The Old Dog

Overview

When Ben's old dog didn't wake up one morning, the boy called his father. 'He's dead,' the man said softly, but Ben couldn't understand, at first, what that really meant.A simple evocation of the sorrow that comes with loss and a gentle portrayal of the healing that comes when the heart opens up to welcome something new, this picture book speaks to every child who has ever loved a pet.

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Overview

When Ben's old dog didn't wake up one morning, the boy called his father. 'He's dead,' the man said softly, but Ben couldn't understand, at first, what that really meant.A simple evocation of the sorrow that comes with loss and a gentle portrayal of the healing that comes when the heart opens up to welcome something new, this picture book speaks to every child who has ever loved a pet.

Children's Choices for 1996 (IRA/CBC)

Author Biography:

Charolotte Zolotow author, editor, publisher, and educator — has one of the most distinguished reputations In the field of children's literature. She has written more than seventy books for young children, many of which — Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William's Doll, for example — have become picture-book classics.Winner of the EPA's 2001 Jeremiah Ludington Award

When a young boy finds his old dog dead one morning, he spends the rest of the day thinking about all the good times they had together.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2In this newly illustrated edition of a 1972 title (Coward, o.p.), a young boy's old dog dies one morning. The day passes slowly and sadly as the child comes to understand the loneliness created by such a loss. At the height of his grief, the mood quickly changes to joy as his father brings home a new puppy to love. The large, bold type and simple vocabulary and sentence structure make the book ideal for beginning readers. The text captures the boy's pain, despite the flaw of an easy (albeit happy) final solution. Dense oil paintings rendered in fall colors of orange, brown, and green use many closeups to keep the book's focus on emotions. Ransome is masterful at showing the African American child's feelings, and his richly hued illustrations capture the intensity of his grief. The borders of fall leaves are lovely, if a bit cliched, but all in all, this is a worthy purchase.Martha Topol, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI
Hazel Rochman
First published in 1972, Zolotow's elemental story about a boy whose dog dies is newly illustrated here with rich oil paintings. The words are simple, quietly describing the fact of death and Ben's grief: "Ben looked at his dog, but she didn't look back. She just lay still." At first Ben is numb; then he cries, but there's no old dog to comfort him. Ransome's pictures in glowing fall colors show close-up portraits of a loving African American family in their home and tree-lined neighborhood. The dog's absence is an overwhelming physical reality; she's there in a full-page close-up, as Ben remembers her. Then Ben's father brings home a new white-and-black puppy to love. Each left-hand page has a panel with a changing pattern of sunlit autumn leaves, an expressive image for an unsentimental story about connection and loss and renewal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060244125
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.27 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Zolotow—author, editor, publisher, and educator—has one of the most distinguished reputations in the field of children's literature. She has written more than seventy books, many of which are picture-book classics, such as Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William's Doll. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

James Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including the Coretta Scott King Award Book The Creation by James Weldon Johnson and Satchel Paige and Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, both written by his wife, Lesa Cline-Ransome. His traveling exhibit "Visual Stories" is featured in libraries and museums throughout the country. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his family.

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