Book Review: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires is a picturebook that will speak to the inner perfectionist in us all. The book follows a young girl and her canine assistant as they try to make the most magnificent thing ever. They plan and work and build, but despite all the hard work the girl is not happy with any of their creations.She quits and walks away, but during a long walk with her assistant the young girl figures out just what she needs in order to succeed.

I really enjoyed The Most Magnificent Thing. I can relate to the young girl with an image of something perfect, but not quite able to met her expectations. It is only after walking away and seeing the bits of good in what she had deemed rows of failures that she sees how magnificent her work had been to that point. I feel like many of us can even relate o the canine companion, who sees the potential early and can only offer support. Many parents and teachers have felt like the cute little pug as they see wonderful artwork or writing tossed away as the creators cannot see the good in their own work. The story offers some perspective to both the youngest readers and the adults that might be sharing the story. I have failed to mention the wonderful artwork in the book, for shame! The illustrations are perfect in combination with the text of the story. A great deal of the story, especially the greatness of the young girls work, is told in the illustrations alone. The pictures are charming and a perfect addition to the story as a whole.

I would highly recommend The Most Magnificent Thing to readers of all ages. It could be used to start discussions with young children with perfectionist tendency, and help parents deal with their role as quiet supporter. The book would do wonderfully in a storytime setting, a small group, or for sharing one on one. I would suggest it as an addition to public and personal library collections.

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