.  Even though children are encouraged to read any book of their choice, it seems most pick dog-themed books because they think that’s what their dog will enjoy most.

After a brief introduction to the dogs, Aumar had an instant connection with Henry, an adorable beagle, brought by his owner, Sandy. It was truly a warm and fuzzy experience.  Henry listened as Aumar stumbled over new words and practiced reading with feeling.  Henry was so relaxed he eventually fell asleep in his lap.

After two books, we said goodbye to Henry and his friendly owner, but not before Henry showed us some cool tricks! On our way out, my son received a bone-shaped bookmarker and told the librarian he’d like to come back and do it again. Me too!

This program is yet another of the countless examples of why we love the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.  From laptime sing-alongs with babies to preschool story time, free art projects to special concerts, there is always a family-friendly reason to visit the library, besides the books.  Plus, we’ve never met a children’s librarian who wasn’t the friendliest, most helpful person on the planet. 

What do you enjoy about your public library?

Helpful links: and

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

MAMA BRANDI February 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I have heard that reading to dogs was a great way to teach children how to read as well as help them to learn compassion and kindness! I'll have to check into this more!


Janis February 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Thank you from the Library for coming to Tales to Tails, sharing those priceless photos, and letting your readers know about the opportunity. We are looking forward to expanding to other branches, but in the meantime, check with Melanee at the Capitola Branch. We are looking forward to Aumar's return and meeting other readers, too!

Janis and Melanee


Sandy February 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Henry and I thank Aumar for the expressive book readings and thank you, Christine, for the wonderful pictures and nice write-up! Hope to see you again.



The Aums Mama February 19, 2011 at 2:14 am

Sandy, Henry is such a great dog…I think your volunteer work with him is really admirable. I do hope we cross paths again soon!


Gloria February 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for sharing your page with me. I'm glad you all had such a great time. There's nothing like reading to a dog … check out my site for more wonderful ideas from library dogs across the States and in the UK and Canada, as well:

Gloria Laube
and Sunny Treasure, the collie on many of my site's pages :-)


Angelique October 7, 2011 at 12:56 am

I am in silence, reading your post and looking at the pictures! I just finished a month of children&animals at play on my site. And your post confirms all that I have been reading and experiencing myself!
This is the link:

Lovely greetings, Angelique


Christine@TheAums October 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Angelique, your blog is fantastic! I love the children and animals bloghop! What a wonderful resource…I’m looking forward to exploring it! The Tales to Tails program is beyond awesome. Since it started, they have added cats, a rabbit, and an iguana who all enjoy listening to children practice their reading skills.


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