Premise: A young girl loves to tinker. When she has an idea for a MAGNIFICENT THING she builds and rebuilds it, never satisfied with the results. Eventually, the girl gets angry and begins to doubt herself. Now what?
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Picture book, realistic fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand alone
Content appropriate for: Ages 4-11
Format: Digital ARC provided by Kids Can Press via Netgalley
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Three adjectives that describe this book: believable, fun, memorable
The Most Magnificent Thing is a story for people who tinker. I absolutely love that the tinkerer in question is a girl. However, at first I wasn't sure how to feel about the main character's response to frustration. After several failed builds, she throws up her hands and says, "I quit."
After a walk around the block with pretty balloons and cupcakes, she calms down and has another go at it.
Hmm... balloons and cupcakes?
But then I realized that the message to take a break and come back to your work is a good one. Just because you aren't successful on the first, second, third, fifth, or tenth try, it doesn't mean you are incapable. But realistically, there won't always be balloons and cupcakes followed by a big AHA!
I was first drawn to The Most Magnificent Thing by its fun illustration style. Ashley Spires uses a pseudo-monochrome approach with lots of white and pale blue.
I also loved how Ashley Spires used the girl's dog for comic relief. This book has the potential to be annoyingly preachy, but the dog keeps it light and fun instead.
|Keeping away the distractions|
I would love to do this book as a read aloud in my classroom before having my students take on a complicated problem or project. I often find myself suggesting that they start a task over, try a different approach, etc... this book would be a more lighthearted and less threatening way to get across the the same message.