Harry and Hopper is one of those books that will bring a tear to everyone’s eyes, heck, to be honest you may completely bawl your eyes out on first reading this tale of a child loosing his best friend and his struggle with grief and his journey to say goodbye.
This is a children’s book, but it’s almost an adults book in disguise, written to remind us of how we first may have felt grief, of that first time that we knew what death was and how it feels to loose a loved one, a close friend or family member. And it will remind you, be sure of that.
It’ll remind you that grief is confusing, that it takes time, that not all of us handle grief the same way, that memories are our strongest friend, that saying goodbye helps and hurts all at the same time, that talking with your friends about it is hard, that sometimes you just don’t understand it at all.
Harry and his dog Hopper are best of friends, they do everything (except for going to school) together that’s what best friends do. But one day Harry comes home to his father sitting on the house steps waiting for him, and no Hopper. An upset father shares with Harry that during the day there was an accident and that Hopper died.
What follows is a story of a young boy who slowly works through his grief in a beautiful and completely heart felt way. Over a series of late night visits from his friend Hopper, Harry is able to find the courage, the space and time to finally say goodbye.
Argh, I’m feeling the tears welling up again now as I write this review.
The story is written in a simple and beautiful way by Margaret Wild and the Illustrations by Freya Blackwood only serve to build the story up in a way that it’s completely believable and that will remind you of being a child yourself and having that first glimpse and experience of grief.