Peanut Butter & Whine review

Peanut Butter & Whine
November 1, 2011

Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes
by Connie Gruning

I was able to review a super cute children’s book called “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes” by Larry Peterson. Such a cute story about a boy Willie who “had slippery feet. They were so slippery that Willie just slipped, slid and spun all over the place”.

Willie gets new “Stupid, Ugly” shoes that help him walk without slipping, but they are so ugly that Willie doesn’t want to wear them.

What I like the most about this story is the message that kids (us adults too!!) we sometimes worry about things so much that we make it a much bigger deal than it really is. This story also helps children see that we all have differences.

Differences are good! It makes us special. Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes stresses that it’s okay to be different in a way that kids understand.

The book is geared to 4 to 8 year olds. But, I read it out loud to my Granddaughter Emma (3) and she enjoyed it.

The art work is excellent. Bright and colorful.

At the end of the book there are several suggested activities to do with your kids. The activities are geared for the older kids and I wasn’t able to do them very well with Emma. However through out the book I asked questions like “Would you laugh at Willie and make him sad?” When the kids are older the activities will be a definite part of this story time. This book is a great addition to our reading library.

If you would like to read an excerpt click here. Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes is available to purchase here.

For the record… Emma says the shoes are pretty.

Hanging Off the Wire review

Hanging off the Wire
October 29, 2011

Slippery Willie’s Stupid Ugly Shoes
by Hayley

Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes by Larry Peterson

About The Book:
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.” Discover how sometimes we worry about things about ourselves when actually there is nothing to worry about in the first place.
My Thoughts:
What a clever little book! The illustrations are adorable, and the story is very relevant. There is not one kid (or adult, for that matter) on this earth who has never felt inadequate. But this story of Willie takes us on a journey to self-acceptance. Everyone is normal, no matter what anyone else thinks, because we are who we are, and that is perfectly normal!

About The Author:
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, Florida for the past 28 years. For more information, please visit Slippery Willie’s Blog!

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?

Phillip H. Tang's Books Review Blog review

Phillip H. Tang’s Books Review Blog
February 4, 2010

Larry Peterson – Slippery Willie’s Stupid Ugly Shoes
by Phillip H. Tang

Willie is a young boy with slippery feet. His feet were so slippery that even his shoes would slip off his feet. There were special shoes designed specifically for Willie, except there was only one problem: they were ugly.

Willie went to school with his new ugly shoes. All his classmates laughed at him. Even the principal and his teacher laughed at him. He was too embarrassed that he went home from school.

On his way home he noticed that the school building was laughing at him. Even dogs and cats and birds were laughing at him. He got home and even his mom was laughing at his ugly shoes. The whole world was laughing at him.

…………….Then he woke up and realized it was all a dream. When he went to school nobody laughed at him and actually thought his shoes were pretty neat.

First and foremost the illustrations are excellent. I love the paper and pencil sketches with pencil crayon coloring. It is very appropriate for a children’s book.

I’m a big fan of alliteration. They are fun to read and flows very nicely off the tongue. This particular one was used very effectively:

Willie just slipped, slid and spun all over the place

The whole “it was all a dream” thing kind of bothers me. If the author wanted to show that Willie was imagining things he could have shown that the people were actually laughing about other things. Not a big deal.

Although this book is a picture book, or more accurately a book with pictures, you would still want an older audience of say 6-8 years old reading it. It is in paragraph format and at times goes on with a full wall of text before the next picture. It would be too difficult to read for the younger ages on their own and too long to keep the attention of the kids if being read to.

If interested, the book can be purchased from the author’s website in many formats including hard cover, ebook, kindle, etc. at