When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story


When you wander

down a leafy path

I can smell

your invisible

trail . . .

This cozy story gently teaches children what to do if they lose their way, and reassures them that a search-and-rescue dog can find them wherever they are. And once a child is found, the dog will bring people to make sure that everyone...

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When you wander

down a leafy path

I can smell

your invisible

trail . . .

This cozy story gently teaches children what to do if they lose their way, and reassures them that a search-and-rescue dog can find them wherever they are. And once a child is found, the dog will bring people to make sure that everyone gets home safe and sound.

Full of interesting facts about search-and-rescue dogs and tips for young children in case they get lost, Margarita Engle's When You Wander is a fascinating peek into the world of these amazing dogs and the children they save.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A simple, poetic narrative in the voice of a rescue dog." — School Library Journal

"The story’s text flows in poetic fashion . . . A sensible safety lesson and a satisfying story." — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Firefly Letters:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

* “Like the firefly light, Engle’s poetry is a gossamer thread of subtle beauty weaving together three memorable characters who together find hope and courage. Another fine volume by a master of the novel in verse.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Praise for Tropical Secrets:

Winner, Sydney Taylor Book Award, Association of Jewish Libraries

New York Public Library 2009 Title for Reading and Sharing

* “This book is an outstanding choice for young people of all reading skills.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for The Surrender Tree:

A Newbery Honor Book

Winner, Pura Belpré Author Award

Winner, Jane Addams Award

Winner, Claudia Lewis Award

An ALA Notable Book

A Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Children Honor Book

* “Readers will be caught by the compelling narrative voices.” —Booklist, starred review

Praise for The Poet Slave of Cuba:

Winner, Pura Belpré Author Award

Winner, Américas Award

Winner, IRA Children’s Book Award

An ALA Notable Book

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

A Bank Street College of Education Best Book

A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

A CCBC Choice

A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

A Booklist Editor’s Choice

* “An absolutely lovely book . . . that should be read by young and old, black and white, Anglo and Latino.” —School Library Journal, starred review

* “Readers will hear the stories––and never forget them.” —Booklist, starred review

* “The moving poetry and finely crafted story will draw readers in and leave them in tears and in awe.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
"If you are lost, stay in one place. Hug a tree. Think of me." That is the good advice of a dog that has just graduated from "sniffing school." Told simply in the voice of a rescue dog, this story is sensible and reassuring to children, letting them know that if they should lose their way, a search-and-rescue dog can find them. They will hear the dog and the silvery bells on its collar as it gets closer, and then they will see the bright orange sniffing school vest every graduate dog wears. Beautiful, full-page illustrations created with watercolor, gouache and colored pencils provide a gentle and reassuring background to the story. Readers will find the "Dog Nose Facts" both interesting and fascinating. For example, a dog's nose is bigger than ours is and has hundreds of scent receptor cells for each one of ours. Also, a dog's left and right nostrils can sniff separately, helping them to follow the direction of a scent trail to its source. The "Advice for Parents and Teachers" is helpful, informative, comforting, and sensible. This is a wonderful selection for classrooms and families. In a most heartwarming way, the story and illustrations inform, reinforce, and review safety discussions. Double-page spreads give a peek into the world of search-and-rescue dogs and the children they save. If you get lonely while lost, hug that tree, talk and sing to that tree, even yell at that tree, but wait for me. Applause, applause. Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A simple, poetic narrative in the voice of a rescue dog describes the animal's powerful sense of smell. The book recommends that children who might get lost in the woods "stay in one place./Hug a tree./Think of me./I will race/against the night/and the wind/to bring you home safe." While this is valuable advice, the youngster depicted in the appealing watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations is a toddler, someone who is not developmentally ready to learn or remember the information. The age of this child will confuse older readers and discourage them from attending to the message in this picture book.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A charismatic golden retriever narrates this earnest story about finding a toddler who wanders away into the woods. The unnamed dog is newly qualified as a search-and-rescue dog, along with his female handler. As the story opens, the dog is tracking the missing child by sniffing objects and locations where the boy has been. The child is shown in the dog's thought bubbles engaging in the activities that led to the various scents. At first, the dog just describes the boy's activities, but as darkness falls, the dog urges the child to find a tree to hug and stay in one place till the dog can find him. The story's text flows in poetic fashion, with evocative descriptions such as "squishy snail-slime mud" and "silvery singsong bell" and lyrical, reassuring phrases from the compassionate rescue dog. Despite the potentially scary subject of being lost in the woods at night, the story's tone projects a sense of brave leadership from the dog, resourcefulness from the child and cozy security when the little boy is returned to his parents. Both dog and boy are endearing in the charming watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. A sensible safety lesson and a satisfying story. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805093124
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 976,846
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Margarita Engle is the author of several award-winning novels in verse, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor Book. Her picture book Summer Birds was a Kirkus Best Book for Children. She lives in northern California, where she enjoys helping her husband train his two wilderness search and rescue dogs, Chance and Maggi.

Mary Morgan has illustrated more than forty children’s books and written several too, including Dragon Pizzeria. Mary and her husband divide their time between Semur en Auxois, a small village in France, their sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea, and visiting their family.

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