Wednesday, May 22, 2024
The Detective Dog

Detective Dog

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Julia Donaldson

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 children read. So who better to have on hand when they arrive one morning to discover that the school’s books have all disappeared! Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job … and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the culprit!

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Can you think of a similar alliterative story title, e.g. The Firefighter Ferret, The Magical Mouse? Could you write your own story based on one of these titles?
  • Can you find the rhyming words in the book and use them to make your own rhyming dictionary? Use this when writing your own stories.
  • Write your own story about a crime that Detective Dog Nell has solved.
  • Write a newspaper report about the crime that Nell solves in this story.
  • Write a set of instructions to teach people how to look after a pet.
  • Write a persuasive letter to your teacher to ask them if you can have a ‘reading dog’ in your school / classroom.
  • Create an advert to encourage people to visit your local library.


  • Find out more about dogs and write a report about them.
  • Research different breeds of dogs and identify how they are similar / different.
  • Nell has a very strong sense of smell and she uses this to solve crimes. Can you find out about dogs that help the police? Could you think of some questions to ask a police dog handler?
  • Learn more about the nose and how we smell. What other senses do we have?


  • Create a game in which Nell has to catch the criminal who stole the school’s books.
  • Use art software to create your own pictures of Nell.
  • Use publishing software to design a certificate or trophy to award to Nell.
  • Record a video to promote your local library to others.

Design Technology

  • Can you create a model of Nell the Detective Dog?
  • Create the picture book that Peter reads to Nell at the end of the book.
  • Can you create a pop-up book (or page) about Detective Dog Nell?


  • Draw your own illustrations of a detective dog.
  • Make a comic strip about a new adventure that the Detective Dog might have.


  • Compose the theme tune for an animated series about Detective Dog Nell.


  • Create a story map that shows the locations in the story and has labels that describe what happened in each place?

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