Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey meets Dog Heaven in this profoundly beautiful book about the special relationship between kids and dogs, the importance of language, and finding the meaning of life even in its final days.
Poignant, hopeful, and lovingly told, this dog's journey—told by the dog himself in his own unique words—proves that love abides beyond a lifetime, out of sight but never far away.
As a dog and his little girl go on their final walk together, he experiences the sights, smells, and wonders of this world one last time before peacefully passing on. But for such a good boy (oh yes, he is!) and his foreverfriend, that doesn't mean it's the end.
Offering a unique and noteworthy take on death, this book balances the somber topic with a dog's ever-optimistic viewpoint, all woven together with its unconventional yet fitting approach to language.
Family members, librarians, art-lovers, and educators alike will use this book as an accessible and comforting introduction to the ever-difficult topic of death, discussed and related in a new way with hopeful, uplifting, innovative language.
THE PERFECT BOOK TO TALK ABOUT LOSS: The perennial themes of grief, fear, and death are always relevant and classic discussion topics even in families not yet dealing with death. The perfect answer to kids' big questions about what happens when we die, this book will be a standard in every home library.
CREATIVE USE OF LANGUAGE: The words in this book are incredibly special, with phrases that conjure how the dog sees the world. The enjoyable challenge of matching up "letsgoboy" to a walk or "pufftails" to rabbits will make for meaningful discussions on a parent's lap or in a classroom reading circle.
TEACHES CHILDREN EMPATHY: Reading this story from the dog's perspective is the perfect way for young readers to understand that the way another character thinks and perceives the world is different from their own experience.
A BEAUTIFUL DOG STORY: Ideal for readers who love dogs, want dogs, or are going through a grieving process for their family dog, this book celebrates all that is most magical about these animals who are always by our side.
A COMFORTING MESSAGE: It's rare for a book about death to extend beyond the moment of dying. The continuation of the dog's story past this point makes it special and especially comforting.
Perfect for: parents and caregivers, dog lovers, educators
About the Author
Derick Wilder is the founder of Reading Giraffe, a literacy initiative with the goal of creating lifelong readers by making books come alive. He has been writing for as long as he can remember, but endless hours in the children's section of the library with his daughter sparked his love for picture books. He lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. This is his first book.
Catia Chien is a Brazilian-Taiwanese artist. She's the illustrator of such titles as The Sea Serpent and Me, which won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators; A Boy and a Jaguar, an ALA Notable Book and recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award; and The Bear and the Moon. She lives in New York City with her family.
“Stunning, tender, and brilliant. Readers will laugh and cry-but most of all love.”-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“One not to be missed, this moving, visceral tale is a testament to the bond between a child and pet. Any person, young or old, who has experienced loss will find this essential purchase a profound comfort.”-School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] moving testament to the love between child and dog. An affecting resource for starting conversations with readers experiencing their own loss.”-Publishers Weekly
“[A]s genuinely doggy a narrative as ever there was . . . Echoing the strong mutual attachment that underlies every line of this monologue, Chien’s grainy, soft-focus scenes follow [an] old pooch and a tiny, exuberant child who barely reaches his shoulder through a woodsy ramble, and then sends the dog on alone, to soar through bright abstract spaces . . . If there’s a dryeye in the house after this, check for a pulse.”-Booklist, starred review
“[The Longest Letsgoboy] is a perfect storm of tearjerk, with its supple poetry, canine narration, and picture of loss, but there’s a reassuring message about what we love remaining a part of us forever that youngsters may find . . . bolstering. . . . Chien’s mixed-media illustrations . . . tactfully distance the events, and an emphasis on sunny tones keeps the mood upbeat even amid the sadness. [A] spiritual complement to the more concrete take[s] on pet succession . . .”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review