The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires
I have been hearing great things about The Most Magnificent Thing since in was released in 2014, so I’m so thrilled to have finally gotten my hands on a copy! The Most Magnificent Thing absolutely lives up to its reputation of being a great fit for elementary school classrooms.
The Most Magnificent Thing tells the story of a little girl (and her adorable canine assistant) who set out to build the titular “most magnificent thing.” Along the way, the girl makes a lot of mistakes. Her mistakes make her stronger and she continues to try to reach her goal. While the plot is simple, the messages are clear and profound.
This book is not a try, try again book. It doesn’t buy in to the traditional wisdom that if you just keep trying the same thing over and over, you’ll eventually reach your goals. Instead, it’s a try and learn from it book. It teaches children the power of reflection and the meaning of growth. The narrative allows kids to see that learning from mistakes is a good thing, and that mistakes themselves aren’t so bad.
In addition to having a great message, The Most Magnificent Thing tells its story using vivid language and excellent illustrations. This book certainly deserves a place on classroom bookshelves, especially during units on STEM or when students are enhancing their growth mindsets.
I can see this book being used in literacy, math, writing, science, and more. The ideas are endless!
- The book makes great use of vivid verbs. Students can do a word hunt for vivid verbs that they can use in their own writing. Tinkers, fiddles, wrenches, adjusts, and tweaks are just a few!
- Many of the books I read for my 3rd graders are written in past tense. The Most Magnificent Thing is a great example of writing in present tense, and can be used as a mentor text for other writing in that form.
- The book introduces the concept of reflection, including observation of mistakes and generation of new ideas. This book will absolutely find its place in classrooms where teachers are introducing or reviewing what it means to have a growth mindset.
- I wish I had found this book a few weeks earlier so I could have read it to kick off our engineering unit! Students can see how the girl implements different steps of the engineering design process. Then, students can use the same design process to create their own “most magnificent thing”!
Title: The Most Magnificent Thing
Author: Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Date: April 2014
Price: US $16.95
Source: Edelweiss – Review Copy
Disclaimer: I received an Review Copy of this book from Kids Can Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. Thanks for reading!