The Most Magnificent Thing
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Published by Kids Can Press; April 1, 2014
32 pages (hardcover)
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Kids Can Press for letting me read this! I’m sorry it took so long – my Adobe Digital Editions hasn’t been working!
The Most Magnificent Thing is an adorable picture book from the author of Larf (another adorable picture book). It tells the story of an unnamed girl and her assistant (her dog). The girl has a GREAT idea to build the most magnificent thing, but try as she might, she just can’t seem to get it right. She gets mad and defeated and wants to give up, but when her dog suggest they take a walk, she calms down and is able to analyze the situation and figure out how to fix it.
I loved the message in The Most Magnificent Thing. Not only does the girl continue to try over and over, once she gets frustrated, she steps away from the situation to see the bigger picture. It is often very difficult to see the problem when you are so completely invested in something, and it only takes stepping away and looking at the issue from a different angle to come up with a solution.
I also really like Ashley Spires illustrations and word usage. She doesn’t use small words to describe what the girl does, and I think that’s wonderful. This is a perfect book to read to teach perseverance and problem-solving.
This book was recommended to me on Goodreads in the little sidebar based on something else that I had read (I can’t remember what at the moment), and I thought it looked pretty cute. I requested it at the library where I work and decided to take it home to read instead of reading it at work like I usually do (it’s only 40 pages so it took about five seconds).
It’s really cute! Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his tree; it’s safe, has a great view, and has plenty of nuts for him to eat. The rest of the world is unknown and that it way too scary for Scaredy Squirrel. There might be germs or aliens or poison ivy out there, and he’s not going to risk it. But one day something forces him out of the comfort of his tree into the great unknown and Scaredy Squirrel discovers that it might not be so scary after all.
I quite enjoyed the adorable illustrations and diagrams of Scaredy Squirrel’s home, his escape plan in case of dangerous things, the advantages/disadvantages of never leaving his nut tree, and more! Such a cute way to keep kids engaged. I think the little foldout page might’ve been a waste and unnecessary, but kids love that kind of stuff, so it’s a great kids’ book. I’ll be recommending this one for our preschool story time at the library.
As a lover of travel and experiencing new things, I loved this book. You never know what you’re going to find out in the great unknown if you are too scared to leave where you are most comfortable. You might find new places to call home or new friends to cherish or a great multitude of other, wonderful things out there. Go forth and find them!
If Scaredy Squirrel can do it, you can too.
Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt
Published by Kids Can Press; February 2006
40 pages (hardcover)