Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

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9780544319608: Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still
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Nadia Comaneci was a feisty and fearless little girl who went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games, where she received an unprecedented seven perfect scores in gymnastics. But as readers will see in this first-ever illustrated picture book about Nadia’s journey to Olympic gold, the road from small-town girl to world-class athlete was full of many imperfect moments.
     Expert illustrations that capture the energy and fluidity of Nadia's exuberant gymnastic routines and referential back matter round out this inspirational story of determination and overcoming adversity. A perfect 10.

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About the Author:

As a little girl, Karlin Gray loved gymnastics but she wasn't feisty, fearless, or focused like Nadia Comaneci. Karlin had no problem sitting still . . . daydreaming and, eventually, writing. After working several years in publishing, she sat down and wrote her first picture book, Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still. Karlin lives in Connecticut with her husband, son, and a very bouncy dog.

From School Library Journal:

K-Gr 3—This picture book biography of Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci draws information from accounts written by Comaneci and her coach Bela Karolyi, as well as other sources, to present a somewhat idealized story of a lively little girl who became a champion. Climbing trees, roller skating, biking—Nadia is in constant movement until her mother lands upon the idea of signing her up for gymnastics lessons. Her ability at age six catches the attention of Karolyi, who, with his wife Marta, runs a gymnastics school. The text describes the dedication and years of practice that were required of Nadia, including even difficult moments, such as her 13th-place ranking at her first Romanian Junior National Championships competition. But the cheerful illustrations, rendered in ecoline and colored ink, with colored pencil accents, maintain a buoyant tone throughout. The pictures include a lot of energy, showing Nadia as upbeat and determined. If Comaneci suffered along her road to the Olympics, those details are left out. Several pages are devoted to her record-breaking performances at the 1976 Olympics. A brief afterword fills in later parts of her life, such as winning more medals at the 1980 Olympics and defecting from Romania in 1989. VERDICT Based on the popularity of gymnastics in the United States and this year's upcoming summer Olympics, this book will find a ready audience.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

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Written by Karlin Gray, illustrated by Christine Davenier
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