BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bea Reviews The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Bea's Book Nook, Review, The Most Magnificent Thing, Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 1st, 2014

Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from 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, 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.

My Thoughts:

One day, a young girl decides to invent something; she draws plans and gathers supplies, ready to create the MOST MAGNIFICENT THING. But her first attempt fails, she goes through multiple iterations, and finally gets so frustrated that she gives up. But her assistant, aka her dog, takes her for a walk and on that walk, she calms down and starts thinking about her projects and her failures in a more positive light. She tries one more time and this time she gets it just right.

Using repetition and action words, Spires tells a delightful story of persistence, determination, failure, mistakes, and friendship. The illustrations are sparse yet have delightful detail and especially facial expressions. The girl's face (we're never told her name) and her body tell the reader what she's feeling and we share her determination and frustration. The expressions and body language of her neighbors and onlookers also contributes to the story. The author/illustrator varies the page layouts and size of the pictures, engaging the reader's interest and adding flow and movement to the story. The story is a gentle one about the value of making mistakes, trying again, trying new methods, and not giving up. It's a story that happens to have a message as opposed to a message told in story form. It's a good book classrooms, libraries, or home.


  1. Great review. I love the cover:) Congratulations and best of luck with your book, Ashley!


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