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A Dog Like Jack Paperback – September 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823416801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823416806
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,899,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW wrote, "This realistic picture book about loving and losing a first pet will likely join the ranks of Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney with its unsentimental, honest approach." Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-This bibliotherapeutic picture book is a solid entry in the field of titles that deal with the death of a pet. Mike's family adopts Jack from a shelter when he is already eight-years-old ("That's fifty-six in dog years"). As the boy grows older, Jack is always an important part of his life-meeting him after school, accompanying him trick-or-treating, or romping with him in the park. In double-paged watercolor spreads, DiSalvo-Ryan shows the fun of an active dog as well as the gradual decline of the aged animal. When Jack dies, the boy and his parents hug one another and cry together. The usual questions are asked and answered. Mike conveys his lingering sorrow as he sees other healthy dogs after Jack's burial but expresses the conviction that his family will someday adopt another pet even though "there will never be another dog like Jack." In addition to DiSalvo-Ryan's skill at showing a family's life over time, a strength of this book is the epilogue, "Losing a Pet," which offers suggestions for coping with this situation.
Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2001
Format: Library Binding
...Anyone who has lost a pet, especially one as dedicated as a dog like Jack, will be moved and comforted by this tender and sad story. For many young children, the loss of a pet is their first exposure to death and grieving, so stories about what they’re going through are a helpful way of healing into that loss. Jack’s family has a ceremony when they bury his ashes and they always try to remember the good things about Jack. They allow themselves to feel what they feel, whether it be sadness or happy memories about times past. They may go on and get another dog sometime, but for right now, they’re not ready.
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book with soft watercolors and an easily flowing story that is a genuine pleasure to read. While it doesn’t address existential questions like “what happens to us after we die?”, it does explain the grieving process from a child’s perspective and encourages families to talk about their loss as a way of healing. The final page, written by Ms. Kathleen Dunn, chief social worker for the Vetinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, helps adults understand the grieving process in children and explains some of the things they may be looking for.
Even if you haven’t had the recent loss of a pet in your life, “A Dog Like Jack” is definitely worth reading and adding to your collection. Thank you, Ms. Disalvo-Ryan, for this wonderful work and the opportunity, however brief, to meet a beautiful dog like Jack.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By beckyjean VINE VOICE on February 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This picture book presents the life and death of a family pet truthfully, responsibly, and in a manner that its intended audience can understand.
Jack is adopted from a shelter when he's eight years old. The young narrator points out, "That's fifty-six in dog years." Later on, when the narrator turns 8 himself, he realizes Jack is now 91 in dog years. The concept of "dog years" will be a tough one to explain to very young children, but just hearing that the narrator has a 91-year-old dog will probably be enough to make them understand that this is a dog who's lived a very long life.
And it's a good, happy life as well. Jack is played with, taken trick-or-treating, taken on family vacations complete with romps on the beach -- and he's always shown wearing a collar with ID and rabies vaccination tags, a responsible touch that I appreciated.
The text has a light touch without sugarcoating anything. The pictures of old, tired Jack might be a little upsetting to a sensitive child -- I know sad, tired doggie eyes get me every time.
In general, however, this book's straightforward yet warm approach makes it a good choice for families looking for books that can help them deal with the pain of losing a pet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L Frates on March 24, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I just bought two copies of this book. One for my 5 year old because our golden is 11 years old and starting to fail, and one for my friend whose dog is 14. It is a heartwarming story for children and adults alike. I think it would be very helpful to have it if you have a pet that is old. Another excellent book is the 10th Good Thing About Barney, which concerns another young boy whose cat dies and explains the way he and his parents deal with the death.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This book is a treasure. it teaches a lesson and is entertaining at the same time. A wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. It makes me think I should have everything by this author.
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