Book Description from Amazon.com
The young narrator’s best friend, Rudi, is very sick, and it’s hard for her to understand. When Rudi dies, the narrator and the other children in school help to build a pond by the big knobby oak to remember him by. A hummingbird feeder that Rudi made hangs by the pond, and one day a special hummingbird comes to visit. . . . Based on a true story, Rudi’s Pond is an insightful book that will help young readers to deal with loss. Once again author Eve Bunting and illustrator Ronald Himler have combined their talents to create a memorable picture book.
In “Rudi’s Pond”, author Eve Bunting writes a touching story of life, death, and grief. The young narrator is a girl that grew up with Rudi as her friend. They lived on the same street, were friends at home, and friends at school.
They played together, painted together, and went on nature hikes together with the narrator’s family. The narrator knew Rudi was sick and sometimes he didn’t feel like playing outside, so the two friends played quietly at Rudi’s house; coloring or playing video games.
When Rudi was feeling well, the two would sit by the pond, dangling their feet in the water. One day they made a hummingbird feeder from a bottle and a drinking straw.
The narrator’s Mom told her, one day, Rudi’s mom had called and said Rudi was in the hospital. Her mom told her Rudi was very, very ill; something was wrong with his heart and it was getting worse.
Author, Eve Bunting, did a great job including the stages of grief in the story. The narrator cried when her Mom told her how sick Rudi was. Rudi’s class made and sent ‘Get Well’ Cards and a Banner. The narrator asked if she could visit Rudi in the hospital, but only his mom and dad could visit him. She became angry and shouted, “He’s my best friend. It’s not fair!”
When Rudi died, the narrator wanted it to be a horrible dream. The class wrote a book of poems about Rudi. The school decided they should make a memorial to honor Rudi. The narrator tells her teacher and principal that Rudi liked ponds. A pond was built beside a big oak tree in the schoolyard. Rudi’s classmates brought plants, rocks, and shells to decorate the pond. The narrator brought the hummingbird feeder, she and Rudi had made together, and hung it on the big oak tree. She saw a hummingbird feeding from the feeder the very first day she hung it on the tree. The hummingbird came every day.
“Rudi’s Pond” is a beautiful, touching story about friendship, loss, and sadness.
This Book Review was written for the ‘Award Winning Challenge’ at: http://main.gatheringbooks.org/