Most Magnificent Thing, The

Ashley Spires (2014), Kids Can Press

A little girl and her assistant (her dog) have a working relationship: she makes things, he advises, and sometimes knocks them down. She is working on “The Most Magnificent Thing,” but isn’t entirely sure what it might be. She plans, hammers, and builds – but cannot quite make it magnificent – so tries over and over again until she is frustrated and begins to work angrily. After hurting her finger, she decides to quit and take a walk, where she wanders past each failed attempt. Bit by bit, her frustration slips away, while piece by piece, the parts begin to look sort of right – leading her to realize that put together, they are the Most Magnificent Thing!

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Talk with a child about this book

When you want to build something, do you make plans or do you just start and see what happens?

What happened when she began to work upset and let her anger out while she was building?

Why do you think it was important to take the walk?

Was there a time when you thought she should stop trying to make it “magnificent?”

What do you think made her decide to quit? What changed her mind?