Thursday, January 12, 2017

Poop Detectives: Working dogs in the field by Ginger Wadsworth

I loved Sniffer Dogs by Nancy Castaldo so much - was there anything else to say about dogs and their noses? Absolutely yes! While Sniffer Dogs covers the history and science of dogs and their noses, Poop Detectives gives us an in-depth look at a specific use for dogs; environmental and scientific research!

Wadsworth opens the book with a fictional story of the choosing of a good poop detective and then talks about their training and the many uses scientists have found for them, from sniffing for poop to tracking animals, to finding plants!

Along the way she profiles various dogs and talks about their unique abilities, training, and how they've helped conservationists and scientists from sniffing out whale poop to discovering turtle nests.

The book includes plenty of photographs, sidebars of information, and even a section on the dogs' retirement and life after their working days are over. Back matter includes an author's note, acknowledgements, photo credits, glossary, resources, quotation sources, selected bibliography, and index. Phew! This is clearly a well-researched book and that shows in every lovingly-crafted section. I found myself fascinated by this look at how dogs and humans work together to save and research wildlife and the sidelight on how scientific research changes and adapts.

And, of course, there's lots of pictures of poop.

Verdict: Don't just hand this to dog lovers - any readers who enjoys science, animals, is thinking about career choices in those areas, or just likes to learn interesting and new things will get caught up in this book. This is definitely going on my booktalk list for next spring and I encourage you to try it out in your book clubs and on your tween readers. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781580896504; Published 2016 by Charlesbridge; Purchased for the library

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