'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Review: Harry and Hopper

Harry adores his dog Hopper. He has raised him since he was a pup and the reason he named his Hopper is because he's just as jumpy as a grasshopper. The two are best pals - and when Harry comes home from school one day to learn there has been a terrible accident... well...

May the eye-pricking tears begin.

Harry takes the loss of Hopper hard. He misses him so much, the dog comes to visit in a dream. Convinced the visit was real, Harry tells his dad about Hopper - and calls Hopper to come to him, but of course, no dog appears.

Death is such an abstract notion for the very young, and Wild has done a marvellous job of creating a story that is emotive and tear-jerking but also warm. I really appreciated the way she didn't end this book on a Hollywood note by providing Harry with a replacement puppy. Harry and Hopper is very much about the notion that, in a physical sense at least, death is more than final. But what is also does is make it very clear that love will always go on.

This is a wonderful book to give children who have lost a pet, but it's also priceless to teach any child about the sudden impact of loss - whether it be a pet or a family member or friend.

Stunning and slightly haunting illustrations by the talented Blackwood round out a real keeper of a book.

Title: Harry and Hopper
Author: Margaret Wild
Illustrator: Freya Blackwood
Publisher: Scholastic, $15.99
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781862917415
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 5 - 10
Type: Picture Book