- Age Range: 7 - 10 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 4
- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1st edition (August 8, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585364835
- ISBN-13: 978-1585364831
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,415,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story Hardcover – August 8, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-A talented but easily frustrated young man is transformed by the encouragement and belief of the right mentor. Like many boys, Cuthbert is impatient, lacks discipline, and doesn't like making mistakes. After his annoyed father sends him to a monastery, he ends up in the scriptorium, where he earns the name "Smudge" for his poor skills. When he is mistakenly assigned to do the lettering for the Christmas story, everyone is sent into a tizzy except for master illuminator Brother Bede, who sees some talent in the boy and takes the time to encourage him to practice. Eventually the two create a masterpiece. Whelan's prose makes the long blocks of text flow like water and includes fun details (like the monks taking their yearly bath in preparation for Easter). Costanza's illustrations have the look and feel of animated movie art, which adds humor to what is essentially an apprenticeship tale. A lengthy read-aloud for parent/child sharing, but one that could be inspirational for the right listener.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Young Cuthbert, small for his age of 15, is sent to a monastery because his father thinks he would be hopeless as a warrior. But when he is sent to the scriptorium, Cuthbert couldn’t be happier. He loves forming letters, though he always smudges the ink, earning him the nickname of “Smudge.” By mistake, Smudge is chosen, rather than the greatest scribe in Ireland, to illuminate the Christmas story—a proud endeavor that will make the monastery famous. Can messy Smudge make it perfect? Under Brother Gregory’s tutelage, Smudge practices his letters over and over, but he makes a mistake in the letter B as he is about to finish the manuscript. Thankfully, Brother Gregory rescues the parchment by demonstrating how “to make an opportunity of your mistake” by drawing a flower inside the B. Meditative, earth-toned illustrations alternate between full-bleed and bordered pages resembling those of ornate Bibles. The tale is fictional, but the dual messages of “practice makes perfect” and “we all make mistakes” ring true. Grades 1-3. --Julie Cummins
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Top customer reviews
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I loved that this picture book did not just give us a one-line sentence on every other page, and that the story was a bit more substantial. The illustrations are gorgeous too, so while you read the book aloud to your kids - they have plenty to look at on every page.
After reading the book I was thinking this story would also make an excellent Christmas Play - even a Disney movie. It's a great story!