For Kids (Adults too) Overcoming Differences: You Can Do It !!

Review Redux:  Slippery Willies Stupid, Ugly Shoes

5.0 out of 5 stars Overcoming Differences: You Can Too! 
This review is from: Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes (Hardcover)

I had the opportunity to review a children’s book, Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson. It is an easy read for school-aged children where they can relate to the message. Peterson depicts an excellent message that is it okay to be different than everyone else and sometimes your own fear is the biggest hurdle. Many children face bullying in school by their peers and this story gives children courage to be themselves.

I wanted to read this to my daughter but it is a little too mature for her age right now but I would love to purchase the book for her to have when she is older to read and understand the message of accepting differences. Everyone is not the same and you should not put a person down or make fun of them because they are not like you.

Scroll down on right to a Story Cub presentation of Slippery Willie and to view the book trailer


Share your thoughts about accepting differences

Please leave a comment with your ideas about how we can accept others who may be different.

Interactive Guide

Suggested Activities

1. Wear something to school that you think is ugly to see if other kids think it is ugly too. (Different viewpoints may enhance empathy.)

2. Volunteer at a local children’s hospital or rehabilitation center for interaction with kids that are “different.”

3. Implement classroom role playing activities among groups, having some kids experiment “alternative” ways of seeing, hearing and moving. (This might help develop positive changes in attitudes and perceptions of handicapped children by non-handicapped children.)

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever had to wear something to school that made you feel embarrassed? If so, what was it? How did your peers react? Did everyone think it was ugly?

2. What would you do if you were Willie and your shoes would not come off?

3. If you were in school with Willie, and everyone was making fun of him, would you stick up for him or join the others?

4. Some people are tall, some short, some have light skin, some have dark skin, some have bigger noses or ears than others and some have different color eyes. Does this make us all different or are we all still the same?

"Grippers" (how to get homeless without even trying # 9)

Episode # 9  The Home Visit  (click on the “Grippers tab and scroll down for the previous 8 episodes)

Their newly discovered sense of helplessness had Bob and Tracey drained and exhausted. They had $40.00 to their name, the electricity had been turned off, the inside of the house was hovering at about 90 degrees, the refrigerator was rapidly losing its coldness while the hot water heater was losing its hotness, the stove could not be used, and the anxious look on 12 year old Jake’s face spoke volumes about their situation. Bob’s family included a brother in North Carolina who was raising three young children on his own because his wife had passed away a year earlier from cancer and his mom and dad who had no other income except Social Security and had serious health issues. Up until six months earlier it had been Bob and Tracey who were helping them out.  Tracey was an only child and both her parents had passed away. The Sliders needed a break, a temporary reprieve, to help them gather their thoughts and breathe a bit. They received this from perfect strangers.

A man and woman from the St. Vincent De Paul Society at Sacred Heart Catholic Church came by to visit. Unpretentious, friendly, and not mentioning religion, they had managed to quickly put Tracey and her skeptical and defensive husband at ease. They managed to share some common ground about people and places in Pinellas Pines and even managed to have a few laughs together. The Vincentians were able to have the power restored by 6 p.m. and got a two week  extension on the water bill, guaranteeing payment if Bob and Tracey could not come up with the money. This technique helped Bob save face as he told them, “Don’t worry, I’ll have it covered by then. Thanks for backing me up. I really appreciate it.”

The Vincentians left and Bob and Tracey began planning a huge yard sale for the coming weekend. Bob had posted signs in strategic locations around the neighborhood and by 7 a m. Saturday morning their front yard was filled with “stuff”. They managed to take in over $1200.00. There was a trade-off however. Besides selling their sofa, two bicycles, two TV’s and a computer desk plus a ton of lawn maintenance equipment, tools and clothes, and all sorts of housewares, someone had offered them $800.00 for Tracey’s car, even with the blown fuel pump. They accepted the offer. They were able to pay the water bill, car insurance, the cable bill, phone bill and internet service and even took $150.00 and had their computer reformatted by their friend, Gary. They were good through June and into July. All Bob needed to do was to find some work so they could keep “above water”.

Next time: Episode #10  Good News and Bad News