Although the story's theme is a painful one, this thoughtful effort will be of great help to families getting ready to face a similar situation.Kirkus Reviews
An excellent story for a child that is dealing with the loss of a pet. Recommended.Library Media Connection
K-Gr 3-Knowing that their beloved dog Jasper, now close to death from cancer, must be euthanized, a family takes a day to celebrate their pet's life and what he has meant to them. The difficult situation is described gently, but realistically. The chalk-pastel illustrations match the tone of the narrative and help project an atmosphere of warmth and affection. Riley understands that Jasper's illness has affected his sight, hearing, and freedom of movement. He is sad, but agrees with his parents that the animal is in pain and he should not have to suffer. On Jasper's Day, the family takes him to several places they have enjoyed together-a stream, the ice-cream store, and Grandma's house. Riley's dad then drives the dog to the veterinarian, who "is going to give Jasper a shot. It will be quick and gentle. For Jasper, it will be just like going to sleep. He won't be asleep, though. Jasper will be dead." Later the family buries him in the backyard. The end of the story acknowledges and validates Riley's feelings about the loss of his pet. This book would be helpful bibliotherapy for children in similar situations. For those with healthy pets, however, the story may be upsetting. Adults should evaluate whether a particular child would benefit from the story.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Bringing home a new puppy is a joyous experience and a day to remember in dog-loving homes, but the other side of the coin is often a wrenchingly sad day when a beloved pet must be taken to the vet for euthanasia. With exquisite sensitivity, first-time author Parker calmly and confidently leads readers through an elderly, beloved golden retriever’s final day. Jasper is in pain from incurable cancer, and his family (Mom, Dad, and son Riley) has agreed to make Jasper’s last day a happy one before his final trip to the vet. They feed Jasper a special breakfast, take him to the park, and then to visit Riley’s grandmother and her dog. Riley and his mother wait at home, as the father takes Jasper to the vet alone, and then they bury Jasper in their backyard, wrapped in a special blanket. Riley cries when he says goodbye to his dog, and acknowledges on the final page that Jasper’s last day was the hardest day of his young life. The final spread shows a collage of photographs that the boy is making to remember his beloved dog. Wilson (No Two Snowflakes, not reviewed, etc.) adds greatly to the volume’s success with her soft, expressive pastels that bring Jasper to life and show the tender bonds between parents and child and boy and dog. Although the story’s theme is a painful one, this thoughtful effort will be of great help to families getting ready to face a similar situation. (Picture book. 4-8)
An excellent story for a child that is dealing with the loss of a pet. Recommended.