Cover image for A dog like Jack
A dog like Jack
DiSalvo, DyAnne.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.
Reading Level:
AD 630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 40182.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.3 2 Quiz: 18769 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Boston Free Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Marilla Free Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



An older dog is adopted by a family, which must cope with its failing health and death.

Author Notes

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is an author and illustrator of more than forty picture books for children. She has illustrated books written by Beverly Cleary, Mary Pope Osborne, Jean Fritz, Jane O'Connor, Patricia Reilly Giff, Jean Marzollo and Amy Hest. She has also written and illustrated several of her own books including Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen, City Green, A Castle on Viola Street, and The Sloppy Copy Slipup. She received a Congressional Commendation from the State of New Jersey for Grandpa's Corner Store and the Irma S. and James H. Black Award for A Dog Like Jack.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. Thoughtful words and tender pictures beautifully convey the special relationship between a young boy and his dog, Jack. Mike and Jack run along the seashore, share ice-cream cones, and go trick-or-treating. As the years pass, Jack has difficulty keeping up with Mike, and one day the vet tells Mike's family to "take him home, give him lots of love and anything he wants." Jack's peaceful passing is sad for both Mike and his parents. They talk about it, grieve together, celebrate Jack's life, and imagine a day when they will adopt another dog. This lovely story will help youngsters through the grief they are feeling if they have recently lost a pet or prepare them to face a pet's death. An afterword discusses the effect such a situation may have on a child and offers advice for grieving families. Cynthia Rylant's Dog Heaven (or Cat Heaven, as the case may be) will make an excellent follow-up. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

This realistic picture book about loving and losing a first pet will likely join the ranks of Judith Viorst's The Tenth Good Thing About Barney with its unsentimental, honest approach. "Jack was eight years old when our family adopted him from the animal shelter. That's fifty-six in dog years," begins narrator Mike, pictured in a stroller. As the boy grows older, he and Jack develop rituals‘trick-or-treating with themed Halloween costumes (boy as shepherd, dog as sheep), Saturday games of hide-and-seek in the park and the simple joy of a shared ice cream cone ("I'd save the last licks for him," says Mike). They even celebrate the same birthday. Inevitably, when Mike turns eight, Jack turns 91 and can no longer partake of their annual traditions, yet the spreads continue to depict an unbreakable bond between the pair. Jack dies in the final pages, and a swirling portrait depicts mother, father and son in a sorrowful embrace that emits both sadness and comfort. In succeeding pages even nature mourns: leafless trees with outspread limbs curve over mother and son on a walk through the park ("Do people live longer than dogs?" asks the boy). The narration never strikes a false note; even on the last spread, when Mike spies a dog in the park, he harbors mixed emotions. DiSalvo-Ryan (Now We Can Have a Wedding!) captures the essence of the ineffable connection between a child and his pet in her artwork while remaining completely within the child's sensibility in her text. Ages 3-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-This bibliotherapeutic picture book is a solid entry in the field of titles that deal with the death of a pet. Mike's family adopts Jack from a shelter when he is already eight-years-old ("That's fifty-six in dog years"). As the boy grows older, Jack is always an important part of his life-meeting him after school, accompanying him trick-or-treating, or romping with him in the park. In double-paged watercolor spreads, DiSalvo-Ryan shows the fun of an active dog as well as the gradual decline of the aged animal. When Jack dies, the boy and his parents hug one another and cry together. The usual questions are asked and answered. Mike conveys his lingering sorrow as he sees other healthy dogs after Jack's burial but expresses the conviction that his family will someday adopt another pet even though "there will never be another dog like Jack." In addition to DiSalvo-Ryan's skill at showing a family's life over time, a strength of this book is the epilogue, "Losing a Pet," which offers suggestions for coping with this situation.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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