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Beautiful Oops! Board book – September 23, 2010
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“Clumsy kids will appreciate Barney Saltzberg’s imaginative book, which shows how mistakes (spills, tears, stains) can turn into something wonderful.” - Parents Magazine
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After, we did an exercise practicing turning my "mistakes" on my pen drawings into something better. Examples: "i'm drawing a sky and ....oops! a stray line", fix by moving the sky line down. Or "oops the right side of my heart is wobbly" fixed by just making a larger heart to surround it. "my apple doesn't look like an apple" turns into a glob of paint being poured out of a bucket, and "oops i drew my house's door too big" turns into a house for a giant and jack is climbing the beanstalk into the clouds to reach it!! The girls loved the exercise and coming up with different ways to "fix" the "mistakes", and we often ended up with ideas way more creative than originally planned. Also practiced with crumpled paper -became an antique scroll or a wavy sea for a ship, and a bent page turned into a blanket folded over, etc.
I only wish the book included mistakes like these rather than just physical mistakes like holes, rips, crinkles, etc. Maybe a 2nd edition can just expand to include these as well!!! And maybe even have a page for parents to recommend an activity like this, because it worked so much better than I'd even hoped. Also, I got the "board book", which had pages that were thin, shiny cardboard instead of super thick, unbendable cardboard like I was worried about, yet still durable. Probably the best way to showcase the book (vs the paperback) so that the kids can bend the pages and interact with the book without worrying about ripping it.
The Oops book helps you visualize how any mess-up can be turned into something new. Paper tears and stains and holes and folds can be turned into frogs and penguins and all sorts of neat things if you just use your creative noggin. The execution of this book in cardboard helps to better deliver this message with tactile flaps and folds and holes and a telescoping view-finder page that takes five minutes to turn.
Yesterday my three-year-old came to me, fit to be tied, because his brother had drawn a sun in the corner of his picture. It was “wuined!”
And I said, “I bet you can turn that sun into something cool. Go find the Beautiful Oops book for inspiration.” And get this: he actually ran to find the book and started looking through it for ideas and stopped crying and left me to clean-up the kitchen alone. Beautiful miracle.
Families can talk about: What can you do if your brother accidentally steps on your drawing? Which writing instrument do we choose if we want the ability to erase? How many other letters can you turn an ‘i’ into? Who makes mistakes? Do grown-ups make mistakes? What could we say if we see a friend getting frustrated? What are other words for mistake? Accident? Should you apologize for accidents? Was drawing on your brother’s paper a mistake or an accident or both? Theoretically, what does a sincere apology sound like? Theoretically…