Preschool Program - Mystery Hounds
and Cat Burglars

by Jeanette Larson

Books to Share

Aero and Officer Mike: Police Partners by Joan Plummer Russell
Detective LaRue by Mark Teague
Ginger and the Mystery Visitor by Charlotte Voake
Jake Gander Storyville Detective: The Case of the Greedy Granny by George McClements
Martha Speaks: Martha on the Case by Susan Meddaugh
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Books to Show or Booktalk

Pet Detectives by Betty Ren Wright
Police Cat by Enid Hinkes
Police Dog Heroes by Linda Bozzo
The Pumpkin Mystery by Carol Wallace
Sly the Sleuth and the Pet Mysteries by Donna Jo Napoli

Bulletin Board

Scooby Doo Investigates

Use a Great Dane pattern or the Scooby Doo pattern to create a focal point for the bulletin board. Surround the dog with book jackets, especially for books featuring animals and pets that Scooby Doo and his television friends would enjoy reading. Add some cut outs of paw prints and dog bones.


The Great Mouse Detective

Create nametags from the pattern below based on Basil of Baker Street.

A pattern to cut out and use with a mouse head and a bow tie with space to write a name on it.


Puppy Chow

Combine Chex or a similar dry snack with peanut butter or chocolate chips in a big bowl.  Add some pretzel sticks, raisins, and other small treats. Mix well. Serve in small paper cups from a new clean dog bowl. Tell the children if it contains peanuts and ask them to refrain if they have allergies.


Give the children cat and dog finger puppets from Oriental Trading Company.


Little Puppies and Kittens (Traditional)

One little, two little, three little kittens   (raise up fingers as you count)
Were napping in the sun   (bend fingers down)

One little, two little, three little puppies said,   (raise three fingers on the other hand as you count)
"We're going to have some fun!   (hold hands on hips and sway)

Up to the kittens the puppies were creeping   (move fingers on the puppy hand slowly towards the kitten fingers)

As quiet, as could be.   (put finger to lips)

One little, two little, three little kittens   (raise up fingers as you count)

Went scampering up a tree!   (move your fingers quickly into the air)


Pussy Willow (Traditional)

I know a little pussy
Her coat is silver gray
She lives down in the meadow
Not very far away.

Though she is a pussy
She’ll never be a cat.
She is a pussy willow.
Now what do you think of that!

I Am Detective Dog

(by Leila Raven Parrish. Sing to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell. " Used with permission.)

I am detective dog,
I am detective dog.
Hi ho the library-oh,
I am detective dog.
I like to find things,
I like to find things.
Hi ho the library-oh,
I like to find things.
Oh look, there it is,
Oh look, there it is.
Hi ho the library-oh,
I am detective dog.

Flannel Boards

Basil of Baker Street Paper Bag Puppet
  • Pattern pieces
  • Scissors
  • Paper lunch bags
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Yarn, fabric scraps, other embellishments

In advance, copy the Basil of Baker Street pattern pieces at the end of this program. Distribute a set to each child. Color the pieces. Cut them out and glue them in place. Add yarn for whiskers, scraps of material for Basil's hat, and other embellishments as desired.

Games and Activities

What Martha Has to Say Word Scramble

Martha, the talking dog, gets her letters mixed up. In advance prepare a bunch of letter cards. Cut 3"x5" index cards in half. Use a marker to write a large block letter on each card. On a piece of poster paper or a whiteboard write out the words the children will need to find, being sure that the letters are available in the set of alphabet cards. Mix up the cards on a table or the floor and let the children find the letters to match the words, solving the mystery of what Martha has to say. Be sure to use simple, short words like cat, Martha, dog, and case.

Guest Speakers

Check with the local police or sheriff's department and ask if they can bring a K-9 officer to meet the children. Dogs are used for drug detection, finding lost and missing people, and many other public safety jobs.


Officer Buckle and Gloria (12 minutes)

"Rickshaw to Horror" on Miss Mallard Meets the Masters of Mischief (138 minutes)

Professional Resources

Martha Speaks Printables - Copy the officer page from the PBS website for children to color.

Scooby Doo - The site for this popular television dog detective includes printable pages that can be distributed to the children, as well as online games children can play.

Basil of Baker Street Paper Bag Puppet

A graphic of the mouse head, body, and magnifying glass to cut out and create a puppet. A graphic showing how to affix to a paper bag is also shown.

Page last modified: January 18, 2012