Dog Man is a series of children’s books by author Dave Pilky. Often classified as comedy graphic novels, they were first released in 2016 and have seen massive success ever since.
Dog Man is a series of in-universe comics created by students George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who after finding some earlier drafts, create a new version of the character with all the skills they learned from creating Captain Underpants.
So let’s say you’re looking for other whimsical kid’s books like Dog Man, but you don’t know where to start.
With so many funny middle-grade novels out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice?
If this sounds like you, then don’t worry! In this article, we’re going to give you a list of the 20+ best books like Dog Man that you can read today!
If you enjoyed Dog Man, then it’s likely you’ll enjoy other titles like Captain Underpants, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Looshkin: The Maddest Cat In The World, and Horrid Henry.
Below is a list that will explore these books and explain whether or not they’re the right choices for you.
We’ve also included a short FAQ section to help answer any questions you may have left over at the end.
Main Themes Of Dog Man
Dog Man is a series of books that are all about laughter. Although there are some aspects of the series that veer towards seriousness, almost all of the plot, characters and artwork has been created by Dave Pilky to create laughter and an engaging story.
If you’re looking for a series of books that will be very funny to kids, then this is going to be a great place to start!
Persistence And Self Confidence
Dog Man has a key theme to do with self-confidence. Dog Man book 6 sees the main character incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
Although this story is written through a whimsical lens, the reader watches as Dog Man prevails through adversity and injustice.
Good And Evil
One of the main themes of Dog Man has to do with Good vs. Evil, and furthermore, the idea that good always triumphs over evil. This is a common trope within middle-grade fiction, and Dog Man follows this trend.
Although there are many villains in the series who commit evil actions, it’s very clear that Dog Man will always prevail.
Dog Man often references (and parodies) classic literature. A Good example of this is the book Dog Man: Grime and Punishment. Pilky twists these classic stories and adapts them into the crazy Dog Man universe.
5 Books Like Dog Man
Captain Underpants By Dave Pilkey
Captain Underpants is the first series by the author of Dog Man Dave Pilkey and is the perfect place to go next if you haven’t read them.
Written (In-universe) by the same schoolboy authors as Dog Man, this story takes the reader through the adventures of Captain Underpants, a superhero created by hypnotizing the principal of their school.
There are 12 main books in this series, with each one taking Captain Underpants on a different adventure.
Like Dog Man, although each entry into the series is somewhat episodic, you’ll find small progressions throughout the course of the 12 books.
Captain Underpants gradually increases his powers, and so do the villains that he’s forced to face. Captain Underpants is a natural next place to go as it features a similar plot, art style, and themes as Dave Pilkey’s other work.
- Dave Pilky: Another series by Dave Pilkey, with lots of similarities
- Superhero Adventure: A Whimsical superhero adventure.
- Length: Very short books, which means a reader is likely to get through them quickly.
Themes: Perseverance, Confidence, Good and Evil, Superheroes, Creativity.
Horrid Henry By Francesca Simon
Horrid Henry is a much older series than Dog Man, but one that is still loved by all kinds of younger readers to this day.
Horrid Henry is a boy living in the United Kingdom, and each story takes you through some of his daily escapades. Whether it’s dealing with his terrifying babysitter, or trying to trick the tooth fairy, there is always something going on in Henry’s life.
There are 24 different entries into the Horrid Henry Main series, which means there is a lot to get through and collect.
Another nice thing about Horrid Henry is that it has a definitive ending with entry 24 (Horrid Henry: Cannibal Curse), as well as an accompanying TV Show which adapts many of the most important entries into the series.
- Illustrations: Although it doesn’t have as many illustrations as Dog Man, it still features a lot that helps to break up the text.
- Characters: Lots of colorful characters help to make the stories vibrant and fun.
- Humor: Not as witty as Dog Man in its comedy.
Themes: Behaviour, Good Vs Bad, Childhood, Comedy.
Looshkin: The Maddest Cat In The World By Jamie Smart
If you’re looking for another whimsical adventure in the same style as Dog Man, then you might want to check out Looshkin: The Maddest Cat In The World by Jamie Smart.
Although Looshkin might appear like a normal cat at first (aside from the blue fur, of course), a few pages into this book you’ll find that nothing is as it seems.
Looshkin is a great book to read after Dog Man because of its similar art style, absurd humor, and crazy characters.
- Art Style: Very similar art style to Dog Man, with lots of illustrations.
- Humor: Crazy humor and characters all focused on humor.
- Not Many Entries: There are not as many entries as Dog Man or Captain Underpants.
Themes: Comedy, Absurdity, Animals, Dimensions.
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid By Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney is one of the most prolific middle-grade series out there. It follows the diary of Greg Heffley, a middle-schooler who is trying to make his way through life.
There are 17 selected entries into the series, each with its own plot. This is a great next series to read if you’re looking for something simplistic, funny, and relatable.
- Relatability: A very relatable book written from the first-person perspective.
