Lazar, the Good Deed Dog; Giv­ing Love and Respect to Our Elderly

Myr­na Gel­man Shanker; Lin­da Robin­son, illus.
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
Lazar is a large gold­en retriev­er who lives in the Fleis­chman Res­i­dence for the elder­ly. A senior him­self, Lazar likes to peek into each resident’s room to check on his human friends. As we fol­low Lazar through the sto­ry, we meet the res­i­dents of this senior com­mu­ni­ty. We join Mrs. Epstein, a retired teacher, as she enjoys Jeop­ardy on TV, and watch Mrs. Fried­man, a for­mer actress, get her hair set at the salon. There’s Abie Bess­er, dressed in his Army uni­form, and Mrs. Eisen­berg paint­ing Lazar’s por­trait. Each senior is shown enjoy­ing the activ­i­ties in the res­i­dence while at the same time being val­ued for their past con­tri­bu­tions to soci­ety. Lazar’s own tale of going from home­less stray to senior com­pan­ion is woven into the sto­ry, as are sug­ges­tions for how read­ers can help con­nect with senior friends or rel­a­tives. Robinson’s gen­tle illus­tra­tions com­bine with Shanker’s rhyming text to present a pow­er­ful mes­sage to young read­ers: it is impor­tant to share love and respect with the seniors in their lives and in their com­mu­ni­ty. For ages 4 – 8.

Mar­cia Ber­neger is a retired teacher who lives with her hus­band and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and sec­ond grade, as well as spe­cial edu­ca­tion. She cur­rent­ly teach­es Torah school, in addi­tion to her vol­un­teer work in class­rooms, libraries, and with var­i­ous fundrais­ers. She lives in San Diego.

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