Monday, March 30, 2015

My Favorite Book of 2014

The Most Magnificent Thing is hands-down my favorite book of 2014, and I am so grateful to Alyson Beecher for urging me to read it. Thanks, Alyson! Oh, how I wish this book had been eligible for the Caldecott. But alas, its uber-talented author-illustrator resides in Canada.

Why do I love The Most Magnificent Thing so much? Because it deftly introduces young readers to the trials and triumphs of the creative process.

The unnamed main character decides to design and build something special for her very best friend, her dog.“ She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!" So she "tinkers and hammers and measures," she "smoothes and wrenches and fiddles," she "twists and tweaks and fastens."

But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and after several failures, she decides to quit. But later, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

The Most Magnificent Thing is perfectly suited for STEM lessons as well as makerspaces because it expertly models the process engineers and inventors go through as they try to solve problems. But it also spoke to me because I saw my own creative process as a writer reflected in its pages. That makes it a great choice for Writer’s Workshop as well.

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