Keeping Up with Roo

Keeping Up with Roo

by illustrated by Dan Andreasen Sharlee Glenn, Dan Andreasen
     
 

Gracie and her aunt Roo are best friends. Roo has the heart and mind of a child, and she's always had a knack for finding the best ways to have fun together.

But now Gracie's getting older, and her feelings about Roo are changing. She doesn't always have time to play anymore. She worries about what her new school friend will think of strange Roo. Does growing

Overview

Gracie and her aunt Roo are best friends. Roo has the heart and mind of a child, and she's always had a knack for finding the best ways to have fun together.

But now Gracie's getting older, and her feelings about Roo are changing. She doesn't always have time to play anymore. She worries about what her new school friend will think of strange Roo. Does growing up mean she'll have to leave her best friend behind?

In a realistic, heartwarming story about a little girl's relationship with her beloved aunt who is mentally challenged, Glenn reminds us of the gifts we all bring to the world, and to each other. The world is comprised of all kinds of teachers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
An endearing, heartwarming story unfolds in this relationship between Gracie, a little girl, and Roo, her mentally challenged aunt. Young listeners can relate to the tale as they see how Gracie plays with Roo, learns to walk, and finally goes off to school. Gracie and Roo's shared good times include singing, marching, sliding down a mountain-like haystack, and barefoot romps in the rain. However, their favorite activity is playing school. Roo teaches Gracie how to add and to read easy books before she ever starts school. The school separation is difficult for both of them, but soon Gracie is able to play the teacher while Roo plays the student. Inevitably Gracie begins to prefer school-age friends and activities. The retching truth hits hard when Gracie brings a friend, Sarah, home and denies knowing Roo who is frolicking about the yard bedecked with long flapping hair ribbons. Roo is devastated by Gracie's rejection. But Sarah quizzes Gracie on how she learned to make a snack, who made a pretty painted glass hanging in her window, and how she learned to make a whistle from grass. Gracie realizes Roo taught her those things and more. So Gracie takes Sarah to meet Roo, her mentally challenged aunt, and they all play school together. All youngsters will benefit by reading this book. It is an especially good one for anyone who knows a mentally challenged adult. 2004, G P Putnam's Sons, Ages 4 to 8.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Gracie has always had a special relationship with her Aunt Roo, who is mentally challenged, and the two spend endless hours playing together. However, as Gracie grows up, goes to school, and makes new friends, she is forced to recognize that her aunt is different from other grown-ups. When a new friend comes home with her for a visit, Gracie is at first embarrassed by her aunt's outlandish behavior. As she remembers all of the fun times she has shared with the woman, however, she eventually introduces Sarah to Roo, and invites her to participate in their games. Occasional changes of verb tense interrupt the story's flow, and muted, old-fashioned illustrations and language set this story in a nostalgic past that may seem distant to today's readers. Still, children may glean something positive from this honest depiction of Gracie's acceptance of her aunt.-Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An interesting premise gets a didactic story and old-fashioned pictures. Gracie grows up on a farm following her Aunt Roo around and playing with her all the time. The two are "best friends," despite the fact that "Roo was almost as old as Mama and Gracie was only five." Roo's enthusiasm for childlike games comes from her being mentally challenged, which remains unspecified throughout. However, subtlety is lost in the main plot arc, which shows second-grader Gracie embarrassed by Aunt Roo and ignoring her in front of a guest. Gracie soon feels guilty and brings the visiting friend to meet Aunt Roo, but the originally sweet relationship has turned into a lesson for readers. The graphite-and-oil illustrations recall Norman Rockwell and elementary primers. Self-conscious and humdrum. (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399234804
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/29/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.28(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 Years

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