November 14, 2011
Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes can teach us all a life lesson
by Donna Chaffins
I recently received a PDF copy of "Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes" by Larry Peterson, to review. What a treat! My son will be nine in less than two weeks and could easily reat "Sliippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes" by himself, but my husband or I read to him for approximately 20 minutes every day, so I read this book aloud to him.
I emailed it to myself and uploaded it to my iPad, so I could easily read it to him, and show him the pictures as we sat on his bed.
Willie Wiggles hates his slippery feet. He just slips, slides and spins all over the place. But what he hates even more are the special shoes that have been made for him that will help him to walk just like all the other kids. Willie thinks that they are the "stupidest, ugliest shoes in the whole world."
I don't want to give away too much about this book... but I will share with you what my son and I took away from it. I asked my son one of the suggested questions at the end of the book -- "Would you stick up for someone that was being laughed at, or would you laugh along with everyone else?" He was very honest, and said that if the shoes were really stupid and ugly he might not be able to help himself, but that he would tell Willie that it's okay, and he should learn to laugh at himself. He did say that if someone was being laughed at or picked on, he would stand up for that person, though. Especially if others were doing it to just be mean.
I was reminded that we stress way too much over what others may think, when there really isn't anything to worry about in the first place. As women, we worry that what we wear or look like may seem stupid or ugly, when truth be told, other people just don't care. They're probably too worried that we are thinking something they are wearing is stupid or ugly. And that's the truth. We know that what is on the outside is incidental... it truly is what's on the inside.
No matter what we look like on the outside, we are all much more alike on the inside than we are different. I want my son to embrace the outward differences -- his uniqueness. And for him to understand how alike we all are. He said it best, "Mommy, we all want to be loved, we all hurt when people are mean to us, and laughing with someone is much better than laughing at someone." Out of the mouth of babes.
I highly recommend this book. It's short, sweet, and filled with a lesson for all ages.
About Larry Peterson:
Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. As a freelancer,, he has written many newspaper columns for local publications. "Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes is his first children's book. Peterson has lived in Pinellas Park, FL, for the past 28 years. You can connect with him on Facebook.
You can purchase Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes at tribute books.
Share your thoughts on accepting differences? Visit the SlipperyWillie website.