Some reviews of Goodbye, Jake
`Goodbye, Jake is a story
that can help children cope with the loss of a pet. It is written
in a way that, while sad, is very g entle in relaying its message. Jake is an
elderly Greyhound that lives with Cole’s grandparents. Cole
enjoys playing with Jake on his weekly visits to Grammy and Pop’s
ranch, but then Grammy tells him that Jake is very sick.
Cole asks if
Jake is going to die. Grammy tells him yes, the veterinarian will
come that night to release Jake from his pain. Cole is upset that
his friend is going to die and that he will not see him again.
When Cole’s father comes to get him. Grammy helps Cole say goodbye to
When Cole comes to visit the following week, he is
saddened to see Jake’s empty bed, a painful reminder that his friend is
gone. Grammy takes him for a walk to the Memory Garden where all
of her dogs who have passed away are buried.
Each of the graves is covered with stones.
Cole asks why there are only a few stones on Jake’s grave. Grammy
explains that each stone represents a memory of that dog. She
invites Cole to find a stone and share a memory of Jake as he places it
on the fresh grave. Cole smiles as he shares with Grammy his
memories of Jake, and he places stones on Jake’s grave.
The book focuses on Cole’s feelings, his reaction to
Jake’s passing, and how the adults in his life help him cope with the
pain. The illustrations by Whitney Martin are subdued but
beautiful and help soothe the reader.
- Tiffany Pany, Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine
children's book is an excellent one for
children who have just
lost a dog or are about to. Written at a third grade level, it's
about a boy dealing with death for the first time. The dog in
question is his grandmother's red and black greyhound named Jake.
I had a good cathartic cry while reading it. The part describing
how the boy says good bye to Jake, knowing that the veterinarian will
be there in the evening to put Jake down, is particularly well done and
will tug at your heart strings. The illustrations are absolutely
perfect. A tough topic to deal with, Schildkraut has
nonetheless done an outstanding job. - Phyllis DeGioia, Editor - Dog Writers
Association of America
`Schildkraut approaches the issue of a
death with sensitivity and
warmth. She gets the child involved with the animal, honors the boy’s
feelings and fears, and then shows him a way to turn his sadness into
something positive. The idea of using ritual to help heal after a pet’s
death is beautifully handled and provides parents with a coping
mechanism they can use when they talk with their children about this
difficult subject. The soft, watercolor illustrations by Whitney Martin
set the perfect tone for the story and add texture to the words.
Written for young children, it is a book that will touch adults as
well. Goodbye, Jake is an outstanding addition to children’s
death and how to discuss it. I highly recommend it to parents,
libraries and anyone facing the trauma of a pet’s death. -
Nancy Marano, PETroglyphs