Title: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository
Summary on Goodreads: Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy.
For the early grades' exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn't just make her magnificent thing --- "she tinkers and hammers and measures, she smoothes and wrenches and fiddles, she twists and tweaks and fastens." These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
A charming tale about a girl who learned that perfection isn't everything and making something just right takes many tries. I really enjoyed watching her attempt different ways to make exactly what she wanted just right. Each failure got her frustrated and it took a while to put herself back on the right path. Kids take a journey with this book are likely to enjoy both the imagery and wording that show the girl's repeated attempts and eventual solution in ways children can understand and empathize. Even adults like myself can get joy and lessons from this book. The little girl's like many of us who have a plan but not the full understanding of how long it will take for that plan to come around. Also that we can;t predict the bumps along the way and that what we view as awful, others might find useful. Plus I got a personal kick of one random kid criticizing one of the discarded pieces as wet. I pegged him as one of those nosy side critics who no one asked but always has an opinion. You know the type. I have to wonder if this was an intentional or unintentional wink at adults.
So I highly recommend this book for children. Also to the adult in your life who might be a bit of a perfectionist. Perhaps he or she will get a kick out of this book as well. A thoughtful charming read. I got an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 Stars