Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Most Magnificent Thing is a Magnificent Picture Book

I have been hurting for picture books lately.  I keep reading books that have left me very uninspired.  I had this slump last year, right before a plethora of great stuff came on the market, so I am hoping that I just have to bide my time and soon an avalanche of great stuff will follow.

That said, I did find this book, which was a break in the clouds.  It just made my week to find a picture book that made me smile, that had inspired illustrations and that spoke to my kids.  Bravo Ashley Spires for getting me out of my picture book gloom and doom.

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Title:       The Most Magnificent Thing

Author:  Ashley Spires

Target:   Preschool - Grade 2

What this book is about: 
A regular girl and her best friend (a dog) decide one day that they are going to make the most magnificent thing.  They gather supplies, they pound and they measure and they create …. something that is all wrong!  They try again and still it is not working.  As the girl gets madder and madder she becomes frustrated and careless.  After she hurts her finger she decides to take a break.  Once she comes back to the project with fresh eyes, she creates something that is not quite perfect … but it is just what she wanted.

Why I love this book: 
I always think that the best picture books touch on elements of human nature that we all share with humor and understanding.   This book is no exception.  I could see everyone of my kids (and even me) as they struggle with failure.  So often adults are tempted to swoop in to help a struggling child, or the child simply gives up when the going gets tough … but there is so much value in working through the frustration and this book celebrates that.

Spires so successfully delivers the humor in this story with her artwork that includes eye rolls and glares, as well as the text where she plays the straight man to her fabulous graphics.

What makes this book work is that Spires doesn’t cheat.  She takes on the creative process which is difficult and where success doesn’t always come easily.  She doesn’t shy away from the anger or even the temper tantrum!  Even the ending where the final product is not quite perfect, but perfect enough is perfection.

Who this book is for: 
Great for all kids.  A wonderful book to help them navigate the disappointment when what they imagine in their head is not what comes out of their hands.  Also, Spires tells the story with just enough humor to make us willing to see ourselves.

This book also reminded me of Rosie Revere Engineer, so if your child like that one, this one should also be a hit.

Final thoughts: 
This book is certainly a magnificent thing!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Most Magnificent Thing  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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