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The Detective Dog

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  131 reviews
"There once was a dog with a keen sense of smell.
She was known far and wide as Detective Dog Nell.

Peter's dog Nell has an amazing sense of smell. Whether it's finding a lost shoe or discovering who did a poo on the new gravel path, her ever-sniffing nose is always hard at work. But Nell has other talents too. Every Monday she goes to school with Peter and listens to c
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 30th 2016 by Pan Macmillan (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  759 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another absolute favourite with my children.
Great little mystery story for children, with a feel good ending. My son loved the dog and the thought of taking the dog to school has put ideas in his head.
Sophie Crane
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
Sweet book about dog Nell that goes to school with her person. The books are stolen from school one day and the dog leads the kids to the thief. They then show the thief the public library where he can check out as many books as he likes without having to steal. Lovely book about loving books!
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ah we loved this book. It was sad and heartwarming at the same time .
You can't beat a book about books either!
There are some Julia Donaldson books that don't work for me (Highway Rat being a good example) but this one does. It's nice to see a fresh illustrator take on Donaldson's work and I think Sara Ogilvie is fantastic. The expressions, movement and graceful shape of the protagonist: Nell the dog.

The story celebrates our passion for reading and all the joys that books bring. When the school's library simply vanishes overnight, it is up to Nell to sniff out the perpetrator. The rhyming helps jolly al
Luisa Knight
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute dog in colorful backdrops, a fun rhyming prose and a mysterious case of missing books make this a really fun and engaging read!

Ages: 4 - 8

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
C.D. Gill
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My two year old LOVES this book. Great art to go with the story.
Woody Chichester
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars for this wonderful, fun-to-read-aloud rhyme-y story, 10 stars for detective dog Nell, who saves the day by solving the case AND being the cutest library advocate ever.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a brand new Julia Donaldson! How exciting! I don't know how well it will do being a hardcover, I find a lot of parents are averse to buying hardcover books for their kids, at least in my shop.

This is a brightly illustrated book that left me with a sense of wonder, if any book will inspire the littles to read, it'll be one about a book thief who discovers a library thanks to a book loving detective dog!

Loved Sara Ogilvie's illustrations, they just made the story to be honest. This is qui
Lauren Vickery
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This is about a dog called 'Nell' that visits a school to read with the children. One thing I like about the book is the pictures take up all the page so readers can really see and imagine what is going on. The book could be good for teaching rhyme, repetition and rhetorical questions as the book uses these a lot. I think the book reflects that dogs don't have to be just a pet, they can be good therapy for children in supporting them. It is something the children can relate to if they have a dog ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book! ❤️ Definitely a better buy for your favourite child - or person who loves stories and illustrations as much as you do; I was smiling ever so hard while reading this. Every page is a delight, I lapped up the story; Nell is one of the most interesting fictional dogs I have ever come across. Not only is she utterly charming, what with a most peculiar nose for mysteries - she also loves books, and she made me fall in love with something new, yesterday. So glad to have stumbled upon this g ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I read this book with Year 1 and they loved it. It is a great book for book discussion as there are so many questions to ask!
Who do you think the thief is?
What does the thief look like?
What do you think is behind the door?
They were all really engaged with the story and came up with some fantastic ideas as we went along!
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
A repetitive book full of continuous phrases which may encourage the children to join in with the book.

