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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires *(NetGalley)

The Most Magnificent Thing 
written by Ashley Spires
Published by Kids Can Press


4.5 ☆'s

How many times have you heard - "For-Get-It! It wasn't supposed to look like that!" Helping children understand stress, trying, accepting failures, and not being perfect is difficult. Hell-O-Fuzzy - - those feelings are hard to deal with as adults. This lil' book shows kids how to handle those emotions and could prevent your youngster's next melt down.

Just like my granddaughter (and daughter before) despite her best efforts the little girl failed to create exactly what she imagined. But unlike my precious, perfection seeking granddaughter in The Most Magnificent Thing, the little girl walks away, takes her dog for a stroll, and cools off. She returns to her project with a new attitude and gets it just the way she imagined it. The book is well written using verbs in sets of three. I loved seeing 'old school' words like fastens, fiddles, and tinkers. The art work is beautifully done. It is delightful, bright, and easy to follow. The strong positive message makes this book a winner at our house.

In a nutshell - I love the book! The author tackles anger, frustration, and disappointment head-on. Even the drawings leave no room for any doubt that the lil girl is mad. Then the author, complimented by the art, makes it easy to see there are other ways to handle these situations. But most importantly it demonstrates no-one is perfect. We all make mistakes and experience failure.The Most Magnificent Thing teaches an important life-lesson through age appropriate, fun to read dialogue, and beautiful illustrations.

Happy Reading,



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, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

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.

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