Getting To Know Ruben Plotnick

Happy Picture Perfect Book Friday; do you know Ruben Plotnick?
Title: Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick
Author: Roz Rosenbluth
Illustrator:  Maurie J. Manning
Publisher & Date: Flashlight Press,
 September 2005
Suitable For: Ages 5 and up

Opening Page:  Ruben Plotnick is the coolest kid in my class, and he's known throughout school as "The Plotnick." Everything Ruben does is zany. He smears peanut butter mustaches under his nose at lunch. He blows bubbles with a straw in his chocolate milk. He sits on the windowsill in class and balances books on his head while he reads. He answers questions in a kooky voice, but he always knows the right answers. He's very smart. Everyone wants to be his friend.
Brief Synopsis: The young protagonist, David, has two people in his life whom he adores. One is his crazy classmate Ruben Plotnick, the other is his dear Grandma Rosie, whose aging finds her occasionally behaving 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.
Themes: Tolerance, Dementia, Respect For Differences, Friendship
Links To Resources
Listen to a podcast about the book at Just One More Book.
Read the rave reviews at Flashlight Press. 
Host a Grandparents Day. Have students sing songs for their character role models and interview them about what school was like when they were students.
Why I Like This Book: When I first read Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick, it waltzed into my heart and touched me in a way in which no other children's book had before. It’s a heartwarmingly-touching, goose-bumps moment when that kooky kid chooses the high road and dances with David's forgetful Granny. It continues to be one of my all-time favorites! This Flashlight Press treasure captivates its readers, young and old alike, because of its intergenerational flavor and flow and its sensitivity to a difficult and oft-times heartbreaking subject. Check out this book and I think you'll agree that Ruben Plotnick is a cool kid that you'll love getting to know!

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  1. We just had Grandparent's Day in my children's school last week. The kids love it so much. This looks like a fun book, and as I remember my senile Great-Grandmother, I think I need to pick this one up.
    Thanks so much for adding it to the list!
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

  2. Sounds like a very funny book. I didn't expect this book to focus on dementia. I thought it might lean more towards ADD/ADHD. But, after your review and comments it sounds like a very sensitive book for kids. Great choice.

  3. I have never heard of this one before now. It sounds like a wonderful story. I'll have to see if I can find a copy. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Thankyou Barbara, this is indeed a book I need to read, with my Mum now failing in health and unstable memory. this is a very senstive subject handled well!

  5. O wow, it isn't often I think I MUST read this book, but this is one of those moments. Thank you so much for the suggestion, what an important subject to touch on in a kid's book.

  6. What an interesting story. I have to admit I have a soft spot for kids who march to the beat of their own drummer. Hooray for Ruben.

  7. Thank you, Barbara...I love books that celebrate each person's uniqueness...this one takes it one better by including the intergenerational focus which is so important in these days of spread out families. :) Great resources also!


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!