Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sniffer Dogs by Nancy Castaldo –OPTIONAL

Castaldo, Nancy Sniffer Dogs 160 pgs. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014. $16.99Content: Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G Violence: G. NON-FICTION
Who knew how truly amazing a dogs view of the world around them is, thanks to their noses! Readers may have heard of some dogs working with their noses (like blood hounds) or seeing them in action at the airports. But there are so many behind the scenes and out of the bounds of imagination jobs that sniffer dogs are great at. This book features stories about companions for diabetics, bone sniffing dogs, flower sniffers, snail finders, and tons more! Many of the best sniffer dogs are the shelter dogs that are unadoptable due to their high energy and lack of discipline, with training and hard work, they are unstoppable at their jobs.
This was actually a great read, with tons of information. The author does a great job really illuminating how much of the world we humans miss by having such boring noses. She breaks all my pre-conceived notions about the limitations of sniffer dogs. However, this book drove me nuts. It was one giant run on sentence, with no real defined chapter breaks, just page after page of text. There was much repetition of concepts, like training, types of dogs, and types of sniffers, it was as if a different person was writing and didn’t realize the first person had already detailed that same thing. Because of this, the book is not student friendly in the slightest. There is nothing to help guide a reader (especially for elementary); no variety of text, no excerpt blocks, no concepts or definitions clearly marked. The pages are different colors but it’s totally unrelated to so-called chapters and just added to my confusion. The pictures are wonderful, and are actually the dogs that are being written about, which believe it or not can be a problem with kids non-fiction.
EL, MS -OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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