The Story of Wobbly Willie Cranford is a little tale told in a simple rhyming style that children will enjoy. Wobbly Willie is a bit different. He's a short, stout fellow who walks in a unique rocking fashion. Wobbly Willie is happy and confident because he has always received love and acceptance from the people around him.
This is the simple message of this little book: that kindness can create a world where everyone can be happy being themselves. Nobody else in town looks like Willie, but it doesn't matter because they accept him just as he is.
Too often those on the receiving end of bullying are told that they just need to toughen up and not let it get to them. Fat kids in particular are often mercilessly bullied and then told by adults that the bullying is "for their own good" and they should use it to motivate themselves to lose weight. Internalizing this message leads to lives destroyed by eating disorders and self-loathing.
As someone who has lived with an eating disorder since I was twelve years old (I am now 55) and with self-loathing for most of my life, I dearly hope that the messages in this book, both the message of self-acceptance and the message of accepting others as they are, reach their target audience.
I wish that no other child would ever have to know the pain that I have known, but I fear that we have a long way to go. This book gives me hope that at least some people are trying to make positive changes. Nobody's appearance should ever be made the subject of ridicule.
I give The Story of Wobbly Willie Cranford five out of five stars and hope that its message makes a much-needed impact on the world.