Fireflies: CLIP Review: Wilma Unlimited         

Aug 3, 2012

CLIP Review: Wilma Unlimited

Author:  Kathleen Krull
Illustrator:  David Diaz
Suggested Age: Grades 1-3

This past weekend one of my grandsons brought me a 3-legged lizard "to fix" and a granddaughter was in tears over a ladybug that she was sure had stopped breathing. Children's hearts seem to  "root for the underdog" and have such faith that somehow everything will turn out perfectly. It seemed like an ideal time to begin sharing with them about some real-life "underdogs" who had shown perseverance in times of adversity to turn their lives around. And now with the Olympics, what better place to begin than with a great woman from the past - Wilma Rudolph.  

In 1944, just before turning five, an extremely energetic little Wilma was struck with polio, which paralyzed her left leg. The grim diagnosis was that she would never walk again.  Wilma refused to believe it. But her journey from diagnosis to representing the United States as a participant at the Olympic Games in Rome - as a runner - was long and hard.  What a thrill to compare the illustration of Wilma wearing the bulky, painful leg brace as a child and years later to see her sprinting in triumph over the finish line, making Olympic history at only 20 years old.  Click HERE for a video from the author.

Our children may face obstacles that seem overwhelming to them (and us!).  I hope you will share this book of perseverance and triumph with your children, realizing that, with determination, one can succeed despite the odds against them. 

Oh, on a final note...when we put the 3-legged lizard down - he did run off into the grass.