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Grade 1-4-In 1932, a dog won the hearts of the people of Japan after a newspaper article described his loyalty to his owner. Every afternoon, Hachiko would wait at the train station for Dr. Ueno. After the man died suddenly in 1925, the animal returned to the station every day to wait for him, until his own death in 1935. A bronze statue was placed at Shibuya Station to honor this extraordinary canine, and a festival is held there every April. The story is told through the eyes of a young boy named Kentaro, and his imagined interactions with the dog make the events come alive as he worries about and befriends this special creature. Years later, he is saddened by the news of the animal's death. The softly hued watercolor illustrations have a simplicity that brings to mind the style of Japanese woodcuts. Each small image of Hachiko expresses the personality of this furry, gentle creature. An author's note clarifies "The Story behind the Story." This touching tale will capture the hearts of young dog lovers.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gr. 1-3. This small, square picture book pays tribute to one of the world's lesser-known animal heroes: Hachiko, a dog who kept vigil for nearly 10 years at a Tokyo train station, waiting for his deceased master to return from work. Turner unfolds this poignant true story in the natural, unaffected voice of Kentaro, a fictional little boy, who wonders at the dog's unswerving devotion. Unobtrusive details evoke a sense of place ("Ladies in kimonos walked carefully, trying to keep their white tabi socks away from the grime of the streets"), as does Nascimbene's spare line-and-watercolor artwork, reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints. American children will find the scenes of kimono-clad women bustling alongside men in Western suits especially intriguing. Though Hachiko's eventual death may be upsetting to some (he dies at the station, "still waiting for Mr. Ueno"), the sad news is leavened by an ending that emphasizes his status as a furry folk hero in Tokyo, further elaborated in an afterword. This will resonate with any child who has loved a dog and been loved in return; for reading aloud to groups of older kids, pair the story with The Mightiest Heart (2003), a Welsh legend about another selfless hound. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Beautiful true story, nicely written. The children to whom I read it were definitely focused.Published 15 days ago by Sue C
This is such a sweet story that brought this adult reader to tears. This is a fabulous picture book based on a true story.Published 1 month ago by TXBride
this is a great book to compliment the video - for young readers or non-native late readers of englishPublished 2 months ago by Stephen Pellerine
this was a gift for my grandson. it is a beautiful story and can't wait to read it with him. it was delivered as promise.Published 4 months ago by Peg
I liked everything!the story was about hachiko and he followed his master and when his master died but he still come to the train station and then one day someone said that hachiko... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Duc Nguyen
I wanted my grandchildren to learn about this remarkable dog and how the Japanese still regard its loyalty and perserverence.Published 5 months ago by hughie
I loved this story, it made me and my family cry just knowing that it was truePublished 8 months ago by Leba Miracolo