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About the Author

Pamela S. Turner has a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a special interest in microbiology and epidemiology. Her articles for children and adults have appeared in numerous scientific publications. Her books include Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog, Gorilla Doctors, The Frog Scientist, Dolphins of Shark Bay, and Project Seahorse. She lives in California. Half-French, half-Italian, the late Yan Nascimbeneshared his childhood between these two countries. After working as a photographer's assistant in a Paris fashion studio, Nascimbene studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the University of California at Davis. Nascimbene's illustrations have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, the New Yorker, Boston Globe, Toronto Life, ScientificAmerican, Atlantic Monthly, Hemispheres, etc. His commercial clients include Air France, British Airways, Continental Airlines, IBM, Apple, Macy's, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Bank of America, United Way, Estee Lauder, Manpower, and more. Nascimbene also illustrated Houghton's Hachiko by Pamela Turner and The Beautiful Christmas Tree by Charlotte Zolotow


Gr 1-4-In 1932, a dog won the hearts of the people of Japan after a newspaper article described his loyalty to his owner. Every afternoon, Hachiko would wait at the train station for Dr. Ueno. After the man died suddenly in 1925, the animal returned to the station every day to wait for him, until his own death in 1935. A bronze statue was placed at Shibuya Station to honor this extraordinary canine, and a festival is held there every April. The story is told through the eyes of a young boy named Kentaro, and his imagined interactions with the dog make the events come alive as he worries about and befriends this special creature. Years later, he is saddened by the news of the animal's death. The softly hued watercolor illustrations have a simplicity that brings to mind the style of Japanese woodcuts. Each small image of Hachiko expresses the personality of this furry, gentle creature. An author's note clarifies "The Story behind the Story." This touching tale will capture the hearts of young dog lovers.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Every child in Japan knows the story of Hachiko, the dog who waited at a Tokyo train station to greet his owner each afternoon and who, after his owner's sudden death, continued to wait for him at the station until his own death 10 years later, in 1935 (a statue of Hachiko is now a famous Tokyo meeting place). First-time author Turner retells Hachiko's story in the voice of Kentaro, a fictitious six-year-old. Nascimbene (Into the Air) tints the pale skies of his watercolors after the manner of Japanese woodblocks. The tone of his compositions range from humor (Kentaro hides behind his kimono-wearing mother) to pathos (scattered bouquets litter the station in honor of the loyal dog, after his death). As Hachiko keeps vigil for his dead master, Dr. Ueno, Kentaro asks Dr. Ueno's gardener the question that readers will also be pondering: does Hachiko realize that Dr. Ueno is dead? "Perhaps he still hopes that Dr. Ueno will return someday," the gardener replies. "Or perhaps he knows Dr. Ueno is dead, but he waits at the station to honor his master's memory." Turner's foreshortened rendition tends to invest the most drama in the moments of death and grieving ("One chilly morning I woke to the sound of Mama crying"); the blander passages relating Hachiko's constancy might not make enough of an impact on younger readers. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Turner unfolds this poignant true story in the natural, unaffected voice of Kentaro, who wonders at the dog's unswerving devotion. Unobtrusive details evoke a sense of place... as does Nascimbene's spare line-and-watercolor artwork, reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints... This will resonate with any child who has loved a dog and been loved in return." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"This touching tale will capture the hearts of young dog lovers." School Library Journal

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