Detector Dogs, Dynamite Dolphins, and More Animals with Super Sensory Powers — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow – whether there is a market for it or not! The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward. I would tell all of you watching this screen: Before you go to bed, write a four-line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don’t show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

The agent search is long, difficult, and in the end, may not be the answer you hoped for. HERE is an interesting article from Writer’s Digest by Louise Marburg with 8 Tips for Finding an Independent Publisher.

We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on our first pages, but if you don’t have a satisfying ending, you have a really big problem. HERE Anne R. Allen has a great post on How to Write the Last Chapter: 8 Tips for Ending Your Book.

Choosing the best point of view for your story is important. HERE Lisa Hall-Wilson has a great post on When to Use Deep Point of View in Fiction.

I took off last week to spend Super Bowl Sunday with my daughter and granddaughter. We always make a big deal of the day. It sure was a fun game! For the first time, my daughter and I were on different sides, but that didn’t diminish the fun. The ads are also something I pay a lot of attention to. My degree is in advertising, and I worked in the field for a number of years, so I get a real kick out of watching the best of the best ads that appear. Loved the dog. We ate far too much junk food — chips with a variety of dips — and generally had a great time. Next year, I need to get The Diet Fork! A couple posts ago, I was busy whining about my roof leaks and having to have my furnace replaced. Antoinette Truglio Martin mentioned in a comment how everything in her house was starting to break down. It was shortly after that my water heater started leaking. Yup. Had to replace that too. The good news is I don’t have much else that is old enough to break down, so I think I’m good for awhile. Yes, I am knocking on wood as I write this!

On my last post, I offered a gently-read ARC of Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart. The winner this time is Nancy, who shared my link on Facebook for an extra chance, and it worked. Congratulations, Nancy! I will get your book out to you soon.

I’m always keeping my eye out for good non-ficiton for middle-graders, and when I spotted Detector Dogs, Dynamite Dolphins, and More Animals with Super Sensory Powers by Cara Giaimo and Christina Couch and illustrated by Daniel Duncan on the review list for San Francisco Book Review, I was excited. This is the kind of book that will attract a wide group of readers, but I think is particularly great for nudging reluctant readers to turn those pages. I really like this book. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.

It is often said that man’s best friend is the dog, but dogs as well as other animals might be considered man’s best workmates after reading this terrific book. The first chapter is about a dog, Eba, who uses her exceptional sense of smell to find — wait for it — whale poop. It doesn’t sound glamorous, but the work is important to researchers learning about orcas.

Other chapters tell about how speedy ferrets help solve underground plumbing problems, how pigeons can deliver messages and small packages, how goats clear areas and help prevent fires, how bluegills protect water supplies, how specially trained dolphins find underwater explosives, and more. Each section is several pages long with terrific writing and beautiful photographs as well as fun graphics and sidebar information and an age-appropriate activity.

Extensive back matter has general resources as well as specific resources for each chapter that will encourage youngsters to do their own research and expand their learning. There are also source notes, an excellent bibliography, and a good index. Kids in the upper-middle grades will be thoroughly engaged and fascinated by all the great information packed into this book. This is a real winner.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

Cara Giaimo
Christina Couch
Daniel Duncan

22 thoughts on “Detector Dogs, Dynamite Dolphins, and More Animals with Super Sensory Powers — Review”

  1. Did I read that right???? I won? I hope that Nancy is ME. And, THANK YOU! I didn’t see anything about a give away this week, so it looks like I need to buy a copy and give it to one of my young friends afterward, because it sounds fantastic.

    The diet fork looks effective. I’ve needed one of those for many decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. You got lucky. You’ll enjoy it. Your library might have this week’s book. If they don’t, you might ask them to buy it. I do that quite often, and my library buys 6 copies ever time! Thanks for the comment.


  2. I went through a phase where everything broke too–all my kitchen appliances, then furnace, then water heater. I replace my sump pump to be safe. I’ll have to replace my roof in the next few years but hopefully nothing else will major after that except more fun projects.

    This sounds like a great book for kids who like animals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I talked to my furnace guy about my air conditioner, but he said not to replace it until I have a problem. Then he said it might well last another ten years. I love that guy! The book is a great one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  3. the title is sure to attract curious kids – I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about detector dogs and dynamite dolphins. Great review. As for things breaking… we all get old whether we’re water heaters or people…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the links. They were spot on as to the topics I needed.
    I am a big non-fiction fan but had not heard of this one. Thanks for sharing and I will be tracking copy down a copy to read in the next few months.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful book for kids who love animals and marine life. I didn’t know any of the information you shared — so I’d find it very interesting. I was most interested in the ferrets identifying plumbing problems. Fascinating share today! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As an update, new refrigerator came and now husband is looking for the right TV, another big expense looms ahead.
    And the book sound fantastic. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This does look amazing! Exactly like the kind of book that made me feel so smart when I was first getting to be a stronger reader. And you know, reading books like this still make me feel smart. 😉

    I also love your gifts for writers–as always! You share the best links!

    Liked by 1 person

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