The illustrations are clever because they are simple with the smell linking in the air; showing the children how Nell is the detective trying to find the smell of the thief.
Stefanie Kellum
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Cute reading therapy dog who's also a detective!? Loved this one.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So this book is frickin' adorable--art and story.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Read it to the class at the end of the school day - children really enjoyed thus as a way to wind down after learning and before going home.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous story with lovely verse. A really nice cadence to the rhymes. And beautifully illustrated too
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Judging by the illustrations, I assumed this book was an older one. But going through the book, it's clear this is modern, though seems inspired with an older illustration and colouring style. Delightful illustrations, and funny, sweet rhyming story. Great for ages 4+
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Probably my new favourite Julia Donaldson book. It's about sniffing books and libraries. Two of my very favourite things ever. Amazeballs.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons I love this book is because it celebrates books! All the characters in this well written story love books and each time I read it to my daughter, I feel a sense of kinship to the fellow book lovers depicted.
Julia Donaldson books are a perennial favourite and I think this new one will quickly be on the list of must haves. Peter's dog Nell has a keen sense of smell and she is out solving crime all of the time!
Mondays are a special day for Peter and Nell, they go to school and Nell listens to the children read but one Monday when they arrive at school all the books have been stolen! Detective dog Nell is on the case!
This is a fast paced story celebrating the amazing sense smell dogs have and the joy
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
Wouldn't it be dreadful?! - arriving at the school library to find all the books have been stolen! But happily, Peter has been taking his dog Nell to the library with him, and Nell not only loves books but is a great tracking dog with a keen sense of smell.

This is the latest in Julia Donaldson's extensive list of published books. She rhymes so nicely, the stories are nice, and the illustrations are beautifully suited. This, like any of her others that I've looked at with the grandchildren, is a
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An adorable children's book. An excellent read to share with the family!
This Review is by my 8 year old sister!

This Review is also up on my Blog - in English and German.

Title: The Detective Dog
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
Info: 32 Pages – Picture Book for 4 and up – Pan Macmillan

It’s about the dog Nell who can smell very well. Nell likes so smell books the best, that’s why she smells on Monday in the romper room immediately that something is wrong: The book are gone! Who stole the books? Nell will find out!

Miss Mini’s Thoughts:
I liked the rhy
Lauren Kramer
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson follows one super sleuth canine on a mission to solve a most puzzling mystery. Detective Dog Nell loves solving crimes. But that's just what she does Tuesday through Sunday.

On Mondays, she goes to school with her six-year-old boy, Peter. The children read all sorts of wonderful stories to the popular pooch. Nell's favorite books are the ones about dogs.

One Monday, Nell's sensitive sniffer detects a problem. Racing inside, she and Peter discover that all of th
Laura Helen
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The detective dog is a book by Julia Donaldson MBE, the same author of the very popular children's book 'The Gruffalo'. The book has a simple, friendly and fun story, told in rhyming couplet sentences. It is about a dog who has a gift for solving mysteries i.e finding lost items. She loves the smell of books, so when the children's books go missing, she uses her nose to take them all on a quest to find them.

This book is great for children ages 3-8 years old. Younger children would need to be gu
Smoot M.L.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
How adorable. It is true dogs are capable of finding all kinds of things. Good story to lead into rescue dogs. I love the rhyming. The pictures are colorful and inviting with lots of details that makes you want to go back and look at examine the background. What I didn't like were the adults. The teacher look pathetically sad. The grown man that stole the books almost looks like a special needs person which I don't think a special needs person would steal . He did say he was going to return them ...more
Katie St.Clair
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Detective Dog is a fun and interesting mystery book by renowned children’s author Julia Donaldson. Following the story of a school dog called Nell - when the school’s library books vanish overnight they turn to Nell to use her super sense of smell to find the thief! Children will love following the adventure and there are lots of opportunities for exciting discussions and questions a long the way. We can especially encourage predictions, reasoning and using the text/illustrations to gain inf ...more
Three guesses which one of the kids picked this one out...if you guessed L, you are correct. Of course she did!
I enjoy Room on the Broom so was pleased to find that this is by the same author, and you can definitely tell. The rhyme scheme is very similar.
Here's a funny story: at one point in this book the narrator states that Nell the detective dog likes the smell of books. L said, "What?! What do books even smell like?" and she bent over and sniffed the book. Then little sister F, the queen o
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've just gotten teary-eyed reading about a little dog in a children's book.
Don't worry though. She doesn't die nor does anything bad happen to Nell - the dog who detects.

But the story is so beautifully told.
And the art is so lovingly done...
That it made me get all damn choked up.

It's a beautiful story about a smart and studious dog who lives with a boy named Peter and is superb at sniffing out smells. She's also very calm and conscientious, so every Monday she accompanies Peter to his school,
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Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Cho

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