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The Most Magnificent Thing
     

The Most Magnificent Thing

4.6 14
by Ashley Spires
 

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A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing:

Overview

A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
For her story of a girl’s ambition to build “the most magnificent thing,” Spires (the Binky the Space Cat books) draws her towing a red wagon full of random junk. “The girl saws and glues and adjusts. She stands, examines and stares. She twists and tweaks and fastens.” Shadowed by her stubby bulldog assistant, she hits a roadblock, and her frustration grows: “Her hands feel too big to work and her brain is too full of all the not-right things.” It’s the bulldog that realizes that his boss needs a break. In the act of taking a walk, her mind clears: “Bit by bit, the mad gets pushed out of her head.” The “magnificent thing” turns out to be a bulldog-size sidecar for her scooter. It’s a useful description of the creative process, an affirmation of making rather than buying, and a model for girl engineers. There are quiet laughs, too, like the description of the girl’s work area as “somewhere out of the way”—smack in the middle of the sidewalk, that is, annoying the maximum number of neighbors. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
... Spires's buddy tale of overcoming obstacles and learning to manage expectations will likely find an appreciative audience, especially in a classroom setting.—Quill & Quire

Young readers will love the surprise ending. Readers learn that not everything comes out "just the right way" instantly.—International Reading Association

Without being heavy-handed, the author has shown how perseverance, determination, vision, and dealing with your emotions can pay off. Illustrations add charm to the story ... This is a good read-aloud.—Library Media Connection

This is a solid choice with a great message that encourages kids not to quit in the face of disappointment but rather to change their perspective and start over.—School Library Journal

This indefatigable little girl won't let frustration get in the way of creating her magnificent contraption. Determination is key!—Today's Parent

The Most Magnificent Thing captures the ups and downs of the creative process perfectly ... with honesty and even a little elegance.—Globe and Mail

The Most Magnificent Thing is a wonderful fable about effort and reward, in a tone perfectly understandable to younger children. A definite addition to public and primary school collections.—CM Magazine

Spires' understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle characterization for maximum delight.—Kirkus Reviews - Starred Review

It's a useful description of the creative process, an affirmation of making rather than buying, and a model for girl engineers.—Publishers Weekly

In the end, it's precisely the kind of book we need for kids these days. Perfection is a myth. Banged up, beat up, good enough can sometimes be the best possible solution to a problem. A lesson for the 21st century children everywhere.—Elizabeth Bird, SLJ.com

An entertaining book for the very young, this is also a useful reminder that most problems can be worked out if we give it time. Spires's digital artwork does a masterful job of injecting humour.—The Montreal Gazette

A little girl has big plans to make the most magnificent thing, with the help of her canine sidekick.—Canadian Family

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One day our heroine decides she will make “the most MAGNIFICENT thing!” With her canine best friend as assistant, it should be “easy-peasy.” Out on the street they gather their supplies. After working a while, they examine their product, but find it “all WRONG.” She saws, glues, adjusts, examines, twists, tweaks, fastens, etc. etc., on and on, all in vain. So she gets “MAD.” She smashes a finger and explodes in anger and pain. When she decides to quit, her dog friend suggests a walk. But bit-by-bit she feels better. She finally figures out how to make “…the thing MAGNIFICENT,” in this celebration of creativity and perseverance. Digitally created illustrations display a stylized creator with a large head and stick legs and a bulbous dog. The linear background is sketched in; the page designs vary. The objects she creates and spreads along the sidewalk are very inventive; others find them useful. And her final creation is magnificent indeed. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 4 to 7.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
K-Gr 2—A girl decides to make something magnificent with the help of her assistant—her dog, but they "are shocked to discover that the thing isn't magnificent. Or good. It isn't even kind-of-sort-of okay. It is all wrong. The girl tosses it aside and gives it another go." From her efforts, children see the importance of planning, gathering supplies, building, and not giving up when a good idea doesn't initially work out. Ample use of white space makes the digital artwork pop. The text consists mainly of one- or two-line captions for the pictures, and the layout and design are spot-on, building action with a smart use of vignettes, boxed illustrations, and spreads. Clever use of artwork conveys the youngster's spectrum of emotions as she "saws and glues and adjusts," "smashes," "pummels," and "explodes" ("It is not her finest moment."). Then, finally, the girl finishes, and her scooter really is "the most magnificent thing." This is a solid choice with a great message that encourages kids not to quit in the face of disappointment but rather to change their perspective and start over.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-26
Making things is difficult work. Readers will recognize the stages of this young heroine's experience as she struggles to realize her vision. First comes anticipation. The artist/engineer is spotted jauntily pulling a wagonload of junkyard treasures. Accompanied by her trusty canine companion, she begins drawing plans and building an assemblage. The narration has a breezy tone: "[S]he makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!" The colorful caricatures and creations contrast with the digital black outlines on a white background that depict an urban neighborhood. Intermittent blue-gray panels break up the white expanses on selected pages showing sequential actions. When the first piece doesn't turn out as desired, the protagonist tries again, hoping to achieve magnificence. A model of persistence, she tries many adjustments; the vocabulary alone offers constructive behaviors: she "tinkers," "wrenches," "fiddles," "examines," "stares" and "tweaks." Such hard work, however, combines with disappointing results, eventually leading to frustration, anger and injury. Explosive emotions are followed by defeat, portrayed with a small font and scaled-down figures. When the dog, whose expressions have humorously mirrored his owner's through each phase, retrieves his leash, the resulting stroll serves them well. A fresh perspective brings renewed enthusiasm and—spoiler alert—a most magnificent scooter sidecar for a loyal assistant. Spires' understanding of the fragility and power of the artistic impulse mixes with expert pacing and subtle characterization for maximum delight. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781771381734
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
149,253
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

