book report: The Most Magnificent Thing

For anyone who has ever tried to build, bake, sculpt, paint, to create ... something  ...  and the reality did not work as well as the plan ...

For anyone who has become angry when a project does not go as planned ...

For anyone who has wanted to give up when a project does not work ...

For anyone who has needed a fresh perspective on a project .... 

For anyone who has plans to create a magnificent thing ...

The Most Magnificent Thing
written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
published by Kids Can Press (2014)
picture book
ages 4 - 8
Our intrepid creator/inventor/engineer has a plan - a plan for the "most Magnificent Thing". 

After hiring an assistant and collecting some materials, she sets up a workshop in an "out of the way" location.

Our inventor/creator/engineer "tinkers and hammers and measures", "smooths and  wrenches and fiddles", "saws and glues and adjusts", "twists and tweaks and fastens" and "fixes and straightens and studies".  

But none of her creations are close to magnificent. 

That can be a little frustrating.

So frustrating that our inventor/creator/engineer explodes.  And wants to quit.

Luckily, her assistant suggests that a walk would be a good idea.  

Our inventor/creator/engineer realizes that while there were things wrong with every "thing" she created, there were also things RIGHT with each one. 

Now she knows how to make the Magnificent Thing.  

She tinkers, hammers, twists, fiddles, glues and paints until she is finally finished.

No spoiler alert here: no Magificent Thing reveal here.  Just that, while it was not perfect, it was MAGNIFICENT.

I love that The Most Magnificent Thing tells the story of the creation of something magnificent.  The planning, the problems, the frustration, and the final success.  

I love that our inventor/creator/engineer did not go and order a magnificent thing from Amazon. Or Etsy.  (Not that I am against either.)  She wanted to make it. Herself. 

I love that an adult did not swoop in and take over the situation.  

I love that she did not experience success right away.  

I love that she learned what was right about all her efforts that were not right.  

I love that the story is told honestly (she has a moment that is not one of her finest), and with great fondness for our inventor/creator/engineer. 

I love that we can all go out and tinker and hammer and twist and glue and fix and tweak and make mistakes and take a break and make something magnificent. 

I love that we can bring making magnificent things into our classrooms.  

We can bring the Maker Movement into our classrooms. 

making plans
We can give kids time, space, materials and the support that they need to tinker with ideas and make them work.  

Read more about the Maker Movement.
"I realized that I should embrace mistakes and learn from them"

 Makers may be knitters, mechanics or even masters of the new 3 D printing process  - people reconnecting with the idea of doing-it-yourself and working with their hands."

"Imagine if every classroom was a place where every child could fail, 
without fear, on their way to success."

"Kids simply need a supportive environment 
to tinker with an idea long enough to make it work"
"Makers learn to make stuff by making stuff."
reminders (for me) for this school year:

The Most Magnificent Thing was a rockstar book at #pb10for10 
hosted by 

With good reason.

Image Map


  1. I just saw this book on Amazon last week and added it to my shopping cart!! In Science, our province has had a big push on the design process, so this will be a wonderful book to support that! :)

    First Grade Garden

    1. It's worth adding to your shopping list - and getting on the school librarian's shopping list.

  2. It all looks - Magnificent!!!!! Thanks!

  3. This sounds like a fabulous book. I've learned that my best ideas and all sorts of clarity come to me after I "walk away", too.
    I'm pinning!

    1. I'm betting that you put on your running gear and run away - and get clarity.

  4. Great book. I love this. And your review was most imaginative. I hopped over from Booknificent Thursday. Very nice!

  5. This book is so cute!! I absolutely love the illustrations!


  6. Thanks for introducing me to a new book it looks adorable. I love all the building activities too; the perfect follow up activity to help spark creativity and ingenuity. I hope you will come share again at the #lovetolearnlinky this Thursday. (pinned)

  7. I love all the things that you loved about this book! And it's a good reminder for me as I've slipped into mess-avoidance mommy mode which is not conducive to tinkering and making! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope you have a great week!

  8. I've been wanting to check out this book. So glad to be reminded of it and love the book trailer. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I am in love with this book. It's great for teaching kids about having a growth mindset!


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