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The Detective Dog

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,177 ratings  ·  184 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 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,177 ratings  ·  184 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.
#22 of 2022

Loved it so much! Dogs and books, what more do you need?
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
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. Always a great read.
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
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Detective Dog Nell is great at tracking down lost things. She goes into school on a Monday to listen to children read (what a fab idea?!) and even as a dog she appears to be very enthusiastic about all the books and everything they can offer. Except one day the school is empty and all the books are gone! On finding the books Ted, the thief, is shown to the library when he can take as many books as he likes.

This story emphasises a love of books and would help to introduce libraries to young reade
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
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. ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So this book is frickin' adorable--art and story. ...more
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+ ...more
Viviane Elbee
Jul 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Charming rhyming story about a detective dog, Nell, who has a wonderful sense of smell and is great at solving problems.
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. ...more
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
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Sue Winson
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Our family is BIG fan of Julia Donaldson. Her books are always fun to read, mostly written in rhyme, with whimsical storylines that make us giggle and smile. This is another one of our favourites. My 4-year-old boy is a bit apprehensive whenever there is a story involving “bad person”. This book has a thief, but (spoiler alert), he is not a horrible scary thief. In fact, he is a loveable one who loves to read. My boy is happy with this.

The story started off with Detective Dog Nell’s habits of s
Feb 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
“The Detective Dog” is a story about a dog named Nell. The book begins by introducing Nell, the Detective Dog. She solves many mysteries using her keen sense of smell. On Tuesday through Sunday she works hard solving mysteries around her house, many of them being finding objects lost by Peter, a six year old boy who lives in the same house. On Mondays she accompanies him to school where there are many more smells, but the smell she loves the most is books. There are many books about many topics ...more
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
Jennifer Foster
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This would be a great mystery book for students that are 1st through 3rd grade. Nell is the best fictional dog that goes to school every Monday with his owner to listen to kids read. One day, the books went missing so Nell took the class on a hunt to find out where they were. They finally found the thief and he wanted to borrow the books, he did not mean to steal them. After Nell heard the thief mention he only wanted to borrow the books to read, he had an idea! Nell lead the class to the librar ...more
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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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