March 26, 2011
Review: Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes
by Jane Maritz
If the other kids were making fun of somebody, I would hug him and make him feel better.
What Mom Liked:
Having had my own share of required “paraphernalia” when I was a kid, I loved this fun look at a serious topic. Waaay back in college, I wrote a story for a marketing class project about a girl who had to wear a back brace. While the story had a similar message to this one, I love the author’s idea here of using a “silly” difference – slippery feet – to make it 1) applicable to just about any difference and 2) nonthreatening to those who do have specific differences.
The illustrations fit the the comical exaggerated storyline perfectly.
This book would serve as a great resource for kids who have differences (isn’t that most of us?), as well as for kids who need a little assistance empathizing with others. The suggested activities and discussion questions at the end drive the lesson home.
Esmé had no problem following the story. While the story is a great fit for lower-grade students, the illustrations on every other page keep the attention of smaller ones like her. Little touches like Mom catching Willie with a butterfly net were perfect for Esmé to relate to.