________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 19 . . . . May 16, 2008


The Buried Biscuits. (Jack Russell, Dog Detective; #7).

Darrel & Sally Odgers. Illustrated by Janine Dawson.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2008.
85 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-99629-7.

Subject Headings:
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.
Theft-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4


When we got home, I checked on Foxy.

Foxy lifted his lip. He was still angry, but he was ready to talk. "Auntie Tidge is angry with me," he complained. "Auntie Tidge blamed me for the biscuits you smashed in her garden. She took the biscuits away."

"I didn't put biscuits in her herb garden. Those boys threw them over the fence this morning." Foxy snarled.

"What boys? I didn't see any boys."

"You were snoring."

"What boys would throw away biscuits?"


Jack Russell will have you know he solves DOG related crimes. His landlord/owner Sarge solves people crimes. Jack's first solved crime was the Dog Den Mystery. He just came off the Sausage Situation case, and now he's back in action tracking biscuit throwing boys.

     It was a foggy morning when Jack was out patrolling his neighbour's yard. His nose map picked up a lot of smells, but the one he was honing in on was the smell of unspecial biscuits…sniff, sniff……yes, with a hint of icing and strawberry jam. He wanted one, but yelping wasn't helping. Instead of being rewarded with a delicious biscuit, he was bitten on the NECK- and by his best friend and neighbour Foxy! Dogs being dogs, they fight it out over Auntie Tidge's garden, flattening her garlic to a pulp and making lots of noise. Before they know it, they are carried away by their owners to their respective yards.

     When Jack is allowed out again, he still has a hankering for biscuits, and now he has a lead on them. Unfortunately, Kick and Stick (the boys who smell like biscuits) take one look at Jack and run. Something smells fishy to Jack, and it's not the sweets. By talking to witnesses who saw the boys, studying the shiny paper evidence and the new smells he finds in the biscuit burrows, Jack discovers more than unspecial biscuits and the reason the behind the boys' dodgy behaviour.

     The books in this series are scattered with bolded dog vocabulary, words like steak-out, pawformance, jaw-dueling, and pawsed. Some of the words appear again at the end of each chapter in Jack's Glossary. Jack interrupts his stories every few chapters for Jack Facts. He does this so we human readers can learn tidbits of information about dog behaviour, such as "dogs are secretly working to learn how to open a fridge." Black and white illustrations can be found throughout the books as well. In The Buried Biscuits, the illustrations include various nose maps, and crucial scenes from Jack's investigation. Already hooked readers will enjoy seeing Jack and his canine friends (and a few of the owners) back again to solve another crime. And I think no matter where new readers to the series start reading, they, too, will enjoy the dog detective stories. In The Buried Biscuits, Jack compares boys to dogs. This could be how he solves this particular crime so quickly- well, that and he had the help of new mom, Jill Russell.

     Darrel and Sally Odgers are the husband and wife team behind the popular "Jack Russell, Dog Detective" series. The Buried Biscuits is the seventh book in the series. The character Jack was inspired by the authors' pet dog, Ace, who has since passed away. Darrel and Sally enjoy walking their dogs and listening to music at their home in Tasmania. Janine Dawson loves children's books. Before becoming a children's illustrator, Janine worked for many years in the animation field. Her illustrations can be found in several children's books, including Junkyard Dogs, Bobbie Dazzler and Pudding and Chips.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.