Monday, October 23, 2017

Setting the tone: Mistakes = Possibilities

I think it’s really easy for people to get caught up chasing the right answer, achieving set goals, or sticking to a game plan. There’s the fear of being judged and found lacking in intelligence, ability or motivation. In other words, feeling stupid and frustrated sucks especially when you know you can do better.

But there’s a lot of potential for a mistake to result in something unexpected and good and possibly be even better than your initial attempt.

Take the artist in The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken, for example.

She starts drawing the face of a girl but the second eye is a little too large so to fix that mistake she enlarges the first eye and now both eyes are slightly too big. The illustrated girl spookily looks like a character from Coraline . (Great book for Halloween. Just saying.) However, this is short lived as a pair of glasses sets the picture back on track.

But the mistakes keep on happening. A super long neck and one extra-extended arm gives the girl a freakish look.  But the creative illustrator uses these slip-ups as an opportunity for embellishing the clothes of her creation. A lacy collar perfectly accentuates the elongated neck and patches on the elbows reduces the distraction of too long arms

And so on.


The last few spreads of the book show us a fantastical scenario of the girl racing toward an amazing tree crawling with children who she will fit in with perfectly. Not a single mistake is apparent. Perfection!

This book has an encouraging message that all of us can embrace.

I would recommend this for elementary and middle school grades.

Also, check out Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg.


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