Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Most Magnificent Thing PLUS The Goodnight Ark Giveaway Winner!

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

Boy do I have the most magnificent book to share with you today!  It’s one of those books that makes you revel in how perfect it is when you get to the end and want to read it again right away in case you missed anything and then again just to enjoy how much fun it is 🙂  I hope you all like it as much as I do!

Title: The Most Magnificent Thing
Written & Illustrated By: Ashley Spires
Kids Can Press, April 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: creativity, perseverance, perspective, emotion (frustration)

Opening: “This is a regular girl and her best friend in the whole wide world.  They do all kinds of things together.  They race.  They eat.  They explore.  They relax.  She makes things.  He unmakes things.  One day, the girl has a wonderful idea.  She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing!

Brief Synopsis: A little girl sets out to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing with the help of her best friend and assistant, her dog.  Imagine their shock when the thing turns out not to be magnificent!  In fact, it’s not even “good. It isn’t even kind-of-sort-of okay. It is all wrong.”  So she tosses it and starts again.  But it’s not easy to turn her vision into reality.  Frustration leads to anger, and anger leads to defeat.  Luckily, her assistant suggests a walk which brings calm and clarity and a new perspective… and a most magnificent thing 🙂

Links To Resources: supply a variety of craft items and/or found objects and encourage kids to think up and create their own “magnificent things”; Goldie Blox Toys (which encourage girls to put down the dolls and pick up the tools and might give you some invention ideas)

Why I Like This Book:  I love that this story addresses what may be the most common of all childhood emotions: frustration!  The little girl has a great idea.  She can imagine it perfectly.  She knows exactly how it will look.  But she has a hard time translating what she sees in her mind’s eye to the physical reality of her most magnificent thing.  Her escalation of emotion is real and believable (and kids will relate to it so well!)  And the message that sometimes a little distance and a little time to calm down can help improve your perspective is a wonderful one.  In the end, she makes something that is just perfect (but I won’t tell you what it is :))  The art is cute and full of humor.  The depiction of emotion is spot on.  The story touches on imagination and creativity, making things from found objects, dealing with frustration and disappointment, keeping/finding your perspective, not giving up, the idea that it’s okay to make mistakes, and the importance of having a good friend.  All around, a book kids will enjoy and parents will be glad to read multiple times.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now, before we all trot off so see what everyone else picked this week, I’d like to take a moment to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.  Laura Sassi and her publisher, Zonderkidz, generously contributed a copy of GOODNIGHT, ARK and the lucky winner is . . .

Sandy Perlic!!!

Congratulations, Sandy!  Please email me so we can organize getting you your book!  And thanks to everyone who shared their bedtime routines – we all had so much fun reading about them!

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can’t wait to see what’s on the list for today 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

47 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Most Magnificent Thing PLUS The Goodnight Ark Giveaway Winner!

  1. Katie Cullinan says:

    Thanks for recommending this book, Susanna! My children are both “builders” so frustration frequently runs high in our house. We even have the GoldieBlox you mentioned. I immediately added this book to our library request list!

  2. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    Avast! What a great review ye 'ave 'ere. It be's magnificent! Yer book choice be's a good'un. Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

  3. sue heavenrich says:

    If the illustrations are anything like the jacket art, the book will be more than Magnificent! What a cool idea, too, to build a most magnificent thing…. and then be frustrated by the many ways it can go awry. Great choice!

  4. pennyklostermann says:

    I'm with Sue…the jacket art would be enough for me to grab this one! But then your description hooks me even deeper! Sound so great. I don't have a book this week. I am going to work toward every other week to alternate with a new series I'm doing with my nephew for Poetry Friday. But…I will be clicking the links to go check out the treasures for PPBF! Love this community you've created, Susanna!!!

  5. Clarbojahn says:

    So cute! Will definitely check it out. And I am like Julie W. I need grandkids!! How can I get it across to my son and his wife who keep cavorting across the globe and running around the city!! Being childless has its pleasures but , please kids slow down and produce!! 🙂

  6. Kirsten Larson says:

    Wow, I know the feeling of envisioning something perfectly and not being able to build it …. when it comes to my writing. 🙂 Perhaps I should get this one for myself. Thanks Susanna!

  7. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Great book, Susanna! And congrats to Sandy. 🙂
    I'm so happy to be linking today – I dropped my computer on the hardwood floor last night – and, as it was on its last legs already, I was afraid I had fried it for good. But, miraculously, after leaving it on all night and praying, it seems to be okay, albeit REALLY slow. I spent 4 hours emailing files to myself last night so I could open them up on a different computer because this one would not copy my files onto a disc. Word to the wise – COPY/SAVE your files somewhere (which I hadn't been doing) – on a disc, in dropbox (lots of people say that is a great place to put your files for safety – will have to check that out) or some other holding tank for files.

  8. Joanne Sher says:

    Looks like a super book – one that I could use personally. Perfect! (MIGHT have something up later – depends on how my days goes)

  9. Sandy P says:

    This book looks awesome – I'm adding it to my reading list. And thank you so much to Susanna and Laura Sassi for Goodnight Ark – I'm so excited to have won it!

  10. Cupcake says:

    Duh. So what you're saying is that taking me for a walk is the solution to ALL of Mom's creativity problems! Will somebody please tell her for me? I've been staring at her, but she keeps saying she is not a mind reader. Yeah. I think I know that by now….

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  11. kathunsworth says:

    As I am learning the craft of picture books i also collect the ones that inspire me and this one sounds divine. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, I think we can ALL relate to frustration! And to that feeling of knowing something exactly in our heads but not being able to produce it in reality 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Joanne, and don't worry about PPBF 🙂

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh my goodness, Vivian! I'm glad your computer is still working! I back-up on an external drive…sometimes… when I think of it… or when someone I know has a computer failure that puts the fear into me… :), but I don't do it as often as I should! Your computer woes remind me of the YouTube video that cracks me up every time with the guy teaching you how to fix your Mac… if you haven't seen it, enjoy 🙂 (But it does have a little bad language in it toward the end… sorry about that!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCybRFMW7-M

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You would like this one, Penny – it's funny 🙂 There's a line where she explodes and it says, “It was not her best moment.” 🙂 I will look forward to your new series and your every other week PPBF picks 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's really a good one, Stacy – I bet Enzo would enjoy it. And the common feeling among the writers here today is that we can all relate to the frustration of having something perfectly in your head that doesn't seem to want to come out that way 🙂

  16. Clarbojahn says:

    Yes, I have Liam but he is eleven now and doesn't like to be read to anymore. Anyone have activies besides internet games eleven year old boys like?

    Reading is considered old and not cool. Only for nerds and too not cool for Liam. boo hoo.

  17. JillSF1959 says:

    This sounds like a perfect book to read with my “older” son who often gets frustrated when his creations don't align with his vision. I'm studying LOTS of picture books, and I keep foisting them on my son who thinks he's too old to read anything besides chapter books and graphic novels. So I tell him that he can help me become a better writer if he reviews books for me. It works for both of us. He reads books that I think he will enjoy, and he helps me. 😀

    Thanks for highlighting!

  18. Heather Dent says:

    I must have missed this book when I was going through the S section in the library. I will have to go back and see if I can find it!

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