Life was good for Rudy the dog—until the new baby arrived . . .
I almost jumped up and down – if I had not been holding a toddler on one leg and a large black cat named Mr. Meowmer on the other – when I read about a new Sky Pony Press book called Rudy’s New Human. That was how EXCITED I was to read this book to my girls. Ever since baby – ahem, toddler, Brie entered our life two years ago, I have been adamant about reading and doing as many sibling activities together so that I could somehow forge an already blood-bond between my girls into a real friendship. However, in the almost five and a half years I have been a parent, I somehow completely forgot about the difficult transition it was for our three fur baby cats to have a new human in the house. Our cats, our fur children, had been our sole responsibility for a good nine years before Brooke first arrived on the scene and at the time Mr. Meowmer, the oldest of the bunch, was NOT a happy camper. He totally ignored Brooke until she started crawling and then he couldn’t run fast enough from her and kept his distance for at least another year.
Yet, what has happened since that time has probably surprised Mr. Sidney Meowmer even more than me. He loves his human siblings. He sleeps under Brooke’s canopy bed. He lets her pet and brush him and he actually purrs when she sits by him. While he continues to remain somewhat suspicious of Brie and her toddler yelps and grabs, he tolerates her on a new level than ever before. He must figure that if Brooke turned out to be a decent and pleasant human, Brie wouldn’t be far behind. Then it hit me as I read the synopsis of Rudy’s New Human, why had I never read a children’s book that so eloquently placed emphasis on the trials and tribulations of an animal gaining a human sibling? It’s brilliant, of course, but also quite common. Pets, like humans, get jealous of having to share their human’s attention with others. They are members of our families. Heck, our cats have either been on our annual Christmas card or return address labels for as long as I can remember, and I never forget to sign family letters from the cats. While I like to secretly think that authors think of ME when they write their books, Rudy’s New Human could become a ‘top dog’ among new sibling books of families with fur babies. So, let me stop gabbing about my life and my loves and start talking in some barks that Rudy-esque owners and soon-to-be parents will understand.
Rudy is an ‘only child’ in a family of three. That is, until Rudy’s human parents tell him they are having a baby. A HUMAN baby. He’s excited, he’s curious, he sees all the new things this baby needs and dreams of playing fetch and chewing bones with his new brother or sister. Except, the cold hard truth is finally realized when the new baby arrives. The baby is NOISY, the baby is an ATTENTION HOG, and the baby gets Rudy into TROUBLE. Rudy is not pleased and wonders if he will ever feel like he is part of the family once again. Rudy’s New Human is an adorable book that is perfect for new older siblings and dog-lovers alike who need a little hope and ease that one day….hopefully one day soon….they can become friends with their new family member and maybe, just maybe, learn to love each other. As Mr. Meowmer jumps off my lap to head into Brooke’s room for his nightly cat nap, I think this feline might just agree. Or purr and look annoyed at me bringing up his new friendship with his human sibling. Whatever, amIright?
About the Author: Roxanna Elden has been a teacher for eleven years and is the author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. Her inspiration for Rudy’s New Human came from watching her dog, Rudy Elden, as he adjusted to having a new baby human in the house. She lives in Miami, Florida. Sign up for human & pet birthday cards at her new website rudythedog.net
About the Illustrator: Ginger Seehafer is an illustrator who works as a commercial storyboard and concept artist in the Chicagoland area. She studied at the American Academy of Art and started her art career as a caricature artist at Great America. Ginger loves making art that inspires joy and creativity, especially in children who may become future artists themselves. She lives with her husband, two little humans, and two cats in Roselle, Illinois.
List Price: $ 16.99 (Currently on sale at Amazon.com for $12.91)