Barnaby the Bedbug Detective

Overview


"Maybe I'm not the hero type. But I can dream. Sometimes I dream I'm a rescue dog, saving a child lost in the woods. Or a guide dog, helping a person who cannot see. Or a police dog, tracking sneaky robbers. But when I wake up, I must face the truth. It's mostly big dogs who do those jobs. And I'm just Barnaby, a small mutt living in an animal shelter." Barnaby has big dreams, but he finds his true calling when he's adopted into a loving home and becomes a bedbug-sniffing dog--helping to find hidden bedbugs in ...
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Overview


"Maybe I'm not the hero type. But I can dream. Sometimes I dream I'm a rescue dog, saving a child lost in the woods. Or a guide dog, helping a person who cannot see. Or a police dog, tracking sneaky robbers. But when I wake up, I must face the truth. It's mostly big dogs who do those jobs. And I'm just Barnaby, a small mutt living in an animal shelter." Barnaby has big dreams, but he finds his true calling when he's adopted into a loving home and becomes a bedbug-sniffing dog--helping to find hidden bedbugs in hotels, on airplanes, in movie theaters, and even in people's homes!
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
Part hero dog story and part information text, readers are offered both a pleasing if slight story and an introduction to some pesky pests. Barnaby is a small Jack Russell Terrier-type dog who lives in a shelter but dreams of being a hero dog. Visiting families find him a bit too excitable and he is having a hard time finding a home until a young woman named Martha arrives and declares, "He's perfect!" Martha takes Barnaby to a dog training facility where he learns to respond to the particular smell of bedbugs. Barnaby's training is a success and he soon joins Martha in hunting down bedbug infestations. Barnaby visits a movie theater, hotel, and a tidy house where he finally sniffs out his prey. Barnaby knows he has helped to put a stop to the bug invasion and for him, "that's hero enough." The final pages present a more in depth description of bedbugs, tips for keeping them from your home and a list of websites and books that readers can use to find more information and prevention tips. Front and back endpapers provide quick "Did you know?" tidbits about the bugs. An appealing main character serves to carry this story, which is a bit didactic in parts, but the information is clear and easily accessible. The acrylic illustrations are bright and complement the story, though a bit static. This is a good addition to a regular non-fiction book if your budget allows. Reviewer: Sharon Oliver
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Stier visits a timely subject in this informational picture book. Barnaby is an exuberant shelter dog, finally adopted by Martha, who thinks he'd make a perfect bedbug sniffer. They both attend training, and the pup proves to be an apt pupil. After graduating, they visit a hotel, cinema, college dorm, and various other places before going to a family's home. While there, Barnaby finds bedbugs, making the little girl upset. He is distraught at making her unhappy until her brother tells him that he is a hero. Anthropomorphism aside, there is plenty of useful information here, including endpapers with bedbug facts, and tips for preventing infestation, and how to find evidence of bedbugs. The friendly illustrations dispel some of the misconceptions about bedbugs (they are not attracted to dirty homes).—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Barnaby is a rescue dog who is adopted and trained as a bedbug-searching detection dog in this informative story on a current, widespread woe. At the animal shelter, the appealing terrier is passed over for adoption by several families due to his rambunctious personality, but a pleasant woman named Martha selects Barnaby as her companion and potential detection dog. She sends Barnaby to a professional school for bedbug dog detectives, where he is trained, along with Martha as his handler, in how to sniff out the unwelcome pests. After graduation, they take on freelance jobs searching for bedbugs in a movie theater, a hotel and other locations. In their next job, they assist a family with three children in their home, where Barnaby finds bedbugs in the daughter's bedroom. Information about bedbugs and how they are located and removed is skillfully woven into the text, which is narrated by Barnaby. Additional facts about bedbugs are included in the endpapers and backmatter, though a depiction of the actual size of bedbugs is lacking. Cheery illustrations painted in acrylics help to create believable, engaging characters and a positive atmosphere. Overall, a reassuring introduction to a potentially scary subject, and just the thing for a family that needs "something on bedbugs." (afterword, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807509043
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Catherine Stier is the author of Bugs in My Hair?!; If I Ran for President; If I Were President; Today on Election Day; and the Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Karen Sapp is the illustrator of numerous books for kids, including Who Is Sleeping; Wide Awake Jake; Polar Bear Paddle; and Ed's Egg. She lives in England.

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Read an Excerpt

Barnaby the bedbug detective


By Catherine Stier, Karen Sapp

ALBERT WHITMAN & Company

Copyright © 2013 Catherine Stier
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4804-2508-8


CHAPTER 1

Maybe I'm not the hero type. But I can dream.

Sometimes I dream I'm a rescue dog, saving a child lost in the woods.

Or a guide dog, helping a person who cannot see.

Or a police dog, tracking sneaky robbers.

But when I wake up, I must face the truth. It's mostly big dogs who get those jobs. And I'm just Barnaby, a small mutt living in an animal shelter.

The shelter workers try to find me a home. But each time a family brings me to the visiting area, excitement tickles my paws. Then I begin jumping and hopping and barking.

"Too rowdy," a dad might say, shaking his head.

"Too wild," a mom might add.

No! I think. Not rowdy! Not wild! Just happy! Energetic! Ready to be brave and good and important!

But I guess the families don't see it that way. And back to the kennel I go.

One day, a lady peers in at me. "I'd like to meet this one," she says.

Me? I wonder. Does she really mean me?

"Martha," the shelter worker says, "may I introduce Barnaby?"

Here's your chance, I tell myself. Stay calm.

But that's just not me. I can't help myself! As soon as the kennel door opens, I start my happy, hoppy dance for Martha.

Martha does not shy away. Martha does not shake her head.

Martha does not say "rowdy" or "wild." Martha says, "He's perfect!"

We visit awhile. Then Martha fills out the paperwork and leads me to her van.

The next day, I visit Martha's office. "You will always have a good home with me, Barnaby," she promises. "And, if it suits you, you may have an important job."

My ears perk up. A job? Hero work?

I sniff around the office. On the walls hang charts with scary-looking bugs. I have heard about dogcatchers. Martha must be a bug-chaser!

Martha points to one picture. "This could be your specialty, Barnaby—bedbugs!"

Huh? I think.

"Bedbugs hide during the day and creep out at night," Martha explains. "Then they bite people and drink their blood, leaving red, itchy bumps on the skin."

I can't help it! I begin to scratch myself.

"And bedbugs are very sneaky stowaways!" says Martha. "They can hitch a ride on your suitcase or gym bag right to your home."

Whoa! These are some real bad guys!

"Soon we'll visit a special school. We'll see if sniffing out these pests is the job for you," says Martha.

For many happy days, Martha and I get to know each other. Together, we are explorers and adventurers!

I try to rescue Martha when she's lost.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Barnaby the bedbug detective by Catherine Stier, Karen Sapp. Copyright © 2013 Catherine Stier. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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