This first installment in a new trilogy for early readers introduces a dog whose first family went away and never returned. Buddy ended up in the pound, where he was adopted by a boy, Connor, and his mom, who coincidently live in his old neighborhood. Buddy, who enjoyed sleuthing with his original owner, is now trying to solve the mystery of his missing family, a mission he will pursue throughout the series. First, though, he has an immediate problem to solve: Connor has disappeared. Buddy tries to find him, relying on methodical reasoning and unexpected assistance from a cat who can read. The story moves quickly to its obvious conclusion, but unanswered questions will propel readers to the series’ second title. Particularly well drawn are scenes in which Buddy tries to overcome dog-to-human communication obstacles, the numerous distractions of delicious smells, and Connor’s reluctance to love Buddy as he deals with changes in his own life. With twists and turns, humor, and a likable canine character, this series should find a wide fan base. Grades 1-3. --Kara Dean
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"With twists and turns, humor, and a likable canine character, this series should find a wide fan base." Booklist
"The type is large, the text is easy, and the occasional black-and-white illustrations complement the text well. The clues are unique and true to the fact that a dog is telling the story. The addition of paw prints used as bullet points in King's lists of what he knows about the case and chapter headings with titles like "Nose to the Ground" add to this involving story. Fans of dog stories, mysteries, or readers reluctant to start chapter books will appreciate this story." School Library Journal
"Butler tells the story from Buddy's perspective, throwing in details to convince readers that it's really Buddy talking....Tugeau's full-page line drawings enliven a story that should captivate young readers. This first entry in a series is both sweet and suspenseful." Kirkus Reviews
"This chipper novel launches Butler's...Buddy Files series, narrated by a chatty golden retriever.....readers should be drawn in by Buddy's exuberant voice and readily recognize the high stakes and emotions at play." Publishers Weekly
"The clear and direct plots, engaging characters, humor, and suspense will keep readers entertained." The Horn Book Guide
"Told believably from a dog's point of view, the story will appeal to beginning and reluctant readers. Black line illustrations aid in understanding."
"This new series will appeal to beginning independent readers, not only in the readability of the text, but also in the endearing dog detective...The story's lively pace and large print will keep young readers engaged."
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