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Lassie Come-Home Hardcover – April 1, 2000

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?In this lushly illustrated adaptation of Eric Knight's 1938 novel, Wells and Jeffers have combined their talents to produce a book irresistible to lovers of animal stories. Most children are familiar with the tale of how the loyal collie travels over 1,000 miles from northern Scotland to Yorkshire to return to her young friend, Joe. Lassie, having been sold to the wealthy Duke of Rudling because Joe's father is out of work, runs away and braves starvation and treacherous conditions to follow the pull of her heart toward the family who loves her. Jeffers's watercolor, ink, and pencil illustrations sensitively depict both the brightness and high spirits of Joe and Lassie as they play together, and the dark despair that overshadows the lonely dog as she makes her way through forlorn landscapes on her journey home. These rich pictures, combined with Wells's well-turned words, create a story that young readers will find moving, as they see the animal turn from a healthy, impeccably groomed pet into a pitifully thin dog too weak to continue homeward. Readers can trace her journey using the helpful map of Britain that shows all the towns mentioned in the story. A wonderful addition to any collection.?Christina Linz, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. An outstanding adaptation of Eric Knight's 1938 classic about the loyal collie who refuses to accept her fate when she is sold, out of financial necessity, to a wealthy duke. The picture-book adaptation, which contains considerably more text than the usual picture book, will attract children making the transition to easy chapter books as well as older readers whose attention spans are short or who need visual stimulation. Jeffers' superb, realistic watercolors range from snapshot size to breathtaking double-page spreads of the Scottish countryside. Raising such issues as poverty, black lung disease, and cruelty to animals, this powerful story is a perfect tool for promoting empathy and compassion in youngsters. Lauren Peterson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805064230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805064230
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Susan Shott on February 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must-buy because of the wonderful illustrations, which are breathtaking in their beauty and their ability to capture the essence of a boy and a dog. But make sure you also buy the original Eric Knight Lassie Come-Home novel. For the heart and soul of the novel are absent from the text of this version, and the loss is grievous indeed. The novel shows real, cranky people struggling hard with moral choices, and hurting when they are bound to make the right one. The novel also guides the reader into concluding on her own that living things cannot rightfully be sold, unlike this version, which just blats it out. Moral lessons that children reach on their own are the ones that become deeply rooted, so it is a shame to deny them this process of moral discovery. The realism of the novel is absent from this version, which presents stick figures spouting politically correct platitudes that would be unthinkable in the communities that Knight described. The novel presents decidedly politically incorrect people who struggle to do the right thing. A child learns best from books that present life in its bewildering complexity. Without such guides, how will she deal with a real world that is not populated with politically correct stick figures? The ideal version of Lassie Come-Home would merge these illustrations, which are the best I've ever seen, with the original novel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the true, gripping, and heartwarming story of Lassie, set in Yorkshire England and Scotland, not the Hollywood version. The sensitively rendered full color pictures of people, dog, and landscape would make the book a winner but this book also offers a wonderful story put carefully and artfully into words. As a book to read aloud to young children, I would commend it; its wording is rhythmic and exciting and holds the attention from chapter to chapter. The story, about poor people who have to sell their dog, is sad yet courageous and the ending is a very happy one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Brett on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While the original version is for middle-school age children, the attraction of this edition is the outstanding art-work which is sure to draw in the younger readers who are getting ready to move up to more mature books. The classic themes in this story are wonderful for young children to absorb. I disagree with an earlier reviewer about the colorless writing. I too think the level of writing considering the target age-group does capture the children for which it is intended. Certainly, even if you find the narrative less than what you expected, it does not stop the beauty of this timeless classic from shining through and the art more than makes up for any shortcoming in the writing. Besides, at a younger age, grades 3-5 or so, one must be careful not to become too narrative and flowery when the goal is to keep them focused on the story line.

If you love dogs or pets and charm of Scotland and the feel of yesteryear, this is the book for you to share with your children. Lassie is the ideal companion to a young boy and a family. When you finish the book, watch the movie to help really cement the images in your mind.

When I wrote the novel,"Jack: The Christmas Collie" (based on a true story) I tried to re-capture that lost, child-like enchantment of these Collie stories of old. Lassie Come-Home is truly a classic that should be required reading in all middle-schools since Lassie has held such a prominent place in our pop-culture for the past seven decades!

I strongly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself, your children or as a gift.


Kevin Brett
Author: "Jack: The Christmas Collie"

Jack: The Christmas Collie
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have to disagree with a former reviewer...I was quite surprised to see the negativity about this book. I think my standards for quality writing are pretty high...I will not read twaddle to my kids! Also when I read it I remarked to myself that wow, a book written (re)written in the 1990s and not politically-correct, as I hate those types of books, for example modern Nancy Drew books... Someone once said (and I forget who), "80% of the books were written after 1971 and 80% of those should have been left trees." If I have the date wrong, someone can correct me, but that is the date I would use if I were talking about poorly written books.
Now granted, I have never read the original version. In fact, this is the first version I ever read and was pleased that it wasn't what I expected, having only ever seen the t.v. version.
The illustrations are amazing and the language is very moving...we are swept up with emotion (me and my 5 year old) and I keep making him wait to read the next "chapter" which leaves us hanging and wanting more! It's written in 3 Parts and I'm seeing how this could be used as a wonderful living book to study dogs, Scotland, aristocracy, class systems, dog shows, the coal mines, tea time <g>, animal cruelty and proper handling, England, ethics and character issues (faithfulness, loyalty, kindness, sacrifice, perseverance, honor, etc.)
I'm sure you smarty-pants are all aware of the fact that Lassie was originally written in 1938 as a short-story and then 1940 as a novel, but I was only familiar with the American tv show version...quite different!
Lassie is a beloved dog of a poor family who have to sell her. The rich duke buys her for showing, but Lassie will have none of it, and at 4 pm everyday she takes off to her real home.
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