Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Latest Favorite: The Most Magnificent Thing!

Whenever I go to the library, I let my kids pick out a few books of their own, and then I rummage through the childrens' shelves and bring home a stack to try out.  We then go through each one a home - some stories just don't make sense (and make me think, why don't I get it together and write a children's book?!?), others are fun and we read a couple times, and then once in awhile we hit on a book that one of the kids just takes to right away - and that book becomes the favorite, carried around from room to room, and taken to bed because they just can't bear to let go of it for a minute.  For the past couple weeks, Alice has been in love with The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.

In The Most Magnificent Thing, a little girl (accompanied by her adorable dog) is determined to build the MOST magnificent thing.  She has all the plans in her head and knows exactly what she is going to build.  She runs around town collecting everything she needs, and then she builds it.  But it's not quite magnificent.  So she builds it again.  And again.  And again.  Until she gets so frustrated that she gives up.  Then her dog takes her for a walk, and the time away gives her a fresh perspective on her creations, and she is able to see that while each one is not quite what she wanted, each one has a great useful part or idea that she can use toward the next really truly magnificent thing she builds.  I love this book for the lessons about creativity, perseverance, and big ideas.  I also love the detailed language about all the tinkering and building that the little girl does.

Alice, of course, loves the expressions of the dog, and the wagon filled with junk that the girl carts around everywhere.  But, I think she is slowly starting to get the idea of tinkering and building and that "things" can be put together and made into creations.  It's been fun to watch her mind working as she "reads" the book to herself (she won't let me read the story to her anymore) and explains what the girls is doing and how she is trying again and again.  It is a wonderfully empowering story with inspiring illustrations.

Along the same lines of girls who build, we have also been enjoying the ubiquitous Rosie Revere, Engineer and Violet the Pilot.

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