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Harry & Hopper

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  283 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
When Harry’s beloved dog Hopper dies, he has a hard time letting go, as Harry sees Hopper still in his life. Are Hopper’s visits to Harry the boy’s imagination, or is the dog truly leaving Harry gradually, once he makes sure his boy will be all right? Eyes will not stay dry as readers experience this beautifully written, gently illustrated story about losing a dear pet.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends (first published January 1st 2009)
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Apr 18, 2017 Mischenko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To see this review and to learn more about Margaret Wild please visit

Harry & Hopper by Margaret Wild is a book about a boy coping with the loss of his dog Hopper.

This is a very emotional story that had me tearing up fairly quickly. I haven't read a book this emotional since Ida, Always.

I love the sketched illustrations and the way the story unfolds. Even though it's a gently told story, it's extremely sad.

Jun 28, 2011 Margie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-these-books
When it comes to a sudden loss of a family member or a beloved pet nothing is much harder to uderstand. The combined talents of Australian author, Margaret Wild and Australian illustrator, Freya Blackwood, accomplish it beautifully in this story.

Will you cry when you read it? Yes but the art of letting go with love gradually conveyed so well in this title will be the warm blanket that comforts you.
My full review at:
Aug 04, 2014 Josiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What have you done to me, Margaret Wild? It's been nearly four months since I first read Harry & Hopper, four months since that unforgettable day I turned the pages on what may be the most powerful work of literature I've ever known, sobbing so long and hard that I thought my family would hear me in my bedroom even from downstairs, even with my door closed and the fan running on high. It's been one-third of a year since the story of Harry and his excitable, loving dog, Hopper, shattered my ...more
Feb 06, 2011 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: death, 2011
I need to discuss this book with someone.
Apr 24, 2010 Tasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Harry got Hopper when he was a jumpy puppy. He taught him to sit, stay and play ball. The two of them were inseparable. Hopper even slept with Harry, moving from the bottom of the bed to the top over the course of the night. But then Harry came home from school and Hopper wasn’t there. His father broke the news of the accident gently to Harry, explaining that Hopper had died. Harry couldn’t sleep in the bed he shared with Hopper, so he started sleeping on the couch instead. At school, Harry coul ...more
Vicki Kier
Jun 17, 2011 Vicki Kier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-the-child
2010 Kate Greenaway Medal winner for Freya Blackwood's illustrations, Harry & Hopper sensitively broaches childhood loss and grief with dignity and respect. Wild's third-person rendering of young Harry's loss of his best friend and pet Hopper is appropriate for drawing in children who might feel misunderstood or alone in their own loss. The prose is filled with references to touch, scent, and smell. Blackwood's genius is on display throughout the book, including the page on which Harry's dad ...more
This is a sumptuous picture book about the death of a dear pet, about joy in having a pet and figuring out when to finish saying goodbye. I read the review a few weeks ago and wanted to find a copy-lucky that I did at my library, yet I might want a copy of this. Harry’s dog dies in an accident so there is no chance to say goodbye at the end. In the morning Hopper was there and when Harry came home from school, he was not. Through showing the slow stages of grief in dreams that Harry has, and in ...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
A heartbreakingly sad tale of a young boy and his love for his dog. Of course the dog dies, and we watch the young boy, Harry in his grief. Beautiful illustrations as always from Freya Blackwood, who conveys Harrys deep love for and then grief for Hopper very well, rather atmospheric.
Aug 29, 2015 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
I had no idea what this book was about, so tears welling up was a big surprise. It's a nice little story about loss and grief, I just wish I'd known what I was picking up before I began reading it to my kids!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
A young boy grieves the loss of his pet dog. Would be good read together with an adult. The dream sequence may confuse younger children but it is an interesting approach. Beautiful illustrations support the text.
Franki Sibberson
Jan 16, 2011 Franki Sibberson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A good story about grief, death of a pet.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 17, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A tearjerker for sure but a comforting story to share with a child who has lost a beloved pet.
Apr 01, 2011 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Sad face :'-(
Amber Hughey
Jul 14, 2017 Amber Hughey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, kids-books
Another sad "animal dies" book. In this one, a boy's prized pet dies while he's at school. He refuses to talk about it, and instead, 'dreams' about his dog as a form of closure.
Savannah-Alicia Lloyd
sent shivers down my spine. Very emotional read.
Feb 12, 2017 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yup, i cried.
Oct 07, 2016 Den rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, 2016
A lovely book which deals with the lost of a beloved family pet.
Lovely words and illustrations
Katie Fitzgerald
Harry and Hopper is about a close relationship between a boy and his dog. This book gives us the backstory of Harry's relationship with his dog first, then hits us with the sad news:

But one afternoon when Harry came home from school, there was no Hopper waiting by the gate. No glad yelping. No loving lick of the tongue.

