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PreS-Gr 3—It starts with a mistake, but page by page, one rather too large eye, a wonky elbow, and feet a little too far off the ground grow to be and combine into a larger picture—one that not only is functional but also works perfectly. Illustrations rendered in ink, colored pencil, and watercolor are the point of interest. They start small—just a circle, a couple of lines, a dot on the page, a subtle bit of color here and there—but they slowly grow, flowing across one page and onto the next before reverting back to a smaller image that begins to slowly grow again. Each page shows one small glimpse of the final picture, inviting readers to turn the page to see the rest. The simple text draws readers’ attention to the illustrations, and thorough examination is rewarded with playful little details. It is a story about how mistakes can change us all for the better if we are brave enough to face them and march ahead. Readers will love following along as the small spots and smudges on each page change the work in fun and unexpected ways, and even younger readers will finish with fresh optimism and a new idea of what mistakes may turn out to be. VERDICT Children, especially fledgling artists, will wish to pore over this volume one-on-one. A will have to-have for every library.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC
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Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspirationOne eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were at all times meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.