A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!
One of the concepts in The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown is that sometimes when we fail, our reaction is to blame ourselves, "I'm no good." The more positive response to failure, though, is to blame our actions, "there was something wrong with the process." This book presents a similar idea as it follows a young girl and her assistant as they attempt to create the most magnificent thing ever. Try as she might, though, the girl can't quite get it right. Eventually, frustration sets in and she loses her cool. Thankfully, her trusty sidekick helps her go for a walk and get a new perspective on things. This is a great book for not giving up and learning from "failure".
As the mother of my own three-year-old tinkerer, I enjoyed a lot of things about this book. I liked the messages about persevering and being open to seeing things in a new way: maybe it didn't turn out the way you wanted, but it's still good! However, in reading it with the aforementioned tinkerer in my life, I feel the need to remind her that the little girl protagonist's anger and outrage when things don't go as planned is not a good way to react. I thought the plot was fine and the illustrations were nothing very special, but it was still a fun enough read.
Ashley Spires is the creator of picture books and graphic novels, including The Most Magnificent Thing and Binky the Space Cat. She lives in British Columbia.View Author