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The Most Magnificent Thing 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
There isn't a thing about this book that I don't love. The illustrations are fantastic. Ashley Spires has the kind of style that I am drawn to. The illustrations are unique, stylized, and very very cute. My kids especially liked the dog. This is precisely the kind of book that I like reading to my kids. It has a great message of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". The little girl (she doesn't have a name—she goes by "little girl") decides that she wants to build something magnificent. She gives it a go, but it doesn't work out. She tries again, and again, and again. Nothing works. She finally gets frustrated with her efforts and loses her temper. She takes a walk to cool off and when she comes back to her project, she notices the things she did right in each of her attempts. She uses this new knowledge to complete her magnificent idea. The little girl shows determination, perseverance, and hard work. She is a good example of striving hard for what you want, and never going down without a fight. I love that her invention didn't work out the first time. Things rarely do. I love that she works on it until she does get it right. It's a wonderful message for kids (and adults, too). This is definitely an author/illustrator to keep your eye on.
Shelves_of_Knives More than 1 year ago
MEDIUM: eBook MY RATING: 4/5 GOODREADS: 4.26/5 Hardcover, 32 pages Published: January 1, 2014 by Kids Can Press This book pretty much sums up my experience every time I set out to accomplish something. A little girl sees something in her mind that she wants to make. She gathers supplies and makes “the thing”, but it isn’t right. It isn’t what she envisioned. So she tries again. And again. And again. You get the idea. Eventually, she has a “lightbulb” moment, and she decides to go about the making of “the thing” in a different way, paving the way for her to make the “most magnificent thing”. I thought this book was adorable and its message of perseverance wonderful. The writing was simple, yet entertaining, and the illustrations were beautiful. I recommend this to anyone with little kids, and I will go out on a limb here, and guess that the cuteness of this book will have little ones asking to read this over and over. ⚔️ KNIVES’ RATING REPORT Plot ♥♥♥♥ Characters ♥♥♥♥ Writing ♥♥♥♥ Illustrations ♥♥♥♥♥ Pacing ♥♥♥♥ Cover ♥♥♥ Overall ♥♥♥♥ This ebook was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Knives Boone
Shelves_of_Knives More than 1 year ago
MEDIUM: eBook MY RATING: 4/5 GOODREADS: 4.26/5 Hardcover, 32 pages Published: January 1, 2014 by Kids Can Press This book pretty much sums up my experience every time I set out to accomplish something. A little girl sees something in her mind that she wants to make. She gathers supplies and makes “the thing”, but it isn’t right. It isn’t what she envisioned. So she tries again. And again. And again. You get the idea. Eventually, she has a “lightbulb” moment, and she decides to go about the making of “the thing” in a different way, paving the way for her to make the “most magnificent thing”. I thought this book was adorable and its message of perseverance wonderful. The writing was simple, yet entertaining, and the illustrations were beautiful. I recommend this to anyone with little kids, and I will go out on a limb here, and guess that the cuteness of this book will have little ones asking to read this over and over. ⚔️ KNIVES’ RATING REPORT Plot ♥♥♥♥ Characters ♥♥♥♥ Writing ♥♥♥♥ Illustrations ♥♥♥♥♥ Pacing ♥♥♥♥ Cover ♥♥♥ Overall ♥♥♥♥ This ebook was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Knives Boone
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
This picture book is adorable! The perfectionist in the girl is making her out of sorts. Her assistant appears to be her best friend - a dog. She works and works but never reaches perfection. All the time getting grumpier and grumpier. In the end everyone is happy with her invention, especially the girl and her assistant. The story and illustrations are the Most Magnificent Thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this up by chance off a display at my local Barnes and Noble and read it with my girls today while we were waiting for storytime; it was perfect! The plot is adorable, the illustrations are beautiful, but the best part about it was the way the little girl learns to cope with her out of control anger. My four year olds often have a hard time getting control of their emotions so this offered an opportunity to talk about how to calm down when you get upset. We were also able to discuss the difference between the little girl's behavior while she was angry and when she had taken time to calm down. I love when books do such a good job of mirroring real life circumstances that allow children (and parents) an opportunity to connect with something they understand. I'm so glad I picked this up. It was Perfect!
Blessed_and_Bewildered More than 1 year ago
The Most Magnificent Thing is one of the most visually stunning books that I have seen in a long time. The fantastic illustrations, the layouts of each page, even the font draws you in. Quirky, unique, and fun! The Most Magnificent Thing is a story of imagination, persistence, overcoming failure, and the value of a best friend. A best friend is even better when they are willing to be your assistant, as not every friend would do that. Your friend may even get you back on the right track. This little girl has definitely got a bad temper but with help and fresh eyes she succeeds in making the most magnificent thing. If you are raising a little burgeoning perfectionist this book might just show them that sometimes listening to a friend and stepping back from the frustration may just give them a fresh viewpoint that helps that little perfectionist succeed. I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher. For all of my reviews visit my blog at http://www.blessedandbewildered.com
Michelle_Lynn_Brown More than 1 year ago
The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires, is an adorable children’s book about a little girl and her dog who set out to build the most magnificent thing. Unfortunately, her first, second, third…sixth tries are unsuccessful. With each attempt, her frustration mounts, until she explodes. Spires creates a cute little tale about how kids can get easily frustrated when they are unable to recreate the magnificent ideas that flourish in their imagination. However, by taking a step back, they are able to look at things in a new light. I loved this book! The illustrations are just as charming as the story, and the dog (both his pictures and his actions as told in the story) really steals the show. Though my daughter is eight and the story is meant for younger children, she still enjoyed it. This is a must for your young child’s bookshelf. Full stars for this adorable little lesson on patience and endurance. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Jen-Reviews More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Not only did I love it, so did my kiddos! I loved the illustrations. Ashley Spires is very talented. The illustrations on their own made me smile. Most of all, I loved the message of the story! It's about a girl that really wants to make something MAGNIFICENT! However, she gets frustrated when she can't get it right the first time. I really loved the message of perseverance. It's a message that I have been trying to share with my oldest child, who is 8. The message of not giving up is very important and this story does a great job of getting it across. I also did like the fact that the little girl had trouble explaining the "thing" she wanted to make. I think it made her more relatable for my oldest, who also has trouble explaining her thoughts. I think my favorite part was towards the end with the adults admiring her various creations. This book has a great message, awesome illustrations, and I would highly recommend it! (I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is the story about a little girl and her best friend/assistant/dog who want to build the Most Magnificent Thing. She has a plan and is ready to build. She builds many versions but none of them are quite right. She is getting frustrated and hurts herself. She wants to quit and feels that she can't do what she wants. Her assistant convinces her to take a walk (a much needed break and she starts to feel better. On her way back to her apartment she walks by all her attempts and realizes that there is a little something in each attempt that she can use. She finally builds what she wanted. A great story about frustration and not letting it get the better of you. It teaches perseverance and to little girls it teaches that you can be an inventor or a scientist or do whatever you want. The illustrations are simple but cute. A nice story with a great message.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
A darling little girl decides she along with her dog will make a magnificent thing.  She creates many things but in her minds eyes they are all wrong. She becomes so very frustrated and angry. Then she gets a magnificent idea for the most magnificent thing!You must see it for yourself.  It is MAGNIFICENT!This little girl is one determined little inventor. How gifted she is to be able to create something so useful. Even her rejects were found to be useful to others.I found the illustraions absolutely adorable.  My grandkids are going to enjoy this little girl's creativity and determination.I highly recommend this book!I rated this book a 5 ou of 5.Disclosue: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley/KIDS CAN PRESS for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
catloverAD More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story and I believe it relays a good message. The girl has her mind set on making the most magnificent thing and while she is making it, it doesn't work out as exactly planned. When she finds she is getting angry, her assistant suggests they go for a walk. While walking, she calms down and when she returns to her work, she sees it all in a different light. I think many children can relate to that. Reviewed through NetGalley and Kids Can Press.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
The Most Magnificent Inspirational Story! Brilliant story with delightful illustrations, this is a great book for reading aloud and sharing! The girl and her best friend - her dog - do everything together and, when the girl dreams of making the magnificent thing her dog helps her. They try all different sorts of designs but nothing seems to work until . . . . well, that would spoil the book for you - you need to read it yourself to find out what happens but it is fantastic! I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t resist sharing it with my daughter - even though she is now grown up! I will be looking out for other books by this author and illustrator in future. The story involves the girl setting some excellent role model moments of willingness to have a go, even though the task is difficult . . . keeping on trying, modifying ideas and adapting despite set backs . . . . and that if you keep on trying, you may eventually succeed! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley too  for letting me read this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago