Avalanche Dog Heroes: Piper and Friends Learn To Search the Snow

48p. further reading. photos. websites. Sasquatch. Oct. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781632171733.
Gr 3–5—A typical school day for avalanche rescue dogs is exciting and action packed. In this latest from Rusch, a border collie named Piper trains with a team of four other dogs and their dedicated human handlers to become certified rescuers. Piper's day begins with a ski lift to a mountaintop where she and her canine classmates master 80 cues. They range from basic obedience commands of "sit" and "stay," to complex ones used during rescue drills, like "search." After recess and rest breaks, lessons continue with intense practice drills that simulate real-life avalanche searches. The dogs use their keen sense of smell to locate people hiding in snow caves or retrieve articles of clothing buried in snowpacks. Although the subject matter has high appeal, the third-person narrative does not flow smoothly and the large amount of idioms used may be tricky for some readers to follow. The full-color, full-bleed photographs are the book's best features. Almost every spread captures a dynamic dog training scene amid beautiful snowscapes.
VERDICT Consider for larger nonfiction collections or where books about rescue dogs are in demand. Pair with Sara Green's Snow Search Dogs for greater comprehension.

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