- Art Style: Cool, sketch-style drawings that further add to the story.
- Escapism: A familiar setting of school makes it not as fantastical as Dog Man or some of the other books on this list.
Themes: School, Growing Up, Morality, Confidence.
Max Meow: Cat Crusader By John Gallagher
Max Meow: Cat Crusader, reads like something between Dog Man and Captain Underpants. With a comic-book art style and a hilarious set of characters, this is the perfect book to get into after reading Dog Man.
Set in the city of Kittyopolis, the central character Max used to be a normal cat until he came upon a radioactive space meatball and transformed into the Cat Crusader.
From here, Max Meow begins to fight crime and crazy villains in a series of hilarious adventures. This book is a great choice if you’re looking for something very similar in style, tone, and length to Dave Pilky’s books.
- Comic Style: A comic book style that’s very similar to Dog Man.
- Comedy: Hilarious books that will have you chuckling through each adventure.
- Originality: Very similar to other Middle-Grade graphic novels.
Themes: Crime, Good Vs Evil, Modern Life, Comedy.
InvestiGators by John Patrick Green
This creative graphic novel series follows two alligators, the best spies around, as they undergo various missions and adventures together. They have their own spy technologies and have interesting methods of travel, ones that revolve around the toilet no less!
Mango and Brash, the two alligators in question must follow clues, track down criminals, and solve the mysteries before they get outsmarted. Investigators is a brilliant take on detective fiction, tailored for young readers, using captivating and unexpectedly lovable characters.
Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
Cat Kid Comic Club is another classic graphic novel series from Dav Pilkey. This story centers around a group of young frogs, as they tell their experiences, mistakes, funny anecdotes, and mishaps.
Every story focuses on the same group but delves deeper, telling stories within other stories, and demonstrating the importance and power of art.
This is an excellent series to introduce your child to. It combines humor, morality, and art to inspire young kids to find their own creativity.
Haggis and Tank by Jessica Young
This 3-book series is a fantastic, easy, fast-paced book to keep your child interested. It follows the adventures of Haggis and Tank, two dogs that convey the importance of imagination.
The first book in this series All Paws on Deck follows the two dogs on a pirate adventure, using pirate slang and the classic pirate-related tropes that can get children excited about treasure, adventures, and the mystery of the sea.
Haggis and Tank is jam-packed with color and interest, tailored to young, newly independent readers.
Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
This innovative novel follows three curious students, Hector, Terrence, and Dee, who wonder what the life of their lunch lady looks like outside of school.
They soon realize that their normal, friendly lunch lady is not what she seems. She solves mysteries, serves justice, and is afraid of nothing!
This is an excellent graphic novel series for curious kids. With mentions of the legal world, unique advice, and important lessons from the bravest woman alive, there’s no wonder why Lunch Lady is a popular favorite among children and parents.
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
This group of strange miscellaneous misfits are the perfect baddies – Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Wolf all take center stage in this brilliant graphic novel series.
Following the uncommon villain narrative, The Bad Guys will have every kid wondering why this lot are so feared. Are the bad guys really that bad?
This graphic novel series shouldn’t be missed if your child enjoys a good laugh. The story is driven by humor and its excellent premise will help readers fall in love with the weirdest, most unsuspecting villains you could imagine.
Middle School Bites by Steven Banks
This weird and wonderful graphic novel series follows the school life of Tom, a social outcast who has been bitten by a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie. He’s what Banks calls a vam-wolf-zom, which really isn’t going to help him to fit in at school.
Middle School Bites is a great blend of fantasy, humor, and the perfect book to read if your child is struggling to fit in at school or apprehensive about making friends.
Caveboy Dave by Aaron Reynolds
This is a hilarious graphic novel series that will introduce your child to the very beginning of human history. Following the awkward and scrawny outcast, Dave, these books take readers through the prehistoric era and shed light on what being a caveman was like.
But Dave is not too different from you and me. He must battle with rivalry, friendships, and the pressure from his community to live up to the standards his relatives have set for him. Caveboy Dave is an excellent graphic novel guaranteed to make you laugh and get your child asking history questions.
The Yeti Files by Kevin Sherry
These innovative graphic novels will introduce your child to cryptids, using the Yeti, Blizz Richards as the protagonist.
Blizz is not the dangerous, wild animal so many people think he is (although he isn’t the best looking). Blizz dedicates his life to studying, finding, and befriending cryptids like himself to help break down the stigma.
The Yeti Files is an action-packed, information-packed adventure story that may change your child’s perception of scary, unknown animals.
Hilo by Judd Winick
Hilo fell out of the sky and landed on Earth. He has no idea where he is, who he is, or how he got here, but soon integrating into school and society will be the biggest issue.
But when mysterious things start happening and weird things start appearing, Hilo must uncover his past to help solve issues on Earth.
A hilarious, action-packed series that your kid will definitely enjoy.
Lucy and Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown
Another graphic novel that helps kids learn about human history and life before modernism. Lucy and Andy are both neanderthals other than that, they’re pretty normal!
