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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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I'll Always Love You Paperback – December 12, 1988

4.5 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 In this gentle, moving story, Elfie, a dachshund, and her special boy progress happily through life together. When she is young, Elfie is full of pep and pranks; but as her master grows taller and taller, Elfie grows fatter and slower. One morning Elfie does not wake up. The family grieves and buries her, and the boy refuses a new puppy. He is not yet ready for another pet; but when he is, he will tell that one, as he told Elsie every night, "I'll always love you." The watercolor illustrations, tender and warm in color and mood and cozily rounded in form, suit the simple text perfectly. Elsie's gradual change from a lively mischief-maker to a portly old dog is treated with a sweet humor. Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (Atheneum, 1971) and Cohen's Jim's Dog Muffins (Greenwillow, 1984) also treat the loss of a beloved pet with great understanding, but anyone who has or ever had an old dog in the family will be especially touched by this book. Pat Pearl, First Presbyterian Church Library, Martinsville, Va.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in full color. "In this gentle, moving story, Elfie, a dachshund, and her special boy progress happily through life together. One morning Elfie does not wake up. The family grieves and buries her. The watercolor illustrations, tender and warm in color and mood, suit the simple text perfectly."--"School Library Journal.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 620 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books (December 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517572656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517572658
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
A boy and his chubby hound, Elfie are the closest friends. They share developmental milestones and secrets. The gentle illustrations show the bond between the two; in one picture, the boy, then barely more than an infant mounts a toilet seat while his dog tinkles on the floor. The parallel between the two and their developmental milestones from pup to dog and from toddler to older child are beautifully chronicled.
As Elfie ages, she is no longer able to romp and play. Her stiffened joints and fatigue are taxed on her advanced age. She is taken to a kindly vet, who says that he cannot treat her, but the best thing to do is make her happy and comfortable.
Elfie eventually dies and the boy sadly buries her after openly sharing his grief. He vows that he will tell every pet he owns that he will always love that animal.
A wonderful book of healing and bonding; truly the best book dealing with the death of a pet that I have come across. I think the message of telling a loved one, human or pet that you will always love them is a lesson worth learning.
Thank you, Mr. Wilhelm!
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Format: Paperback
There are some books I think should be in every household, and if you have both children and pets, this is one of them. Dealing with the death of a beloved pet is difficult enough for anyone, let alone a child, but this book helps. In fact, I would recommend this book to adult pet owners as well. Nothing will stop the pain of the loss of course, but "I'll Always Love You" helps bring back the happiness and lets the healing begin. I have been a booster of this book for years and hope it NEVER goes out of print. Do yourself a favor and buy this warm story of Effie, "the best dog in the whole world" and her boy....
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Format: Hardcover
As a little girl I read this book when my dog was dying. It truly helped me deal with his death and realize that is okay to be sad. It is a wonderful tool to help children understand death a bit better. Few books since my childhood have made such an impression on me as this one, and it is the only book from my childhood I still keep on my shelf as a college student. In fact, my cat grew very sick of cancer and I read this book again to make myself feel better about the situation. And I have never forgotten to utter Hans Wilhelm's words into my pets' ears. And right before my cat died, I whispered "I will always love you" just as the little boy in the story did.
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By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a librarian and a mother, I have used this book many, many times and recommended it often to deal with death - not just the death of a pet, but also the death of someone close. It was such a comfort to my son when our neighbor died because he was very young and had never experienced death before. He was confused as he had prayed for our neighbor for so long, but didn't know if he could continue to pray for him, or love him, or talk about him. It was a book that we read over and over again. As a librarian, it is a book that I can recommend with confidence and each time I do, the response is most favorable. I have had to repeatedly reorder the book - some children cannot bring themselves to returning it. It becomes their "warm fuzzy" when thinking about death. Thank you Mr. Wilhelm!
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Format: Paperback
Elfie and her owner are best friends. They run together, play together, and sleep together. But, as her owner is growing up, Elfie is growing old; and round. She doesn't quite have as much energy as before. Instead of running, she prefers to rest. The family takes Elfie to see the vet, but sadly, the vet says that there's nothing that he can do for Elfie. She's just getting old. The boy now carries Elfie up to bed each night so she can still sleep with him.

However, one morning, Elfie doesn't wake up. She died during the night. Her family grieves and cries, and they bury her in the back yard. The little boy's neighbor offers him one of his new puppies, but he refuses. He wishes to honor Elfie's memory. He does proclaim that when he gets a new pet, he'll always say "I'll always love you".

Our family has a terminally ill dog, and a dear friend loaned us this great book to help our children deal with her impending death. I was moved to tears as I read this book. I could easily relate to what the family in the book was going through. Pets become members of the family just like children do, and dealing with the loss of a pet can be very difficult. This book teaches the reader that, despite the death of the pet, we should remember all of the good times we shared with the pet.

I give this book my highest recommendation. If your family has suffered the loss of a pet, or has a pet that is very sick like mine, then read this fine book. It will help you prepare for the loss, but it will also remind you to remember the good times you shared with your pet.
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By A Customer on February 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I got this book to help my daughter deal with the loss of our dog who had become sick and had to be put down. I liked the way the book was to the point and very sweet at the same time. The book also stays away from taking a religious stand point which I was greatful for. My daughter is too young to have to deal with that aspect of life or death. This book teaches that sometimes something you love will go away forever, but even though they are gone, you can always love and remember them.
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