A National Kidney Foundation Executive board member has this to say about the Rudy’s Little World Series.
Minnesota Children’s Author Publishes Fifth Book In “Rudy’s Little World” Series
Apple Valley, MN, May 4, 2012 — There’s no denying the power of words, especially when they aim to educate and convey a sense of optimism—it also doesn’t hurt if the messages they craft are told by a cute toy poodle. In the case of the stories in the “Rudy’s Little World” series, the protagonist may be small in stature, but his messages couldn’t be any bigger.
In Rudy O’Tooty, the latest book in the “Rudy’s Little World” series, the eight-year-old poodle from Apple Valley, Minn., enjoys a day out at a local Irish festival, where he marvels at a sea of green, frolics with men in kilts playing bag pipes, and even becomes the subject of an original Irish song.
Rudy’s experiences may not seem that unique on the surface, but the text and illustrations in Rudy O’Tooty only convey part of the story. The behind-the-scenes aspect of Rudy’s life, however, is the part that is truly inspiring and worth sharing. Stacy Raye Waibel, Rudy’s “mommy” and author of the books in the “Rudy’s Little World” series, has penned and published five children’s books about Rudy and his adventures, but has done so without the help of sight or many of the other life conveniences that many of us take for granted.
Stacy has been living with diabetes most of her life, but has never let the disease get the best of her. She lost her sight at age 19 and later had to endure two kidney transplants. Through it all, along with the faithful companionship of her dedicated husband Wayne (who donated one of his kidneys to Stacy in 2009), Rudy, and Rudy’s little brother Boomer, Stacy Raye faces all of life’s challenges with optimism and a smile.
Before she lost her sight, Stacy was a visual artist. After diabetes took her sight, Stacy shifted gears to write about her experiences, many of which she often shared with her family and friends. After penning her annual Christmas letter in 2005 from the perspective of her newly adopted pal Rudy, many of the people closest to Stacy encouraged her to continue writing stories about Rudy’s life and his impressions of it. She then took the idea one step further by blending some of her own personal challenges into informative and heart-felt stories for children.
Knowing that many of life’s challenges can be overwhelming and complex for youngsters to understand, Stacy makes her stories informative, heartfelt, and entertaining (that’s Rudy’s job). The “Rudy’s Little World” series has touched on many of the issues that Stacy has faced herself—blindness, going to the doctor, transplants, problem solving, and diversity. Stacy believes that her perspective as a visual artist helps her write about the vivid pictures she sees in her mind. In Rudy O’Tooty, Stacy’s words are complemented by illustrations from Minnesota artist Michelle Gruebele, who also created the original artwork for two of the other books in the “Rudy’s Little World” series.
“Even with the many challenges in my life, I have always tried to maintain a positive attitude,” Stacy says. “I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.”
Stacy, a Midwest native, says there weren’t many opportunities for her growing up, so she decided to make her own. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in speech communication/psychology and a minor in human relations. She lives in Apple Valley, Minn., a suburb of the Twin Cities, with Wayne, Rudy, and Boomer.
The other books in the “Rudy’s Little World” series are Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine, What’s On My Nose?, Rudy Gets A Transplant, and Rudy’s Checkup.
To learn more about Stacy and to purchase her books, visit http://rudyslittleworld.com.
“Waibel’s stories are not picture dependent for a reader or listener to understand and imagine all the action that is taking place. While the pictures are important, it is always a treat to find books that will be enjoyable for children who cannot see the pictures. This is something I was always searching for when I worked at the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library and I continue to take note of these special books when I find them in my current job.”
Jenifer Wagner, Children’s Librarian
Dakota County Heritage Library