Rufus Finds a Home

Stories for the Early Years (Book 2)

Children - Grade K-3rd
50 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Theodore Jerome Cohen, PhD, is an award-winning author who has published more than ten novels, all but one of them mystery/thrillers. He also writes Young Adult (YA) novels under the pen name "Alyssa Devine." Rufus Finds a Home is his second illustrated children's storybook in the series Stories for the Early Years, the first being Pepe Builds a Nest. During the course of his 45-year career he has worked as an engineer, scientist, CBS Radio Station News Service (RSNS) commentator, investor, private investigator, and Antarctic explorer. With his background, he's been able to mix fiction with reality in ways even his family and friends have been unable to unravel! You can read more about Ted on his Website.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

Books written for the very young - mostly meant to be read aloud and to have their illustrations presented each step along - like Rufus Finds a Home by Theodore Jerome Cohen, are individually appreciated for their particular cogency of content, attentiveness of voice, and power to engage with illustrative style. The story’s plot - a most important core for any tale - with the very young becomes almost secondary to the visual presentation and aural rhythms. That is, these books are meant to stimulate a young person’s imaginary inclination toward making up his own storyline while listening to sounds, watching pictures, and imbibing a message more subliminally induced than strictly understood. The skill to accomplishing such a daunting task is great, but Theodore Jerome Cohen succeeds masterfully.

Rufus Finds a Home tells a story with a valuable message. Rufus is the longtime golden retriever companion of Charlie, a man so great with age he must make a life decision to surrender his own care unto others, and so must proffer unto Rufus - his very best friend in life - the same generous gift. To whom he shall bequeath his faithful companion becomes the subject of this heartwarming little book. In telling how Rufus Finds a Home, Theodore Jerome Cohen finds a piercing cogency of content during Charlie’s momentary encounter with two endearing children while sharing nostalgic memories of his pal. Just so, the author grabs his youthful listener’s rapt attention with perfect rhymes suited to easy personal narration by parental readers. Finally, the illustrations – focused exclusively on Rufus – are so gloriously simple, stylized, and precious that the child will want to claim the friendly fellow for himself. And learning to embrace such protective feelings is a worthy message to be embedded in such a charming book.

Holly Connors

For Feathered Quill Book Review

Rufus is a beautiful golden retriever who lives with Charlie, a wonderful, caring man. Charlie loves his dog but the man is getting older and can no longer care for Rufus. What will happen to this special dog?

Rufus is full of energy and wants to play. He loves to chase sticks, go for long walks, and explore his surroundings. While Charlie would love to run around with his dog, the man has grown old and tired - he can't play fetch with his dog now. The two sit by a tree on a beautiful fall day, as Charlie worries about his dog. Soon Charlie will be moving to his daughter's house, and Rufus won't be able to follow his owner to the new home. Charlie remembers many of the fun times the two shared, but his thoughts keep returning to his dog's future. What will become of Rufus?

While the two friends sit quietly by the tree, a young boy comes up to Charlie. He asks the man about his dog - what's his name, can he do any tricks - and Charlie's face lights up. There's nothing he loves better than talking about Rufus. Charlie tells Jimmy about the tricks Rufus can do, how the dog went to doggie school and was a star pupil, and how Rufus helps around the house. Jimmy is quickly joined by his sister Heather, and their mother, and all three are intrigued by the beautiful golden retriever.

As Charlie talks about his dog, Heather notices that he is quite sad.

"Then why are you sad?" asked the boy's sister, Heather,
"A fine dog like Rufus should bring joy forever."

"I know," said the man, wiping tears from his eyes,
"but old age has taken my youth by surprise."

It's obvious that Jimmy and his family are loving people who adore Rufus. Will they be able to give the dog a new home?

While I've read and reviewed many dog stories that deal with rescues and finding homes for abandoned dogs, this is the first one that deals with a very difficult, but rarely discussed, topic of what happens when an elderly person is no longer able to care for their pet. Having to part with a beloved pet is hard for anybody, but for an elderly person who may have already lost a spouse, or other loved one, the event can be particularly stressful. Told in rhyme, with lovely photographs of Rufus that fit perfectly with each page's action, the story is easy to follow and heartwarming too. Rufus Finds a Home is a book that children will love to read, while it also educates them about how/why dogs sometimes need new homes.

Quill says: A difficult subject, tackled with sensitivity, makes Rufus Finds a Home a wonderful story and one children will enjoy and want to read over and over.

Elizabeth Carr

For Penny Minding Mom

“Rufus Finds a Home” by Theodore Jerome Cohen is the story of a beautiful and playful Golden Retriever and his aging owner Charlie. Things are changing for Charlie and Rufus. Charlie is finding it more and more difficult to care for Rufus properly. He experiences memory lapses and sometimes forgets Rufus outside, and when Rufus wants run and play, Charlie is unable to play with him like he used to. Charlie makes the difficult decision to find a new home for Rufus. Will Charlie find a new and loving home for Rufus before he moves in with his daughter?

“Rufus Finds a Home” that will tug at your heartstrings. It is a story of true compassion, caring for others and doing the right thing even when it’s a heartbreaking decision. Your heart breaks for Charlie that he has to give up Rufus. Your heart leaps for joy for Rufus, that he has found a home with some children who are able to run and play with him and for the friendship that Charlie and Rufus will have for years to come with a little help from his new friends.

“Rufus Finds a Home” is geared to children in Grades 1 and 2. The illustrations are simply adorable and will appeal to any dog lover out there. The story is so relevant to our family right now. My son wants a dog more than anything in the world, but like Charlie in the story, we just aren’t able to give a dog all the things that it needs to be happy and healthy. My son and I talked about why Charlie decided to give up Rufus and compared it to our situation. He drew a parallel between Charlie moving into his daughter’s house and us heading out to the campground during the summer months where dogs are allowed but have very restricted freedom. We talked about how Charlie forgot Rufus outside one day and the dog had to wait for Charlie to remember to let him in and compared it to how we aren’t home during the day and a dog would be left all on his own. “Rufus Finds a Home” helped my son understand that right now, while we would love a dog dearly, a dog needs more than just love. While it is a difficult decision to not have a pet that my son would love with all his heart, we need to do what is best for that pet and not let our own selfish wants get in the way.

“Rufus Finds a Home” is a story to read to any animal lover. It is a book that will help teach your child compassion and about caring for others, humans and animals alike. Check out “Rufus Finds a Home” on Mr. Cohen’s website to learn more.