This is an unbelievably clever picture book about mistakes and letting the imagination take control. We can often get obsessed with the idea of perfection and this book is a lovely counter to it and explores how the best works can be created from mistakes.
It started off with one eye larger than the other. Then there was the elbow and the extra long neck. The weird amalgamation of frog-cat-cow would make for an excellent bush. And the girl in the tree with the ridiculously long leg, well of course that was on purpose, the girl was obviously climbing the tree. And so it continues. As more mistakes are made, more creativity and imagination is required to fix the mistakes and make everything look as though it was intentional.
Whilst mistake after mistake crops up our author/illustrator is never deterred. Each mistake is seen as an opportunity and the brief text guides the reader on the creative process. As the book progresses, illustrations become more and more complexed and readers need to take the time to look to fully appreciate them.
Children need to see that mistakes are part of the creative journey and things are rarely done correctly on the first attempt. Corinna Luyken adopts a brilliantly creative approach that explores how mistakes can lead to something rather special. I would hope that after exploring this book readers will feel more comfortable in stepping away from the idea of perfection, that they can accept mistakes, in fact, they feel they can embrace mistakes and truly see mistakes as part of the learning journey.
Recommended for 6+.