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HACHIKO by Pamela S. Turner


The True Story of a Loyal Dog

by Pamela S. Turner & illustrated by Yan Nascimbene

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 25th, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-14094-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Hachiko was a real dog who lived in Tokyo from 1923 to 1935. For almost ten years after his master’s death, Hachiko waited at the busy Shibuya train station in Tokyo, ever hopeful that his owner would return. This touching tale of a dog’s devotion to his master is a well-known story in Japan, told here in first person through the eyes of a fictional boy named Kentaro. The boy and many others care for the dog, who becomes a celebrity due to his faithful nature, with a statue of the dog erected in the station even before the dog’s death from old age. The story is told gently, in a thoughtful, restrained way that makes the reader admire the faithful dog rather than pity him. Watercolor illustrations using a variety of perspectives are also executed in a thoughtful, restrained style, with full-page illustrations alternating with small, square views of the dog waiting patiently in different seasons. An interesting two-page author’s note provides additional background on Hachiko’s story. (Picture book. 5-8)