JASPER’S DAY by Marjorie Blain Parker


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Bringing home a new puppy is a joyous experience and a day to remember in dog-loving homes, but the other side of the coin is often a wrenchingly sad day when a beloved pet must be taken to the vet for euthanasia. With exquisite sensitivity, first-time author Parker calmly and confidently leads readers through an elderly, beloved golden retriever’s final day. Jasper is in pain from incurable cancer, and his family (Mom, Dad, and son Riley) has agreed to make Jasper’s last day a happy one before his final trip to the vet. They feed Jasper a special breakfast, take him to the park, and then to visit Riley’s grandmother and her dog. Riley and his mother wait at home, as the father takes Jasper to the vet alone, and then they bury Jasper in their backyard, wrapped in a special blanket. Riley cries when he says goodbye to his dog, and acknowledges on the final page that Jasper’s last day was the hardest day of his young life. The final spread shows a collage of photographs that the boy is making to remember his beloved dog. Wilson (No Two Snowflakes, not reviewed, etc.) adds greatly to the volume’s success with her soft, expressive pastels that bring Jasper to life and show the tender bonds between parents and child and boy and dog. Although the story’s theme is a painful one, this thoughtful effort will be of great help to families getting ready to face a similar situation. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-55074-957-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002


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