cover image The Detective Dog

The Detective Dog

Julia Donaldson, illus. by Sara Ogilvie. Holt/Godwin, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-15676-1

A canine with a sophisticated olfactory sense saves the day in this sprightly tale showcasing Donaldson’s (Zog and the Flying Doctors) finesse with rhythm and rhyming—and knack for delivering a message with humor. Nell spends most days sniffing out her master Peter’s misplaced belongings and solving other conundrums. But on Mondays, she accompanies Peter to school, where students read her stories, and she savors her favorite smell: the aroma of books. Nell’s sleuthing skills—and vibrant, detail-jammed pictures from Ogilvie (Izzy Gizmo)—kick into high gear when the classroom books disappear. Following the scent of the culprit’s left-behind cap, Nell leads the way through a bustling town, with the kids and their teacher in dogged pursuit, to a book-filled backyard. There, a benign-looking fellow sporting a mop of red hair and an argyle sweater vest tearfully confesses: “Stealing is wrong—but I just meant to borrow./ I was planning to give all the books back tomorrow.” Nell perks up at the word “borrow,” and dashes off again, leading the gang to the library, where the reformed thief gets his first library card. A lyrical and visually energized celebration of books and reading. Ages 3–6. Author’s agency: Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agency: NB Illustration. (May)