1st & 2nd Grade Books > The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing

Text and Illustration: Ashley Spires

Distribution: October, 2018

A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids a most magnificent thing: perspective!

Family Activities

A girl wants to make something magnificent…the most magnificent thing. She knows just how will it looks, and she knows just how will it work.


Dear Parents,
A girl wants to make something magnificent…the most magnificent thing. She knows just how will it looks, and she knows just how will it work. All she has to do is make it, so she goes through an experience of making and unmaking, of enthusiasm and frustration, until she makes what she wants.

Dear Parents,
This is an inspiring book about innovation, imagination, perseverance and experimenting, all keys for lifelong learning that are too often neglected. Your child is likely, as are most children, to be naturally inquisitive. Children need an enriching environment that encourages them to question, engage, plan, experiment and evaluate their work, in order to gain self- confidence, and skills.
Like the girl in the book, your child may get frustrated sometimes. Her assistant suggests taking a walk to clear her head and see things from different perspective. Asking a question that opens new paths of thinking, or suggesting something new, or providing different materials, can encourage your child to try anew.
Finally, nothing is perfect! There is always room for improvement, but that shouldn’t keep a child from feeling proud of what she/he made and seeing it as The Most Magnificent Thing!
Some suggestions when you read this book with your child:

Enjoy reading and making magnificent things together!

Family Activities

  • Ask your child about things/people that she/he thinks are "magnificent". What makes them so?
  • “ One day, the girl has a wonderful idea." Discuss where ideas come from.
  • The girl encountered problems during her work. What were they? And how did she solve them? Your child might want to suggest other solutions.
  • The girl makes several things and puts them on the pavement. Encourage your child to examine them and choose what she/he likes. What can they be used for?
  • Talk with your child about a personal experience in making something (it can be a toy, a cake…) what contributed in making it successful or less successful?
  • The girl appoints her friend -- the dog-- as assistant. When making things, who would your child like to be with?
  • The girl in the book has no name. Why did the author choose to do this? What name would your child give to the girl?
  • The text is full of verbs related to making things: hammer, measure, glue, wrench, fiddle…This is an opportunity to open your toolbox – or create one -- and set up a small workshop to make things with your child. Maybe a kite, or a small cart?!

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