Hopper isn't there, it turns out, because he has been killed in an accident. Harry disconnects from the rest of the world, refusing to talk about the loss of his dog, even with hi
Haley Altizer
Feb 21, 2015 Haley Altizer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book, Harry and Hopper, by Margaret Wild, the story of a young boy and his dog is told. Harry, the young boy and Hopper, the dog, have a very strong relationship. The story really proves that a dog is a man’s best friend. Harry and Hopper do everything together. Until, one day Harry comes home and finds that Hopper is no longer with us. Harry becomes heart broken and has no motivation to participate in anything. He begins to see Hopper in his dreams every night but every night Hopper slow ...more
L13 Tracy Beling
This Kate Greenaway 2010 award winner is a sweet picture book about a boy coping with the death of his best friend - his dog. Harry and his dog, Hopper, are always together until he comes home from school to find that his dog has died. He goes through a few days of denial and dreams that Hopper is still alive. Slowly, he begins to let go of Hopper and ultimately accepts his passing.

As one would imagine, this would be an excellent book to use with young children dealing with the death of a loved
Oct 11, 2012 Romelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals with the issue of death. Here, Harry has lost his dog, Hopper. The story takes a more blunt approach, "Hopper is dead." For a little while, Harry is in denial. He continues watching t.v., goes to school, and doesn't tell his friends. But he refuses to sleep in his bed where memories of Hopper lay. In the middle of the night, Harry appears in his dream, but it all seems so real for Harry. In the end, Harry ends up saying good bye to Hopper on his own terms.

The ending was nice in t
Jan 27, 2017 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I was checking out books from our local library relating to the death of a pet, specifically a dog, in order to help a friend and her young son deal with the impending death of their beloved Lab. I discovered this book and thought it might provide some comfort and closure.

But I have to admit that the story is a bit creepy to me. Without a doubt, it's traumatic when a pet dies, especially if it's sudden and completely unexpected. This book depicts a young boy named Harry who has to come to terms
Nov 08, 2013 Jacoba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry & Hopper by Margaret Wild (2009)
Genre: Fiction
Format: Picture book
Plot summary:One day when Harry comes home from school, his faithful companion Hopper isn't there to greet him, in a touching story about the process of healing after losing a beloved pet.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.): Deals with death of a pet
Review citation (if available: Owen, Maryann H. School Library Journal , April 2011, Vol. 57
Question: why, in nearly every book for children about death, is it a dog that dies? Just wondering.

Hopper is Harry's best friend, and just as in life, one day, Hopper is suddenly gone, killed in an accident. Harry cannot accept Hopper's death. He is ANGRY.

That night he hears Hopper outside the window. Harry goes to Hopper, who is not as warm and solid as he used to be, but they run and play together for a while. The next night Hopper returns, and he is even colder. By the third night, Hopper
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 23, 2011 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Harry and Hopper, Harry’s dog, adore each other. Then Hopper dies while Harry is at school. Harry misses his dog very much and wishes he could have told Hopper goodbye. Then Hopper begins to visit Harry each night. They play together and, when morning comes, Hopper disappears. Every night, however, Hopper becomes less and less solid, and less and less warm. Knowing it will be the last time he sees Hopper, Harry tells Hopper goodbye.

A gentle story. A lovely way to let go of a beloved pet.

“In the
Oh my gosh! This is a beautiful, heartwarming book! But, have your tissues ready!!! This is an important book, because it deals with the death of a beloved pet. Most children (and grown-ups) experience this heartbreak at one time or another and it's never easy. Harry's experience coming to terms with the loss of his dear friend could be a great way to have this difficult conversation with a child. Freya Blackwood's illustrations, rendered in watercolor and charcoal, are gorgeous and really captu ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Alice rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-50-stars
I am not sure how to rate this book.
It is sad! It is a book about bereavement. I am giving it the 3.5 stars because I feel like we need books like this.

But I didn't love the pictures.

I also didn't like how they just jumped straight to "Hopper is dead". The dad has "tears in his eyes" but I guess he just manned up. The dad doesn't offer any comfort. Just "Would you like to come and say good-bye to Hopper before I bury him?"

No "it's okay, Hopper is in a better place", or "remember the good time
Harry bonds tightly with Hopper as a puppy, sharing his bed with him, playing with and training his beloved pet. One day he comes home to find that Hopper's not there. This book about grief and saying good-bye on one's own terms is a good discussion starter for a child who has lost a pet. I felt that the aspect of his death being sudden--from an accident rather than old age--may fill a void in pet death subject matter as many relate to an aging pet and their death. The processing of his good-bye ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Christiane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I'm always a sucker for a dead pet story (and there's always a need for them), but this book was disappointing. Harry gets his dog Hopper when he just a puppy and they have an idyllic time together until one day Dad has to tell Harry that there's been an accident and Hopper is dead. We're never told what happened to Hopper, and I think most kids will want to know. I like how kind and sympathetic Harry's dad is, but the ghostly visitations of Hopper are confusing: is Harry imagining him, or is hi ...more
May 23, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must confess that I'm a dog lover and I couldn't get through this book without crying. My husband and I have had to put two dogs down that we've owned due to old age and it was one of the hardest decisions we've ever made. We never really find out what happens to Hopper in this book, only that he passed and it was an accident. The dream sequence confused my little guys who thought that Hopper had come back to life and couldn't understand that it was a dream. I feel this book is best read with ...more
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Margaret Wild has written more than seventy books and has been published around the world. Her numerous awards and distinctions include the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for Jenny Angel, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas; The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas; and Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks. In 2008 she received the Nan Chauncy Award for an outs ...more
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