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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Detective Dog, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. Macmillan Children's Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $24.99 ages 5 and up

"Everyone followed
the Detective Dog Nell.
She stopped at the lights.
What could she smell?
Sniff, sniff, sniff!
Haddock and hay,
Pizza and penguins,
and further away
The smell of the thief, and ... "

You have not likely ever met a dog like Nell. She is known as a hero to many for her record-setting crime detection skills. There are few crimes that can't be solved when Nell uses her powerful sense of smell. She is Peter's pet and that is a good thing - Peter doesn't have a good record when it comes to keeping track of his own things:

"The bus in the bowl and
the book in the bed.
The sock in the sofa,
the shoe in the shed.
The tumbledown teddy,
the bounce-away ball.
Nell the detective dog
discovered them all."

Nell does her work every week from Tuesday until Sunday which leaves a day of rest on Monday. Every Monday morning she goes to school with Peter. She listens to the children in Peter's class read to her. She loves it, and so did they! She does that until one Monday when Nell knows straightaway that something is amiss. The books are gone!

There are clues. In her biggest challenge yet, Nell is off to find the much loved tomes, and to bring them home. It takes some time despite the speed of the chase. Kids will be in for a surprise when they learn who has the books and why. A further chase with a motive in mind - to show the thief the best place in the world to find books. And, it's free!!

The double page that shows the interior of the library with its patrons and workers, its books and its spaces, and the joy to be found there is my favorite. Of course, it is! This would be a worthwhile book to share with little ones before taking their first trip of the new year to the school library.

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