Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Hachiko The True Story of a Loyal Dog

Hachiko The True Story of a Loyal Dog

Fall 2004 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Pamela Turner
Illustrator: Yan Nascimbene
ISBN: 0618140948
Hardcover Price: $15.00
Based on true events, this is the story of a dog who went to meet the train at Shibuya Station at the end of every day for ten years after his master died. The author has invented a young boy to tell the story in simple, child-like sentences. The content as well as the length of the text makes this suitable for early elementary though some might think it too sad for children. Because it is understated (even the book’s size reflects it’s modest, unsensationalized approach), sorrow is replaced by wonder at such a long and devoted life. The illustrations are spare, gently tinted watercolors accented with vivid reds and yellows. Some are full-page, others are vignettes; all match the emotions evoked by this story of enduring love. An end note explains what is fact and what is fiction and gives some additional background about the statue erected to honor Hachiko’s vigil as well as the festival that is now celebrated on April 8th each year. This small slice of history will find a ready home in children’s hearts.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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