Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month? Probably not unless you work for Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National. But don’t fret, there’s still time to celebrate. So go out and buy your 10-pack of hot dogs and an annoyingly unsynchronized 8-pack of buns, then pick up one of these 6 books to show your appreciation for blended pork bits.
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, by Mo Willems
Any hot dog celebration has to include the kiddies, many of whom eat these meat products like a food group. And if you’re going to read to your kids about a hot dog, then be sure to pick up this classic by Mo Willems, who is a master of writing humor that parents love with a word count we love even more.
10 Little Hot Dogs, by John Himmelman
In case your kid is more of a cheeseburger person, and you don’t want to miss out on the hot dog fun, consider this children’s book featuring 10 Little Hot Dogs, as in wiener dogs. No pigs or cows were harmed in the making of this book, making safe for vegan celebrations as well.
Galactic Hot Dogs, by Max Brallier
If your child’s a little old for picture books, don’t worry. There’s a chapter book to solve all of your hot dog celebrating problems—and it includes outer space. The main character, Cosmoe, spends his days driving a flying food truck and fighting Ultimate Evil. Because you can’t take your hot dog literature too seriously, folks.
Sleepers, by Lorenzo Carcaterra
Wait, this piece of literature definitely takes hot dogs very seriously. Whether you’ve seen the movie (which features everyone cool in the ‘90s from Brad Pitt to Kevin Bacon to Robert De Niro) or you’ve read the book, you know that the initiating incident that sets off a depressing string of events is a horrible accident on a New York City Street involving a hot dog cart. It’s published as a memoir, making it a true story, though to date the facts of the case remain unverified. So believe the hot dog saga at your own risk.
Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts, by Mark Kurlansky
If you’re looking for more food porn in your hot dog lit, then search no further than this collection of vignettes. Written by an author most famous for his nonfiction food writing, including a biography on the inventor of frozen food, this book features a notable scene in a ballpark where a character compares the hot dogs of Fenway to the hot dogs of Yankee Stadium. Your opinion on this debate may rely heavily on where you live.
Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments, by Russell Van Kraayenburg
In case you don’t know how to cook a hot dog, or your skills are limited to the use of microwave oven, try getting a little fancy this month with a celebration that includes Japanese fusion or BBQ dogs. You can learn how to make an official Coney Island Dog or go really crazy with a Swedish Shrimp Dog. Whatever your tastes, there’s a recipe (and a book) for you.