Today Riley's family is celebrating Jasper's Day. Everything they do will be in honor of Jasper -- sort of like a birthday. But it isn't Jasper's birthday. The old dog's cancer has gotten really bad. Riley knows they can't let him suffer any longer, but letting go will be the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Marjorie Blain Parker's tender story is filled with smiles, tears and the joy of special memories, and Janet Wilson's gentle pastels capture the depth of love shared by a boy and his dog. Together, they speak of acceptance, remembrance and the importance of cherishing life's every moment.
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Marjorie Blain Parker is the author of Jasper's Day and A Paddling of Ducks. Over the years, she and her family have shared their home with a banana king snake, a hamster, numerous fish and two ducks.
Janet Wilson is a prolific and award-winning children's book illustrator. Her books include Jasper's Day and The Biggest Fish in the Lake. She lives in Eden Mills, Ontario, with her husband, Chris.
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.
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Book Description Kids Can Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111550749579
Book Description Kids Can Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1550749579
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97815507495711.0