Friday, January 2, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 258

Terrific Trio: Book 1

Picture Book: Getting to Know Ruben Plotnik

Author: Roz Rosenbluth

Illustrator: Maurie J. Manning

Summary: According to David the narrator, Ruben Plotnik (upside down on the cover) is the coolest kid in class, very funny, and very smart. David is pleased that Ruben wants to come to his house, but then he remembers his unpredictable Grandma Rosie who lives with him. Sometimes she remembers his name, but sometimes she calls him “little boy” and asks him to waltz with her. David always complies, but he’s not sure how Ruben Plotnik will react. David’s real fear is that Ruben will witness something strange and then make fun of her to their classmates. Once at their home, Ruben’s silly behavior, including sitting in their sink, does catch Grandma’s eye, and she asks him to waltz. Ruben accepts her invitation without hesitation and seems to enjoy the dancing. Fortunately, there is no mention of David’s grandma at school. At the end of the book, Grandma Rosie asks for “the little boy from the sink.” David understands. You get the sense that David will invite Ruben to his house again for both he and his grandma to enjoy.  

Hanna’s Comments: This first book in a PBT Terrific Trio about responding to the changing abilities of elderly family members, is silly in tone, but it could prompt a very serious conversation about changes in your children's families because of aging or disease such as Alzheimer’s. Honor and care of the elderly, especially if they are our ancestors, is an important mandate in our Holy Scriptures. Talk to the children in your faith community about why this is important and how rewarding it can be to hold fast to cross-generational connections, especially their connections with their kin.  

Publisher & Date of Publication: Flashlight Press, 2005

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, adaptation/assimilation, aging, ancestors/patriarchs & matriarchs, authenticity, dance/dancing, dependence/interdependence, family, friends/friendship, God’s will, grandparents, presence, respect, tolerance

Scripture Connections: Honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12); stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man (Leviticus 19:32); do not cast me off in the time of old age (Psalm 71:9); don’t rebuke an older man but encourage him (1 Timothy 5:1)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to children in your faith community when talking about the biblical mandate to honor and care for elders.