With hints of scientific accuracy and gripping stories bound to provoke questions, Lucy and Andy Neanderthal is the perfect way to introduce your child to history, geography, and science in a fun way!
Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield
Captured from Africa, Julius the zebra, Milus the lion, and Cornelius the warthog are all thrown into the exciting, but terrifying world of Ancient Rome, forced to compete in the Colosseum as gladiators.
Julius Zebra is a fantastic, engaging, action-led story that will educate your child about Ancient Roman life. It’s a fun twist on Madagascar, with equally lovable animal characters just in a different, more dangerous setting.
Max and the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce
This is one of the highest-rated graphic novel series out there. Max is serious about becoming a knight. Although it’s unrealistic, he is dedicated and will do anything to reach his dream.
So when Max meets a group of similar adventurers called the Midknights, he can’t resist joining them. Max and the Midknights merges magic, friendship, and adventure to create this best-selling series.
Bunny vs Monkey by Jamie Smart
A team of scientists attempts to send a monkey to space but it backfires and the monkey ends up in a random forest.
Monkey was never very nice and when he crashes, he immediately claims the forest as his, despite all the other animals who peacefully live there.
He must fight the other inhabitants to claim what he wants but will he succeed?
Bunny vs Monkey is a silly story but it has some brilliant didactic messages, allowing children to learn about good and bad behavior, greed, arrogance, and social interaction.
Real Pigeons by Andrew McDonald
What if pigeons solved crimes? Well, this graphic novel series follows a group of pigeons who are challenged with protecting the town.
Following a gripping series of adventures, fighting baddies, and keeping the neighborhood safe. But can you really trust a group of pigeons with a task like that?
Real Pigeons is a super funny, light-hearted graphic novel series, guaranteed to make you laugh and help you unwind.
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Danny Dragonbreath is a new dragon, not yet accustomed to the life of a dragon – he can’t even breathe fire yet.
But Danny doesn’t fear anything. Will this be a blessing or a curse? School life is filled with ups and downs, so will Danny thrive or fail?
Dragonbreath features standard school issues faced by many children worldwide, with an emphasis on confidence and a funny narrative, your child is bound to love this one.
Story Pirates (by Various Authors)
Story Pirates is a group of graphic novel collections that follow a variety of characters and animals as they embark on a plethora of different adventures.
Using history, science, and humor to teach and entertain readers, this is a great, long series to sink your teeth into.
Plants vs Zombies by Paul Tobin
This epic 23-book series is the perfect thing for your child if they love action, a little bit of violence, and a whole lot of fun.
Powers, zombies, science, adventure – this series has it all. Look no further for a brilliant series that will inspire, teach, and immerse your child in a whole new world.
My Weird School by Dan Gutman
This graphic novel is what it says on the tin – weird. The teachers are odd, displaying silly habits and unusual behavior, and the kids go on crazy adventures.
Nothing about this school is normal but it’s the recipe for a whacky adventure. My Weird School can help change perspective, teach kids about school-related issues, and provide a lot of fun.
So that was our list of 5 books like Dog Man. Although it can be difficult to find another series with the same blend of humor and art as Dog Man, we hope that this list has given you some ideas for the kind of books you can choose after.
Whether you’re reading these books yourself, or picking for a younger reader, we hope that you’ve got a better understanding of what else is out there!
If you still have some questions, make sure to keep reading for our short Frequently Asked Questions section.
We wish you the best of luck on your reading journey and hope that you find some books that you enjoy as much as Dog Man!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Dog Man Series Over?
Dog Man’s next book and the 11th volume in the series is called ‘Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under The Sea,’ which is going to be published on March 8, 2023.
It is unknown whether there will be more books in the series after its release, but there is some speculation that there is likely to be at least more than one.
What Is Middle-Grade Literature?
Middle Grade is the term we use to describe books best suited for readers in the middle-grade school age range.
This is typically from ages 5 to 10, but that doesn’t mean that older or younger readers can’t still enjoy these novels.
What can you learn from reading graphic novels?
Graphic novels often have a plot line that teaches basic manners, emotional control, and will subtly hint at vital developmental and moral lessons.
What are the benefits of reading graphic novels?
Reading graphic novels can improve development, can help with the recognition of right and wrong, strengthen reading skills, and may provoke readers to ask important questions about social, scientific, moral, and historical matters.
What are the best children’s graphic novels of all time?
Captain Underpants is one of the most well-loved stories that originated from a children’s graphic novel. It remains one of Dav Pilkey’s most successful works.
Are all graphic novels suitable for children?
No – be careful when choosing graphic novels for your children because some graphic novels are made for adults and contain very adult themes such as violence, sex, and drugs. It should be obvious from the style and look of the graphic novel whether or not it’s suitable for children, but if you’re unsure it’s best to ask.
What’s the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?
In terms of style, there is very little difference between the two, however, comic books tend to be a series of books, whereas many graphic novels are standalone books.