Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine

kid friendly story about how dialysis works
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Rudy learns how our kidneys clean the blood.  When the kidneys aren’t working, there is an incredible process called dialysis that will do the kidneys job.  Diet and lifestyle are also discussed in this fantastic book.
Color Illustrations – Hard Cover – 32 pages


A couple of years ago when our girl was in acute kidney failure an author contacted me to see if she could send us a book, Rudy Gets a Transplant. It’s about a dog named Rudy and his experience through kidney failure and transplant. The author, Stacy Raye Waibel, didn’t ask me to review the books, but I did because we had such a good experience with one of them explaining transplant to my daughter and her classmates. It wasn’t scary or overwhelming and the kids felt safe to ask questions, which was the most we could hope for back then.

Stacy recently asked if I’d like a copy of her new book, Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine and sent me a copy and one to give the hospital that serves the kids. both kids really liked the book and I think it handled some big issues really well. I’m happy to share them here because the books are really kid-friendly and they’re a good value, too.

I’m all for anything that can help the kids process what they’re going through and these books really helped. I only wished we’d had the Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine when my son first started dialysis. It was a very scary time and while we did a pretty good job at explaining what was happening (so fast!) it would have been nice to do it through the book.

I’d highly recommend this book for kids facing dialysis and/or transplant as well as the kids in their lives to help them process what is going on as well.
Julia Roberts, Director PKDF – Atlanta, GA.

“Stacy uses a very child friendly character, Rudy the dog, to introduce her reader to kidney failure.  I thought it was good that she started with Rudy becoming symptomatic with the fatigue common to End Stage Renal Disease.  As Rudy goes to the doctor, the author uses this occasion to give a very good and child age appropriate basic description of what the kidneys are and what their function is ‘to clean our blood’ along with a very basic diagram on the kidneys in relationship to the major internal organs.  As the book progresses, Rudy goes to dialysis with a great illustration of the little dog hooked up to the dialysis machine with a rudimentary explanation of what dialysis does and what it is like.   I thought it was great that the book addresses what kinds of food could or couldn’t be eaten, or eaten in moderation, and fluid restrictions.  The book seems to present a pretty balanced accounting of the limitations of dialysis while still enjoying life on dialysis.  The illustrations in this book are very good.

About the reviewer:
Laura Weber has thrived with CKD for 40 years and was blessed with a new kidney in 2005. She is a member of the Patient and Family Council Executive Committee at the National Kidney Foundation.  Laura balances a strong commitment to give back by promoting awareness of kidney disease and transplantation with a busy career as Vice President of Business Development and her family.

“…our team really likes them.”  – Clinical Social Worker, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH.

“We are thrilled about the arrival of this new book and it’s important topic!” – Child-Family Life Services, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital

“Thank you, I had them sitting on my desk on Tuesday when I came to work. They look great!” – Dialysis and Transplant Social Worker, University of Missouri Health Care

Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine is a wonderful book.  I shared it with my wife (a kidney donor to her brother) and our daughter (a second grade teacher).  They both thought it would be a wonderful teaching tool.” – Doctor of Nephrology, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine is a fabulous book!  We need more resources like this for children.” – Medical Social Worker, Children’s Hospital of WI

“I received the books and love them!” – Child Life Specialist, Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics, Kansas City, MO.

“This is a very educational realistic fiction book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to work in the medical field, those with an expanded mind and people who like reading different genres. It is a wonderfully illustrated book. I enjoyed it and I think you will too!”
–Uzoma Ngwwu, Age 9
“Exciting new addition to the “Rudy” series.  This will be an excellent book for young children; children on dialysis or children of adults on dialysis.  There is a definite need for such a book.  It is well written and colorfully illustrated.  Loved it!”
–Kathy Weck, LICSW