The Detective Dog – written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie


  The Detective Dog – written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, Henry Holt and Company, a trademark of Macmillan Publishing Group, 9781250156761, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book Detective Dog Nell is a wonderfully sweet and curious character who encourages problem-solving and, above all, the joy of helping others. She is not only an amateur detective, she is also a reading therapy dog who loves to visit her boy’s, Peter’s, classroom every Monday and listen to children read.

Donaldson’s rhyming couplets charm the ears and flow through the story with ease.  Ogilvie’s illustrations have wonderful details in the background to give younger listeners a chance to gain more from the story.  The book’s overall message surrounding the importance of reading and libraries will please parents and educators alike while the vehicle of a detecting dog will hook younger readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The title’s main mystery is the disappearance of school books from the classroom Nell visits.  As Nell follows her nose, the class discovers an adult man as the culprit, guiltily reading next to a bag full of the books.  While the ensuing lesson is a good one, and everyone is happy at the end, many parents and caregivers may be put off by this idea of an unknown adult entering an elementary school.

To whom would you recommend this bookThis is a fun read-aloud for kids in grades K-2.  Grown-ups may wish to read this as an introduction to a library visit.

Who should buy this book? Libraries (public and school), especially if they host a reading program with therapy dogs

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not Donaldson’s best book, so you can likely pass.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA

Date of reviewMay 26, 2018

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