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Jasper's Day Hardcover – August 1, 2002

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. This poignant picture book will touch a chord with anyone who has ever lost a pet. At first, it's not clear exactly what is happening, and that is intentional. Children only know that it's Jasper's day, and everything the family has planned is in honor of the sweet Golden retriever. When Riley, the young narrator, explains, "Jasper's cancer has returned," things become clearer. Jasper is spending his last day doing all the things he loves: eating bacon and eggs (with pain pills hidden in his food); going for a ride to a favorite stream; taking a trip to Grandma's house with a stop for ice cream along the way. The family brings a camera to record all the happy moments. Then it's time to go to the clinic. Parker does not sugarcoat the fact that Jasper is being put down: "[the shot] 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." But the happiness of the day and the genuine emotions portrayed in Wilson's affecting pastel art soften the blow. A celebration of life that will remind children to make the most of every moment with those they love. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550749579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550749571
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARJORIE BLAIN PARKER was born, raised and educated in Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary). In grade 3 she wrote her first poem, The Monkey, which was published in the school newsletter AND won a ribbon (which she still has, of course). MANY years and three children later, she lives in Denver, CO and is the award winning author of numerous picture books and early readers (A Paddling of Ducks, Mama's Little Duckling, Jasper's Day, and others) with more on the way.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a touching story about a boy Riley who wants to make his retriever Jasper's last day very special. Together the family celebrates what a great companion Jasper has been by visiting many of the places that have been special to him. I would read this story along with my child. Although sad, it is a sweet story of a family's love and respect for a dog they certainly viewed as a member of the family.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This box of Kleenex book is about Riley, a young boy who is very attached to his beautiful golden retriever, Jasper.

As Jasper ages, he can no longer romp and play. He also has cancer and is very limited in what he can do.

As the dog's impending death draws near, the boy's family talk to him seriously about having Riley euthanized. I like the gentle and honest explanation of euthanasia the boy is given. I also like the way Riley is made part of that final decision.

Just before Jasper's train makes its last stop, Riley takes him to all their favorite places so they can recapture some happy memories they had together.

A beautiful story that will undoubtedly make you cry, this is a wonderful book for all ages. For anybody who has ever had to make the agonizing decision of having a pet euthanized, this book will provide some comfort.

A good companion to I'll Always Love You]; Saying Goodbye to Lulu; The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven's Gain and [[ASIN:0965922537 Old Dog and the Christmas Wish.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RenoDogmom on December 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you are a dog lover, I recommend you buy this book. I also recommend you read it in private so you can cry in peace. It is a beautifully written account of the last day of a Golden Retriever who's family is giving him one special day before he must take one last trip to the vet. Written from the perspective of Jasper's "boy", it is heart warming and realistic in dealing with the pain of losing a beloved dog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book while sitting in a veterinarian's office about one month after I lost my thirteen year old golden retriever(a lot like Jasper) that I had had since I was 7 years old. I was bawling my eyes out about 2 pages in, but I just couldn't put it down. Although it was painful to read, it is a wonderful book. I recommend it for all pet lovers. It makes you realise that you are not alone when you lose a beloved pet. There are people that understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jasper's Day is a not only a must for every dog owner of the world, it is also a must if you own or have ever owned and lost a pet. This is a perfect addition to every home library. Not only is it a tender engaging story, but it can be used to help kids understand and work through their own feelings of loss and grief.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a small animal veterinarian and deal with the loss of animals regularly. I commonly look for books that can help kiddos that may not be very able to communicate their feelings with their parents or with anyone. I love Saying Goodbye to LuLu and cried while I read it to my kids (ages 6 and 4) when I put our dog down. Jasper's Day was a little too mature for toddlers, but I appreciated the fact that the euthanasia was a planned event, that gears towards older dogs, whose euthanasia is nearing. The messages and illustrations were consoling, and I often loan it to my clients.
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By NYRed on October 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a great book for our children when dealing with the loss of our dog (who looks just like the dog on the cover). I however could not read it without crying..so we talked about it and looked at the pictures..it was all so very close to home. It's been over a year since we lost our faithful companion and it still turns me into a puddle just to see the cover!
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By Dawn on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a tender story that any pet owner who has to put their beloved pet to sleep will identify with. Hard to read, but I think when you go through your own pet's passing (however it may come...illness, old age, etc), it is important to let yourself be sad, grieve, and remember the good times and memories. This book has helped our family do that.
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