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Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog Paperback – April 6, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 830 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547237553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547237558
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have seen the statue of Hachiko at Shibuya Station in Tokyo. I love the story of the faithful dog. I bought this book for a two year old. Now that I have read it, I think she may be quite a bit too young for this book, but I will let her parents decide. Luckily, this book does not go into all the troubles Hachiko faced over the years. A heartwarming, but very sad book.
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By Sharon on November 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh I can't even put it into words, we saw this on TV with Richard Gere and the 3 of us melted into tears and knew we wanted the original story...so the next day after seeing it, I ordered it off of Amazon...it's a story that is unbelieveable and yet for any pet owner, the best gift ever.
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