instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads


A Junior Library Guild Selection (Spring, 2016)

Nadia Comaneci went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games. Along the way, there was hard work, determination, and several imperfect moments. Following Nadia from her introduction to gymnastics to her first Olympics, this picture book celebrates the spirit of a champion and the energy of a little girl who couldn't sit still.

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.

"Gray debuts with a picture book biography of phenomenal romanian gymnast nadia comaneci, the star of the 1976 olympic games. . . . the jaunty narrative takes readers from comaneci’s childhood through her first olympics with lively illustrations in ink, watercolor, and pencil."—Publishers Weekly

"Gray's narrative is as sprightly as a gymnast's back flips. . . . [a] respectful, 40th-anniversary tribute to Comaneci's soaring achievements."—Kirkus Reviews

"As a sports biography, and a story of a positive female role model, this book is a perfect 10 for any library!" —School Library Connection

"Based on the popularity of gymnastics in the United States and this year’s upcoming summer Olympics, this book will find a ready audience." —School Library Journal (A SLJ Popular Pick)

"This book is magical! The world is in need of more non-fiction picture books, and Karlin Gray has served the gymnastics community well by providing our young acrobats with a poetic account of one of gymnastics’ greats!"—Gym Gab Blog

“The engaging story of a girl who worked hard through setbacks is complemented by ink and colored-pencil illustrations that match Nadia’s energy, capturing both her falls and her flights to Olympic perfect 10s.”—The Horn Book

"Gray’s lyrical language flows as smoothly as Nadia flew through the air and will land in readers’ hearts as a perfect 10."—Celebrate Picture Books blog

"Young readers will be inspired to follow their dreams after reading this book."—Story Monsters Ink magazine

A We Are Teachers’ Selection: Perfect Read-Aloud for Teaching Growth Mindset

A Girl's Life Rad Read

"This book is a perfect introduction to one of the games' most popular sports and most beloved champions."—Books for Kids blog

"Lovely....the illustrations make me want to move, they’re absolutely spot-on for this sweet, true story."—Imagination Soup

"[An] inspiring story, one that will delight anyone who’s ever been asked, “why can’t you just sit still?”—Politics & Prose, staff pick

Order NADIA at any of these stores: