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Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547237553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547237558
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

My Background

I was very interested in books as a child. I still remember how hard I worked as a four-year-old at learning to write my name because my mother promised I could have a library card as soon as I could scrawl "PAMELA." When my parents made me turn my bedroom lights out at night, I would read by the tiny red light on the temperature control for my electric blanket. I grew up in Riverside--a rather hot part of Southern California. I was forced to sweat through many books, and not just because I was worried about the hero.

The first thing I can remember wanting to be is a children's author. I also loved animals. We had a dog and a big outdoor cage full of doves. My good friend, Jenny, lived on a dairy farm and it was critter heaven for me. We would jump her horses bareback over bales of hay and ride for miles in the hills.

When I was in college I spent a year in Nairobi, Kenya as an exchange student. I didn't know much about Africa before I left, but I knew it had lots of wildlife. I traveled throughout East and Central Africa and saw lions, elephants, gorillas, Cape buffalo, and many other animals. I met my future husband, Rob, in Kenya. He was also an exchange student. We both loved living in another country.

I have a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. I've worked as a legislative assistant for foreign affairs for a California congressman and as a international health consultant. Over the years Rob and I lived in Kenya, the Marshall Islands, South Africa, the Philippines, and Japan. We have three children, Travis (26), Kelsey (24), and Connor (21). Each of them was born in a different country.


How I Started Writing

My family and I lived in Japan for about six years, and my children all attended a local Japanese preschool. The Japanese mothers at the preschool told me the story of Hachiko. I thought it was a wonderful tale. When we returned to the U.S. I decided I wanted to be a writer, just like I'd planned to be when I was four.(Better late than never.) Hachiko is famous in Japan, and I thought his story would be a wonderful one to share with English-speaking children. HACHIKO was my first book. Since then I've written seven more (GORILLA DOCTORS, LIFE ON EARTH-AND BEYOND, A LIFE IN THE WILD, THE FROG SCIENTIST, PROWLING THE SEAS, PROJECT SEAHORSE, and THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY). Another book is in the pipeline: SAMURAI RISING, to be published in 2016 by Charlesbridge.

On the Home Front

We now live in Oakland, California. I've written many science and nature articles for adults and for children. Besides reading and writing, I like to scuba dive and snow ski. I've been lucky enough to dive all over the world, including the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and off California. I love diving because you can get closer to big animals underwater than anywhere else. Several years ago I began learning kendo (Japanese swordfighting) along with with youngest son, Connor. We are members of the Berkeley Kendo Dojo.

When I write I am ably kept company by my yellow labrador retriever, Manchee, and my son Connor's cockapoo, Tux. They sometimes respond to "sit." They always respond to "cookie." I also have a very obese Australian White's tree frog named Dumpy F. Lumpy who looks a lot like Jabba the Hut.

Customer Reviews

Such a great story, especially if you love dogs.
Amazon Customer
Turner's poetic writing is complemented perfectly by Yan Nascimbene's deceptively simple illustrations, it has a timeless quality.
Keely
I can't think of a better story of love and loyalty between a dog and man than Hachiko.
A. R. Corman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Deborah K. Underwood on November 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In simple yet elegant prose, Turner tells the touching story of Hachiko, the loyal dog. Her writing is perfectly balanced by Nascimbene's delicate watercolor illustrations. It's hard to imagine any animal lover not being moved by this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By HeatherTristan on July 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whenever we make a trip to our local library, I always grab one book from the Nonfiction stacks to throw in with my three-year-old daughter's choices of picture books and Dr. Seuss. I grabbed this one on impulse - really I just thought it had a pretty cover - without knowing anything at all about the story. We are stationed at a military base in Korea and I try to choose Korean or Asian-themed books to help our family understand the culture a little better while we are here. It turns out this story is not Korean but Japanese, but I am so glad we read it! This book is not just for dog lovers or Akita lovers. Both my daughter and I loved the story - and in a certain part of the story I don't want to spoil, my voice choked up so that I could hardly keep reading. I was so moved by a story about a real dog and his loyalty to his owner! Well written and beautifully illustrated, this book is a delight and we have read it again and again. I especially appreciate the facts at the end. Appropriate for three year olds to thirty-year olds, and probably an even wider range than that. I hope you enjoy this book as much as we did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Keely on November 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
THe true story of Hachiko is beautifully crafted in Pamela Turner's retelling. The little boy Kentaro, and his friendship with Hachiko a loyal dog, resonate with character, without being sentimental. Turner's poetic writing is complemented perfectly by Yan Nascimbene's deceptively simple illustrations, it has a timeless quality.My little boy (4) absolutely adores this gentle story, it will be a favourite with both of us for many years to come. I highly recommend it for children of any age.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The story of Hachiko is one of the most moving accounts of the bond between dog and owner. Hachiko, a beautiful curly tailed Akita was the revered pet of one Professor Ueno, who named the dog after the number 8, which he considered a lucky symbol. Hachiko was his 8th Akita.

Sadly, Professor Ueno died at work in April of 1925, some 15 months after he bought the Akita. Hachiko faithfully walked with his loving owner to the Shibuya train station every morning and could be counted on like clock work to greet his owner upon return. Even after his owner's death, the curly tailed dog continued coming back to the train station to await his return.

This continued for 10 years until the Akita died in 1935. A statue of the dog was erected at the train station as a nod to his show of loving loyalty. Hachiko, like Balto, the malamute who braved storms in 1925 Alaska during an epidemic has been immemorialized in statue at the train station where he faithfully awaited his owner's return.

A beautiful moving story that might make you cry. Even so, it is worth reading. As wonderful as Hachiko's story is, I preferred Leslea Newman's book about the loyal curly tailed Akita.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M.Y. on June 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a well known old story in Japan. It is a sad, but beautiful story of a friendship with a human and dog. Hachiko is a Akita that somewhat stubborn but truly royal disposition. He was waiting his owner even in a cold snow day until he died.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson on June 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When my 14-year old daughter heard the story of Hachiko, her voice caught in her throat as she cried out, "Oh!" and hid her tears. This poignant story of man's best friend is beautifully told by Pamela Turner. It will warm the hearts of readers of all ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By reader on December 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to read to my kindergarten class. They LOVED it and all wrote in their journals about it. I'll admit I started to tear up a little while reading it. The story is uplifting. The pictures are beautiful. I LOVE this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Finn on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is hard for me to read this story to my daughter without getting choked up at the end. It is a sweet book that talks about a dog's love and loyality. I figure this is a great segway into another tear jerk classic, Charlotte's Web!
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