Member Reviews

I received this book for free. This does not impact my review in any shape or form.

The Thing About Love, by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kristina Jones, crafts a touching story about a boy who grows up with his dog, only to watch him die in the end. Despite the heartbreak, the boy makes room in his heart for another. Soon, he starts to feel the joy all over again, all the while grieving for the companion he lost.

I like how the illustrations get softer as the dog grows older. The bond between the boy and the dog stays strong, even though the precious thing can’t keep up with him. He starts taking care of his four-legged friend the way he took care of him when he was younger. In a way, it could be similar to how a child grows up and takes care of his parent, a student with their teacher, or even a friend with a friend. 

It may seem inappropriate, but this entire book reminds me of the song, What Sarah Said, by Death Cab for Cutie. More specifically the lyrics, “Love is watching someone die.” And often, it’s very true. When you fall in love with someone, friendship, family, or otherwise, you tend to want to spend all your waking moments with them. You go through life together, and when you’re sitting on the edge, you’re watching them fade away. True, you have the memories and the smiles and the laughter and the tears, but at the end of it, you know that you’ll have to say goodbye to them.

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With great sensitivity and tenderness, The Thing About Love depicts the lifelong bond between a boy and his dog and the depths of a child's grieving process. Linda Ashman's elegantly written text addresses the fact that "not everyone gets older at the same pace," and acknowledges that sometimes, "it's time to say goodbye."

The book shows how the boy's parents assist him with honoring the memory of the dog's special place in their family. The ending is hopeful, and a reminder of how the hole in one's heart created by loss can be filled, at least in part, by adopting a new animal companion.

The Illustrations by Kristina Jones are evocative of a scrapbook filled with joyful memories of a boy and his dog growing together over the course of many years and through many seasons, and are rich with sensory images that expand on the text. Children of different backgrounds and mobility levels are represented throughout.

Children can have many questions when a beloved pet dies. The Thing About Love provides ways to discuss the mysterious and expansive nature of love and the circle of life. I highly recommend this memorable, helpful, and important work.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Linda Ashman for the opportunity read and review this book.

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This picture book focuses on a boy's bond with his dog. It shows how they grow up together, and how the little boy has to adapt to the dog's aging and then say goodbye. The illustrations have a slightly blurry quality, which I don't love, but they are very tender and sweet, and the book highlights the importance of children's lasting emotional bonds with their pets.

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Dog lovers (or any pet lovers) - grab your tissues and buckle up. As any pet owner knows, the bond between a pet and a ‘hooman’ is special. This book starts at the very beginning and follows a boy and his dog through their short, but so-very-important relationship. I knew it was going to bring tears to my eyes reading it. The pictures have a big part in the storytelling; however, I wish they were a little crisper or more developed. They feel unfinished and for such a beautiful story, I would love the pictures to match. This would be a great book to gift someone who has just lost a pet.

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This is an important story for families who are dealing with the loss of a beloved pet, and how to help their child understand and navigate the feelings that follow. Each page is beautifully illustrated, and the story includes the life of the pet - in this case a dog - as it grows alongside the child over the years.


Pub Date: 20 Aug 2024

Many thanks for the ARC provided by American Psychological Association / Magination Press

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A sensitive and important book for young readers and even adults about the bond with a beloved animal companion and the profound grief after your best furry friend dies. Recommended!

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This sweet picture book tells the story of a boy growing up with a dog, and the heartbreaking journey of needing to someday say goodbye. This book would be the perfect gift for a child, teen, or even young adult who is has recently lost their childhood pet. It honors the relationship, acknowledges the aging of the pet, and gives space for the grief while also looking ahead to the possibility of loving another pet again.

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Heartbreaking. Beautifully written book about love and loss with a pet. The words are simple enough for those new readers, but impactful enough that it could make a grown person cry. Definitely a book to choose when dealing with loss.

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Such a heartwarming book showing the love and close friendship between a boy and his dog growing up together and how they love doing things together and comforting each other. When it’s time to say goodby, it’s not easy but you know you have all of those wonderful memories to share and remember.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book provided by the publisher, American Psychological Association, via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The book was beautifully written. The author made careful word choices that were very impactful. Overall, the book was well written and I did really enjoy it.

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Oh my goodness - a picture book that had be sobbing! Such a sweet book of a boy who grows up with his dog and all the things they do together until the dog starts to slow down and eventually the boy must say goodbye to his best friend. This would be a great book for a child who is mourning the loss of a pet - or any child, really, as it teaches the good and the hard things about saying goodbye. And it ends with hope. Interesting and engaging illustrations, as well. Loved it!

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5 "beautiful, meaningful, normalizing" stars !!

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and illustrator and Magination Press. This will be released August 2024. I am providing an honest review.

Sometimes I am in the mood for a picture book. This book appeared on Netgalley and I grabbed it.
Wowza ! Took me back to my own lovely childhood and I reflected on my beloved kitties and doggies.

A tender, sensitive picture book for children aged 4 to 8 about growing up with a beloved pet and celebrating special times, being respectful at the quicker aging of our treasured animals and learning how to say goodbye with grace and gratitude. The illustrations are superb ! I am not going to lie I balled my eyes out and reconnected with my past lovely canine and feline friends.

The perfect gift for your pet loving little ones !

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The Thing About Love is an ode to animal companions and the special bonds we create with them. The illustrations were colorful and portrayed a young boy and his dog throughout the dog's life. The message is sweet and relatable to anyone who has loved and lost a pet.

Perfect for children who are bonded with an aging animal or struggling with grief over one that has passed.

I received an ARC from American Psychological Association | Magination Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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