by Ashley Spires (Author, Illustrator)
Ashley Spires, an award-winning author and illustrator, has crafted an adorable picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, a dog. The girl has a brilliant idea. “She’s going to make something Magnificent! She has a good idea of how it will turn out. She has a good idea of how it will go. All she has to do is make it, which she often does. Easy-peasy!”
But creating her magnificent thing is far from easy, and the girl repeatedly tries and fails. The girl eventually becomes extremely upset. She is so mad that she quits. But after her dog persuades her to go for a stroll, she returns to her project with renewed vigour and completes it perfectly.
This amusing book is an excellent example of the benefits of perseverance and imagination for children in the early grades who learn about character education. The detailed art beautifully depicts the girl’s frustration and rage. The story provides good options for coping honestly with these emotions while still reassuring children that it’s okay to make mistakes.
The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is entertaining and valuable, providing wonderful opportunities for vocabulary expansion. She “tinkers and hammers and measures,” she “smoothes and wrenches and fiddles,” she “twists and tweaks and fastens,” she “twists and tweaks and fastens.” These precise action words are likely to fire up youngsters’ imaginations eager to create their inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
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