From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–Newman adds characters and incidents to flesh out this true story of an Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and hope by waiting–for 10 years–at a Japanese commuter train station for his dead master to return. Hachi accompanies Professor Ueno to Shibuya Station every morning, then returns at three o'clock to welcome him back. After his owner dies suddenly at work, the dog continues his afternoon vigil for the rest of his life, earning such notoriety that the honorific "ko" is attached to his name. After his death, a statue in his memory is erected near his accustomed spot on the platform. Newman gives Hachiko a young human friend, Yasuo, who over a span of years helps to provide the dog with food and water. He later proposes to his future wife under that statue. Kodaira's ink-and-wash illustrations feature a noble-looking pooch surrounded by human admirers. Although the dialogue tends to be stilted, this more-developed alternative to Pamela S. Turner's Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog
(Houghton, 2004) will effectively draw readers.–John Peters, New York Public Library
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Gr. 3-5. Hachi, an Akita pup, reveres his master and likes nothing more than accompanying Japanese professor Eizaburo Ueno to his morning train and then meeting him in the afternoon. One day the professor dies while at work, yet the faithful Hachi awaits his return at the station every day until his own death some 10 years later. Newman's fictionalized account of this true story adds a young boy, Yasuo, who befriends the dog and the professor and later cares for Hachi during his steadfast vigil at the Shibuya, Japan, train station. Yasuo brings a childhood focus to the poignant story and keeps it from becoming overly depressing, and Kodaira's soft, black-and-white sketches help to break up the chapters for younger readers and add interest to the story. Aimed at an older audience than Pamela S. Turner's picture book Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog
[BKL Ap 15 04], this will be popular with dog lovers; consider having a packet of tissues on hand. Kay WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved