LovLivLife Reviews

LovLivLife Reviews
March 31, 2011

Lovin’ Children’s Books [Review]: Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson

by Chasity

Cleverly written with vibrant illustrations to match.

Interestingly, I’m going through a phase where I’m feeling a bit self-conscious about myself and so this story is right up my alley. Children stories are as simple as they come but can impact you just the same as… say a true account told by Victor Frankl (my favorite). Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes is just that: Simple, fun, cleverly exaggerated story with a clear message.
The illustrations are clear and rich with color and emotion. My 6 yo daughter was sadden by Willie’s sad face and when asked at the end of the story: “If you were in school with Willie, and everyone was making fun of him, would you stick up for him or join the others?” She immediately said she would be his friend.

Parents will be pleased to see that at the end of Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes there is an Interaction Guide and Discussion Questions. Though many of us do this already and many times we ask and do as we read along. It is nice to have them there.

All in all, Fantastic Children’s title and one I think parents and children alike can learn from.

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer review

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
March 30, 2011

Blog Tour: Book Review – Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson

by Kathy Habel

2 important lessons are taught in the short picture book. It’s not nice to make fun of others who are different and sometimes we worry too much what others will think.

I admit about half way through I wasn’t sure about this book. I was feeling pretty bad for poor Willie and wondering where the author was going with the story. It wrapped up in a way that made a great story to teach children about differences and how we treat others. This book would be useful in a classroom setting especially one with children who have disabilities.

Retail Therapy Lounge review

Retail Therapy Lounge
March 29, 2011

Slippery Willie EBook Review
by Carol Perry

This is a delightful little story. My daughter just laughed as his silly antics and shoes. She may be a little young to truly realize the moral of the story – but it is never too early to start impressing morals and values on children. This is on my laptop and iPad and we have read it often. Plus it is nice to have on the spur of the moment!


Bullying—what to do? I do not have a Phd. in child psych or anything like that. I am a parent, grandparent, former little league coach and a writer who used to be a construction worker in NYC. My credentials on the topic of bullying were earned in the “school of hard knocks” having learned from the old time teachers whose names were, experience & common sense, although it seems common sense has been forcibly retired and replaced by a nosense guy called zero tolerance. I digress.

First of all, we are all unique. But my experience has taught me that the kids who wind up being bullied invariably feel they are “more different” than their peers and do not feel good about themselves. They hate their nose, their eyeglasses, their hair, maybe their parent’s car is “old” and they are embarrassed being seen in it. It starts there and the bully will sense it. Why are some kids easier targets for a bully than others? The first line of defense against the bullies of the world is a suit of armor called self worth and self respect. This comes from the parent(s). This is CRUCIAL. A child can and must be taught that being different is OK. When they begin their journey outside the home (which often times starts in a day care center) they may be ready to defend who they are. If they are not prepared they are easy prey to the bullies of the world who will sense it and attack. So parents, teach by word and deed. Help the needy, say HI to a homeless guy, visit a rehab center where kids who are “different” are being treated. The preparation for the battle all starts at home. If you suspect your child is having a problem with a bully, ask him/her straight out. Then voice your concerns with the school. Go on-line and access the plethora of info available. And—do not be afraid of using some good, old fashioned, common sense.

Reviews by Molly

Reviews by Molly
March 29, 2011

Tribute Books Blog Tour and Review – Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson
by Molly Edwards

First of all, I just gotta say, that I wish I had this in hard copy form because my kids would have ADORED this book, ALMOST as much as I did :-). And, the little boy, Willie Wiggles, bless his heart, I loved his name. It’s just so darn cute! But, the message of the story is what I love the most.

‘Slippery’ Willy had a bit of a problem….he couldn’t stop slipping when he was on his feet. Poor little guy! So, he had to have special (or in his thoughts, stupid ugly shoes!) that kept him from slipping so much. But, he just knew that they were HORRID, and the kids would absolutely, with out a doubt make fun of him. He sat down with his mom (gotta love us mamas!) and talked about the importance of not worrying what others will think, and to be happy with who you are, because, while you’re not the same as others, you’re still unique and special. I truly loved that! Every child is special no matter what.

This book will have a special place in my heart forever. You see, my son was born with a cleft lip and palate. He is now 6 almost 7, and while his lip is repaired, he has a slightly, barley noticeable, crooked nose and a scar. I have worried for two years about him going to school and the kids picking on him. Yet, after two years, nothing. They accept him for who he is. It warms my heart that the kids are so accepting like that. Just like ‘Slippery’ Willie, my son is different, yet the same as everyone. He was made to be who he is and that is that.

I am truly pleased to be a part of this blog tour and to have had the chance to read this book by Larry Peterson. He has a talent for writing, and for creating a story that touches not only children’s hearts, but the hearts of the parents, too. I highly recommend this book with 4 stars to every parent out there with young children. The message is strong and the book is perfect for all kids.

A Little Hope…Amidst the Chaos review

A Little Hope…Amidst the Chaos
March 28, 2011

Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson
by Hope Davis

This is a book that I will be purchasing or highly recommending for all my friends as they have kids. They may not need it right away but they will need it. I don’t know if anyone can ever say they have never felt different and weren’t sure it was a good thing!

We all have times in our lives to where what makes us unique is what we think is our flaw when it can turn out to what makes us wonderful and the perfect version of us!

I think the author does a great job of making a children’s book that speaks to all ages! It’s cute and funny but not so child like hokey that the big manly Dad’s won’t want to read it to their kids!

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Mozi Esme review

Mozi Esme
March 26, 2011

Review: Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes
by Jane Maritz

Esme’s Comment:
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.

"Little Petie"

Every year at this time, “Little Petie”, the “kid” inside me, becomes absolutely impossible to deal with. He is obnoxious, and overbearing, is determined to get his way and will not take NO for an answer. He is banging on the walls, jumping up and down, rolling around on the floor and even hollering, “Open up! Let me outta here! Open up already!” So, whatever is his problem? Well, it is baseball. He knows that opening day of the major league baseball season is less than a week away. He also thinks that he still lives only six blocks from Yankee Stadium.

He does not understand that things have changed. He still has this crazy notion that he and his friends can run over to the Stadium, hang out by the players entrance on 158th Street and see the “Mick” and “Yogi” and the “Scooter” and the “Moose” and the other guys. He thinks that if I let him out he and his buddy, Stixie” will be able to somehow have, by the 2nd inning, wangled their way into the ball park and will be sitting in the Mezzanine watching the Yanks slaughter the Red Sox. After the last out he and Stixie will jump the fence near the dugout and, with hundreds of other kids and grownups, run onto the field, tearing around the base paths and running around the outfield. He will make believe he is Mickey Mantle running and catching A “Ballantine Blast” off the bat of Ted Williams then throwing a strike to the plate from the the very same spot that the “Mick” had thrown from only moments before. He also knows that if he gets out he will be able to do this all summer long, right up until school starts in September.
Well, as a parent to the little guy, I have to be hard hearted and tell him, unequivocally, “NO!! You cannot leave. Discussion over.” Simple as that. Being a parent is tough work. Sometimes you have to disappoint even if it breaks your heart.
It will be okay. “Little Petie” will get over it and by May he’ll be tucked safely back in his little world, quiet and content until next March. In the meantime, he’ll join me in rooting for his new team, the “Tampa Bay Rays” (Who ???–in case you never heard of them they beat the mighty Yankees for the division title two of the last three years) and for some of the new guys like Longoria and Upton and Price. Maybe we’ll catch a few games at Tropicana Field. Will we get to run onto the field? Yeah, right? ” PLAY BALL!!

Interview with the Dabbling Mum

The Dabbling Mum
March 25, 2011

Interview with Larry Peterson

Larry Peterson, author of the children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”, is a part-time writer who spends a good deal of his time caring for his wife and working in the high school cafeteria. Though his schedule is full as a part-time employee and caregiver, he’s found a way to keep his passion alive…reminding us all that there is no excuse too big that we cannot follow our dreams as writers.

How did you get started writing professionally?
I wrote a few unsolicited columns for a local newspaper (about 20 years ago) and dropped them off at the paper. The owner/publisher, a man by the name of Judson Bailey, gave me a call and asked me to stop by.

He was an old-timer from the old-school of journalism (pre-computer, pound the pavement guy). He had a great mane of silver hair that flowed backward to his shoulders and the bushiest silver eyebrows. He also smoked a huge pipe and—well, he was quite the guy.

Had worked in NYC for years as a reporter and editor. Anyway, he says to me, “Petie, you have this unique way of saying things. So, give me a column a week about whatever you want to write about. I’ll give you $25.00 a pop.”

Imagine that…I never did anything professionally and he tells me to write what I want. Never edited anything either. Amazing! That’s how I started. That went on for about five years and then Mr. Bailey passed away from cancer. I did continue to write for the paper and a few others, but they all went belly-up. So, from maybe 95’ until about three years ago I was traveling in writer’s limbo.

What was your path towards publication like?
A winding, curvy road with hills and valleys and pot holes and ditches that finally hit a straightaway. However, I am sure more curves and bumps are up ahead.

What was the first market you queried and why did you choose that market?
“Okay—“Reader’s Digest”. Why? It was there and asked for submissions. I was far from being a serious writer and, naturally, the piece was rejected.

What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to pitching yourself as a writer and what steps have you taken to overcome that obstacle?
I am very uncomfortable talking about myself. Doing this is actually a bit of therapy in helping me get by that. I know that being a writer requires exposure so I am really appreciating this opportunity.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Sure…“Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes” is about a boy who has slippery feet and slips, slides and spins all over the place. His shoes and socks even slip off all by themselves. Willie hates his slippery feet. Special shoes are made for him to help him overcome his handicap and he hates them because he thinks they are the “stupidest, ugliest shoes anywhere and he is sure everyone will laugh at him. Anyway, you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens. LOL

Ultimately, the book addresses differences kids may have and shows them that it is OK to be different. The book received the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval ( it is not a religious book).

If you could choose just one thing for your book to accomplish, what would it be?
If there is one child somewhere on this planet who gets the message from this story that it is okay to be different well, for me, that would be a HOME RUN.

How do you balance your life as a writer with your duties as a parent or spouse?
At this point in my life I actually have the luxury of being able to write every day.

My first wife, Loretta, was ill for a long time even when are kids were young. She died 8 years ago from melanoma. I had come down with MS and had to get “walking” which I did (yeah, I can see and stand and everything—docs, God bless ’em—they don’t know everything. Hey, I even had prostate cancer—4 years out and doing good.

I remarried four years ago to a great lady, named Marty, who was a widow and a member of SVDP, too. Right after we married I had the prostate surgery. She was great. Now, she has come down with cancer and it is a high-grade lymphoma and has spread rapidly. Tomorrow she goes for chemo treatment #2 in a 4 cycle regimen.

She is now my priority. However, unlike years back, I still have time to write. As a man—my duties are to my family first. When I have time for me I just say .”Thank you Lord”. Simple as that.

The point is, for me, you play the cards you are dealt—no matter how lousy. Give it to God and keep on smiling. I MEAN that.

What is your best advice for getting past writer’s block?
For me it is to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Even gibberish. I have even just doodled letters before I actually made gibberish. It works for me. Sooner or later some of the gibberish triggers a coherent thought and then BOOM !!! You suddenly have a sentence.

What was the best writing-related advice you ever received?
Mr. Bailey told me, over 20 years ago, that when writing, I should be careful not to try to be someone I am not. To develop my own style and voice. We are all unique, even writers.

So, I do remember that. I am careful not to copy a style but rather, use the advice I learn in Writer’s Digest and apply it in what I do.

It is the same as a baseball player. They all have their own unique batting stance but, when they go to swing the bat, the hips have to turn, and the bat must go level through the strike zone, head tucked into shoulder. Same thing—a writer’s swing will either strike out or get a hit. But he/she does not want to change their stance to look like someone else.

What do you feel is the single most detrimental thing a writer could do to destroy his/her career as a writer?
I believe if you start thinking that you are the reincarnation of Hemingway or that you are really a “GREAT” writer you are doomed. Better hold on to some humility. No one can succeed in this or any business without others helping, from publishers, editors, etc. Even rejections should be looked upon as positives.

ahead for your writing?

I have a novel completed “The Priest & The Peaches”. It has to do with five kids who, over a period of several years, lose their parents and wind up on their own. I hope it appeals to the YA level but I think it can appeal to adults also. It is sad and funny; not bleak.

This might be the first in a series following these kids as they grow but I’m not going there yet. This one is still an unproven commodity. I also have another children’s book that needs a re-write and some other stuff. The fact is, I am a novice at social-networking and having an online presence. Nicole Langan, from Tribute, has been a wonderful help in getting me started in this area and I’m trying to learn as much as I can. So I must spend time doing that too.

It's Time to Read review

It’s Time to Read
March 25, 2011

Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson

by Katie Leversuch

This is a story about Slippery Willie – the boy who slips and slides everywhere. In an effort to prevent this, his Mum buys him very secure shoes. Willie, however, thinks the shoes look ridiculous and doesn’t want to wear them. He gets so upset about the shoes that he has a nightmare that everyone, including planes overhead and buildings are laughing at him. All is resolved once he wakes up and speaks with his Mum.

This book is only 24 pages long, and is fully illustrated. As an adult, I enjoyed the book, and could even relate to the worrying! This was a fun book that children will engage with. The story is simple but teaches how worrying about something achieves nothing but makes you sad and scared.

I thought the illustrations were lovely. They didn’t dominate the story but they added to the story. They added an element of humour to the book too:

The only problem I had with this book was the constant use of the word “stupid”. I felt that was unnecessary and I’m not sure I would want my child speaking like that. Other than that, this was an enjoyable book that I think children will have fun reading and laughing along with.

Rating: 4/5