Praise for "Rudy O'Tooty."
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
Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine (view trailer!)
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 Disdease. 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.
Rudy Gets a Transplant (view trailer!)
In this book the author takes the same child friendly character of Rudy the dog and takes the reader through Rudy’s experience getting a transplant. The book begins with Rudy not feeling very well and needing a transplant. The story line goes through where the kidney comes from by age appropriately discussing living donation or “sometimes it comes from someone you don’t know” rather than introducing that someone died to provide the kidney. This was a good way to address the kidney donor without being too realistic about organ donation at death which could be frightening to a child. In this
story line, Rudy’s brother donates the kidney. The accounting of the actual transplant was very simplistic as Stacy writes, “I was in surgery for almost five hours. It didn’t seem that long though. It felt like nap time.” Any more detail would be too much for such young children. The only medical explanation of the procedure was that Rudy had a tube put into his leg to address the IV. The book also educates the reader about the importance of anti-rejection meds and that it is important to never forget to take the medicine. The recovery was a bit unrealistic saying just that Rudy “took it a little easy because I had stitches in my tummy” and then after being in the hospital for 8 days “soon I was back home and chasing my big brother Dexter (kidney donor) around.” I think this book would certainly help take some of the apprehension and fear away from a young child facing a transplant, or to help a child understand when a family member has a transplant.
Rudy’s Check Up
In this book, Rudy the dog goes to the doctor for a checkup. This book doesn’t relate to any chronic health challenges, but would be good for a child who has a fear of going to the pediatrician. As in “Rudy’s Incredible Kidney Machine”, the illustrations in this book are also very good. I would say this book is geared to a very young child, perhaps a target audience of 3 to 6 years old.
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
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.
"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
What a lovely book."
--Kate Pettit, Bloomington Art Center
"Rudy's playful and childlike exuberance leaps from the page as he uses his deductive reasoning skills to figure out just what has landed on his nose. Gruebele's illustrations are full of fun details, giving kids and adults much to discuss about the pictures."
--Jennifer Verbrugge, Programming and Outreach Librarian, Children's Services, Dakota County Library
"I like Rudy the Poodle. He is smart."
--Tacy Shaw, Age 8
"Thank you for giving me a copy of 'Rudy Gets a Transplant.' I read it and was impressed by the warmth and compassion you conveyed through it."
--Dr. Raja Kandaswamy, Director of Organ Procurement and Preservation University of Minnesota
"My daughter, Kaia loved this book! Thanks for sharing. I loved it too. Let me know when it's published so I can buy one!"
--Tasha, Nurse Practitioner Park Nicollet
"I've been looking for a book like this. There's nothing out there like it... I love the poodle. Love the kid. Great message... Preventive health care is important."
--Sue, Public Health Nurse, Ramsey County
"I read the book and was so impressed. The illustrations are awesome. I purchased a copy of the book and brought it to my granddaughter's Day Care - La Petite... They were very impressed."
--Eileen F. Anderson, Gift Shop Manager Chanhassen Dinner Theatre
"It's a light, uplifting tale (tail?) that is a must for any parent who has a child facing the terrifying experience of getting an organ transplant. In Rudy's (a child's) point of view, he takes you through an almost step-by-step process of prepping for the operation all the way to recovery. Sounds scary, huh? Not the way Rudy tells it. Stacy has the uncanny ability to take away the fears and replace them with positive vibes that assures everything will be all right.
Stacy Raye is no stranger to transplants. She had a kidney transplant in 1995 and a pancreas transplant in 2003. In her book she takes the facts and transplants them into a language that a child can understand, and a parent will appreciate.
The artwork is done by seventh grader, Ali Gratz. She received a kidney from her dad in 2006. Together, Stacy and Ali make one dynamic duo.
"Rudy Gets a Transplant" is not only for children in need of transplants. It's a fun learning adventure for any kid."
-- David Fingerman, Author and Vice President of the Minneapolis Writers Group
"Thanks Stacy, for an awe inspiring story!"
--Jane George, Poet and Librarian, Dakota County Library
"I love this book, it is very well written."
--Darrel Bunn, Grandpa, Tax Accountant
"I brought "Rudys Check Up" to the clinic with us. It was great. Comparing Rudys check up with a childs was very helpful. Made it less scary."
--Jane Johnson, Mother
"Several months ago someone contacted me telling me that they wanted to send the kids a book about a dog that had to have a kidney transplant. The dog’s name is Rudy. The book is Rudy Gets a Transplant. As far as helping prepare classmates, siblings not affected, and of course, kiddos going through transplant, I’d have to say it is really great and does a superb job for all the parties involved. I read it to Quinnlin’s classmates and they seemed to understand it and had great questions after the reading. It runs circles around anything the hospital has given us for the kids to read (a book and coloring book the kids absolutely hated and made me throw to the donation pile last clean out) so I’d have to recommend it. It’s a positive book with cute illustrations by a child. It’s not too heavy but deals with meds for life and doctor visits before and after. Quinn likes it and can read it by herself but it’s not too juvenile for Gage’s age range either. The author (Stacy Raye Waibel, 2x transplant recipient by the way) didn’t ask me write a review or anything, she just sent the kids the books. I’m going to buy a few and get them to Ginger, our Child Life Specialist, for her to use to prepare patients and their sibs and friends. I am just putting this out there because a lot of parents of kiddos with kids in need of kidney transplants read my blog and so this is just a little tip, a little public service announcment, if you will. It’s a well-spent 10 bucks for those that purchase it." www.kidneysandeyes.com
--Julia Roberts, Director PKDF, Atlanta, GA.