'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 30 March 2018

Review: The Detective Dog

What a fabulous read! I didn’t stop laughing until the end of the book and even then, my mouth retained a smile of satisfaction.

The text filled with alliteration and assonance, in clever rhyme and galloping rhythm, sends the reader on a page-turning adventure with Detective Dog Nell, ‘with her keen sense of smell’. Nell lives with her untidy owner, six year-old Peter. He definitely needs her gift as he’s always losing things, and Detective Dog Nell never disappoints.

Nell is happy to detect all days except Mondays. That’s the day Peter puts on her lead and they go to his classroom. There, children sit one at a time on the mat in the centre of the room and read to Nell. This encourages even the most reluctant reader, to share a story with the smartest Detective Dog.

It’s not only the reading Nell loves listening to. The smells in the schoolroom give her nose a treat; especially the smell of books. What a variety! Nell luxuriates in each individual aroma which the different genres give off.

When the schoolroom books are stolen, who better to track the book thief than Detective Dog Nell? She becomes a Pied Piper, with teacher and children following behind in search and pursuit of the culprit.

Who is the book thief? Can Nell and Peter find an alternate way for this strange book lover to satisfy his hunger for words?

Simply brilliant in every way, this number one bestselling story deserves all the publicity it gets. It carries a theme that will interest - reading to therapy dogs, which has gained popularity in many schools. Children with poor literacy attitudes have shown a vast improvement after undertaking reading programs of this kind.

Illustrator Sara Ogilvie breathes life into the characters while their activities appear to spring from the page as they move from one scene to the next. Meticulous facial expressions and body language visually enhance the text, creating reels of images of the goings on.

This outstanding and humorous book is one that any child will love and choose as their favourite. Previously published in paperback, The Detective Dog is now available in a ‘cased board book format’ which will introduce this clever lovable character to a younger audience.

Title: The Detective Dog
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 2018, $14.99
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781509862542
For ages: 2+
Type: Board Book