Harry & Hopper
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Harry & Hopper

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  73 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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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:
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.
Feb 06, 2011 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011, death
I need to discuss this book with someone.
Franki Sibberson
A good story about grief, death of a pet.
Sad face :'-(
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
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...more
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...more
I have a need to talk to someone about this book, and I suspect you might if you read it. A young boy experiences the death of a pet. Interestingly, the loss happens in the middle of the story and the ending isn't really what I expected. This might be a good story to share with kids if you're trying to communicate that it's ok to deal with the loss of a pet or loved one in your own time/ way.
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...more
Katie Fitzgerald
This book is a definite tearjerker. I've never had a dog, so I can't fully relate to the experience of a pet's sudden death, but it was still plenty sad for me, and would probably be more so for a child in this situation. It's not clear from the story whether Harry's encounters with Hopper are dreams or something more fantastical or supernatural, but the emotional impact of their nighttime adventures is the same. Children who have lost a dog and didn't get a chance to say goodbye might find this...more
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...more
Vicki Kier
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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
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...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
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
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
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
Sad... Coping with the death of a beloved pet in a single-parent family. Pictures tell a lot more to the story.
Courtney Angelo
This book is sure to bring tears, especially for dog lovers like me! I enjoyed this book because it addressed such a scary and important topic for children: death. But, I am not sure it is a book for everyone. The subject of death must be approached lightly, and while the book is straightforward on the fact Harper will not be back, children may become confused because Harry's dreams are so vivid and imaginative. Overall, a great read, tears or not!
I will never ever be able to read this book to a child because I would be a sobbing, sniffly wreck. That being said, this is a great story about coping with the loss of a pet or loved one. It's important for kids to have funny books and it's important for them to have books that address the grief and loss in their lives too. Recommended for students in grades 1 -3; older students may also find it an important story.
28 months - we didn't realize the storyline of this book when we began reading it. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is touching. Our 11 year old fox terrier has bladder cancer and so although we are not in Harry's situation we certain can relate to it. And yes it made me a bit teary eyed. We were a bit concerned of O's reaction to the subject but she just listened quietly an intently.
BEWARE...this is not a cute little romp with a boy and his dog (even though the book begins that way). It is a story about grieving. Written with tender and touching details, this is a beautifully written story. I would recommend it if you are trying to help a child deal with loss as it portrays our need for space and time and trust in the healing process. Powerful.
Harry loves his dog, Hopper. So, when his father tells him that Hopper died, it is quite a shock. Through dreams, Harry is able to let go Hopper go in his own way.

Sketch-like illustrations add emotion, depth, and movement to the story.

Harry's shock and grieving is real and this book could be used as a bibliotherapeutic tool to help a child cope with the death of a pet.

This book started out as a very heartwarming story about the loss of a dog (accident). I had an almost violent reaction to the metaphor section. Although the boy is "dreaming" of playing once again with his dog, it is not clear enough to the reader. The "letting go" is not from a child's viewpoint. I could not recommend this book to a parent of a young child.
Deb Tyo
I wept. But I liked this book very much.

Harry and Hopper could be confusing to very young readers. A discussion would need to be held to help children understand that Hopper really is gone...that memories can be a powerful thing.

My only complaint was the ending...I felt it was a bit abrupt.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and illustrations in this book.
This is a wonderful, sensitive book on the subject of pet loss. A child’s bond with his dog is beautifully depicted, as is his grief upon learning of his dear friend’s death. The story takes a turn for the ethereal when Harry says goodbye to Hopper in his dreams. For all of us who have revisited a lost loved one when we fall asleep at night.
This story about a young boy and his dog explores the grief experienced when a loved pet dies.

This book would be ideal for helping a young child who has lost a pet open up to discuss their grief and sense of loss.

Further review at Reading Upside Down
Wild gracefully deals with a boy's coming to terms with a beloved dog's death. Having refused to see the dog in death before he is buried, Harry imagines hopper returning and slowly fading away, giving Harry what he needs, time, to properly say good-bye,
Nitza Campos
Wow! Wish I had a "mascara alert" before reading this book. This sweet book is wonderful for discussing grief and how people deal with their grief. For anyone who has lost a beloved dog, this book will leave its mark. Wonderful and sweet picture book.
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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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