JASPER’S DAY

business card jasper

Kids Can Press, 2002. ISBN 1-55074-957-9 (hardcover) ISBN 1-55337-764-8 (paperback) Illustrated by Janet Wilson.

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 and Riley knows that letting go will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.

JASPER’S DAY is a tender story filled with smiles, tears and the joy of special memories. Award winning illustrator Janet Wilson’s gentle pastels capture the depth of love shared by a boy and his dog.

Author’s Note: The idea for JASPER’S DAY was planted when Jay told me about a friend of his who had just spent a last, special day with his dying dog. I was really touched, but it wasn’t until ten years later, while I was out walking, that it occurred to me I could turn it into a children’s story. So I started working on it. Soon after, we were all out for ice cream when someone came in and bought a cone for his dog. I just had to put that in JASPER’S DAY! I also wove in details and memories about the death and burial of our family cat, Snowball, whom we had for 18 years while I was growing up. (Jay was the only person who didn’t like that cat.)

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REVIEWS

“… With exquisite sensitivity, first-time author Parker calmly and confidently leads readers through an elderly, beloved golden retriever’s final day. … Wilson 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. … this thoughtful effort will be of great help to families getting ready to face a similar situation.”  —Kirkus Reviews
“This poignant picture book will touch a chord with anyone who has ever lost a pet. … A celebration of life that will remind children to make the most of every moment with those they love.”  —Booklist
“… 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. … This book would be helpful bibliotherapy for children in similar situations.”  —School Library Journal

A Junior Library Guild Selection

An Accelerated Reader® title

2002 MR. CHRISTIE’S BOOK AWARD Silver Seal winner

Winner of The 2002 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award and Children’s Book Illustration Awards

2004 Rocky Mountain Book Award – 2nd place

Society of School Librarians International Honor Book

National Association for Humane and Environmental Education 2003 KIND Children’s Book Award

Resource Links Best of the Year 2002 List

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