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Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick

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Overview

When the coolest kid in the class drops by David's house after school, David is worried about how popular, zany Ruben Plotnick will react upon meeting unpredictable Grandma Rosie. Will he make fun of her to his classmates? Will he imitate her whispery voice? What will he do if Grandma Rosie suddenly wants to dance? To his surprise, and relief, David learns that although Ruben may be a joker, he has an instant rapport with Grandma Rosie and accepts her odd behavior. In fact, when Grandma Rosie calls out, "Nate, ...

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Overview

When the coolest kid in the class drops by David's house after school, David is worried about how popular, zany Ruben Plotnick will react upon meeting unpredictable Grandma Rosie. Will he make fun of her to his classmates? Will he imitate her whispery voice? What will he do if Grandma Rosie suddenly wants to dance? To his surprise, and relief, David learns that although Ruben may be a joker, he has an instant rapport with Grandma Rosie and accepts her odd behavior. In fact, when Grandma Rosie calls out, "Nate, let's waltz!" Ruben gallantly and proudly dances around the kitchen with her. This heartwarming story of senility and school-age embarrassment reveals the importance of looking beneath the surface to really get to know someone. By accepting Grandma with all of her quirks, Ruben shows that he has a warm heart and can be a true friend.

New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award nominee 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a story about real family values, compassion for others and how kids are often smarter than we think." —Simms Taback, author, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

"[This book] waltzed into my heart and touched it in a way that no other children's book has." —Barbara Gruener, AcademicPlanet.com

"A lovely book about friendship and seeing people as they really are. Kids will think it's terrific fun. . ." —MyShelf.com

"Charming...lovely, filled with colorful illustrations that will make you smile." —Eclectic Homeschool Online

"Every character expands beyond stereotype…will help kids cope with their own concerns about being less than perfect."  —GRAND magazine

"So touching and great for your kids . . . a terrific book. Really, a terrific book." —Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio show host

"This sensitive and clever story deals with school-age embarassment and what dementia looks like from a child's perspective."  —National Institute on Aging

"A truly delightful story . . . a must have in school libraries." —Children's Literature

Children's Literature
"A truly delightful story . . . a must have in school libraries."
MyShelf.com
"A lovely book about friendship and seeing people as they really are. Kids will think it's terrific fun-but I warn you, parents, you just might get a little misty as you read. The best books do that to you."
Eclectic Homeschool Online
"Charming... Ruben Plotnick is a young man that I wouldn't mind getting to know...lovely, filled with colorful illustrations that will make you smile."
Outlook Magazine of Women's League for Conservative Judaism
"A compassionate story about dealing with senility in those we love and of blossoming friendship."
Children's Literature
What is a child to do when they are embarrassed about a grandmother that is forgetful and confuses your friend with her deceased husband? If you are David, hopefully you learn acceptance in this cross-generational poignant story. It all begins with Ruben Plotnick, class clown, wanting to come over to David's home to do homework. Despite David's trepidations, Grandma Rosie waltzes with Ruben in the kitchen, even though she believes she is dancing with her deceased husband Nate. David worries that Ruben will make fun or mimic Grandma's voice or dancing afterward at school, but he does not. After Ruben's visit and dance, Grandma Rosie requests that others waltz with her, including the pet schnauzer. David not only learns a lesson about acceptance, love, and friendship, but of loving those family members suffering from senility. This picture book does a wonderful job conveying children's emotions, and how to deal with the uncertainty of peers knowing what family life at home might be with an elderly grandparent. 2005, Flashlight Press, Ages 6 to 9.
—Rosa Roberts
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-An engaging story about family, friendship, and the challenges of dementia. Ruben Plotnick is the cool kid everyone at school wants to know. He's funny and a little wacky, but he always knows the right answers. He's smart. For some unexplained reason, he decides to befriend David, asking to go to his house to do schoolwork. David is thrilled-and worried. His Grandma Rosie has become so unpredictable. Will she do something to embarrass him? What will The Plotnick think? David need not have worried. The Plotnick proves himself to be much more than a smart clown. He has grace and he has heart. He relates immediately to someone who dances to her own beat, displaying maturity and confidence far beyond his age. And he shows David how to be compassionate and remain true to himself. The digital illustrations add amusing background details to keep the story light. Although the plot is awkward at the beginning, the story has a very sweet conclusion. This is an excellent choice for a group read-aloud or to help a child deal with fears of family embarrassment.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780972922555
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Roz Rosenbluth is the author of numerous children's books including Hungry Bear and Nettie's Spaghetti. Her fiction has appeared in Cricket and Highlights magazines, and she was the winner of the 2000 Highlights magazine humor contest. She has also held editorial positions at Bantam Books and the National Education Association. She lives in New Rochelle, New York. Maurie J. Manning is the illustrator of three books, including The Aunts Go Marching, a 2004 IRA Notable Book and Scholastic Pick of the Month. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ruben Plotnick Will Dance Into Your Heart

    Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick, by Roz Rosenbluth, waltzed into my heart and touched it in a way that no other illustrated picture book has. Its main character, David, has two people in his life whom he adores. One is the zany Ruben Plotnick, also known as the coolest kid in his class. The other is his dear Grandma Rosie, whose aging has her occasionally behave in unexpected, sometimes weird ways. Even though (or maybe because) he loves them both, David would rather that they not meet. But meet they do, and wait until you see what happens when the paths of silly and senility cross. Realistically illustrated by Maurie J. Manning, the dancing scene in particular jumps off the page, transforming living rooms, classrooms, and bedrooms alike into ballrooms. I think you'll agree that Ruben Plotnick is a cool character kid that you'll love getting to know!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2005

    From An Elementary School Teacher's Point of View

    I have taught Elementary School children for many years, and have rarely come across a book as enticing and loving as 'Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick'. I am so glad to have discovered it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    A wonderful lesson

    I read 'Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick' to my three grandchildren with the eye of a retired elementary school teacher and the son-in-law of their 97 year old grandmother. I found the book well written, worthwhile and a wonderful lesson for the children. They also enjoyed the book. They know that grandmas are sometimes strange but always lovable as is beautifully written and illustrated in this book. I certainly recommend this children's book to all youngsters to read themselves or to be read to.

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