Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still

illus. by Christine Davenier. 40p. bibliog. chron. notes. websites. HMH. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544319608. POP
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing