What to Read After... Hairy Maclary

Published on: 09 July 2023

Finished Lynley Dodd's series about the most mischievous pup around? Dean Boddington shares what to read after Hairy Maclary...

Fans of Hairy Maclary’s mischievous adventures in Lynley Dodd’s beloved picture books often find themselves craving more. If you’re seeking your child’s next captivating read, look no further. In this article, we present a selection of recommended books that capture the same charm and excitement as Hairy Maclary. Whether you’re drawn to animal adventures, rhyming stories, or tales of friendship, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into these captivating reads that will leave you eagerly flipping through the pages. 

Animal tales

If you enjoyed the Donaldson’s Dairy books, I’ve got a feeling that you are fans of animals, and not the boring ones! First up we’ve got Grumpy Frog by Ed Vere. Now just to let you know, Grumpy frog definitely ISN’T grumpy... Unless things aren’t the way he likes them... If this isn’t in your story time repertoire, it needs to be! 

If you’re looking for a series, then Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton is perfect. The rubbish robbers turned bakers are amazing due to the transition between picture books and first illustrated chapter books within the series. Which will keep you enjoying their adventures for even longer! 

All parents would love a story that instils the importance of tidying up into children... But unfortunately Tidy by Emily Gravett warns of the dangers of being too tidy! Be careful, the moral may be applied and bedrooms may not be tidied to an acceptable standard... 

Mischievous characters 

One thing readers love about the characters in Hairy Maclary is their mischievousness. Here are three characters that will instantly win a place in your heart. 

The Pigeon has to go to School by Mo Willems is a hilarious start to the school year as the Pigeon has to be persuaded to go back to school. 

Nibbles the Book Monster is a real mischievous but lovable character. Emma Yarlett has written a story that will want to be read over and over again. 

In This Book is out of Control by Richard Byrne it is not the characters that are mischievous, but the book itself... Read and laugh along as the book does everything it can to make sure the story doesn’t go to plan.  

Stories about friendship

It may be the friendships that you enjoy, and if so, you really must read Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor Ballesteros. They are two of my favourite friends in picture books. Sowing us exactly what good friends do for each other, the books will also raise a smile for any readers.

Similarly, Meesha Makes a Friend by Tom Percival is a celebration of friendship for those who find making friends tricky. A feel-good story that encourages inclusivity.

Rhyming picture books

If it's the rhymes in Hairy Maclary that float your boat then these rhyming books will be right up your street. It seems impossible to talk about rhyming books without mentioning the legendary Julia Donaldson. Monkey Puzzle (illustrated by Axel Scheffler) is one of my favourites and I love sharing it with classes and my own children.

Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson and Tor Freeman is a laugh aloud silly story about some sausages who try to escape the perils of a frying pan, but unfortunatley they all meet equally disatrous ends... I can already hear the giggles before you've even read it.

Maybe it’s actual poetry that you’re after, in which case, you can’t go wrong with Ready for Spaghetti by Michael Rosen and Polly Dunbar. A collection of silly poems for younger readers. 

Picture Books by Lynley Dodd 

If you want to explore more books by Lynley Dodd then Slinky Malinki is a fantastic choice. It is still set in Donaldson’s Dairy but following a new feline character. 

Hopefully, the selection highlighted will satisfy your thirst and be exactly the type of books that you’ll enjoy! 

Dean Boddington is an Assistant Headteacher, parent and Book Blogger. He creates a monthly reading newsletter – 'No Shelf Control' – as well as producing recommendation resources for schools. Check out misterbodd.wordpress.com and Facebook.com/no-shelf-control-reviews  

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Those are some of our ideas – but what about you? What are your most-loved adventures?

Let us know by tweeting us @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter


Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. Participating schools give their students the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 16 titles.

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