Friday, May 19, 2017

PPBF: The Book of Mistakes

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Book of Mistakes, by Corinna Luyken
The Book of Mistakes
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken

Dial BFYR, 2017
Ages 4-8, 56 pp

Creativity, Accidents

It started

with a mistake.

From the first two words, "It started" we see a pencil drawing a face and we know this book is going to be special. On the next page, the "artist" makes a blob where the eye should be. But this clever picture book shows readers how to keep creating through the mistakes, turning them into happy accidents, or transforming them into out-of-the-box solutions. As the book progresses, a main character emerges and by the end, her personality is fully realized along with a fantastic setting peopled with other unusual characters. The very end is no mistake as the story circles back on itself, leaving the reader with the definitive message to explore their creativity without fear.

What I Love:
This debut book showcases Corinna Luyken's talent in creating fascinating quirky drawings as well as a page-turning picture book. With the emphasis on the theme and the text directed at the reader, the "story" is a little light. But in many ways, this feels like a Peter H. Reynolds book. I predict many wonderful masterpieces as a result of the author's permission to revel in our mistakes.

1. For interviews with the illustrator, see SCBWI's Kidlit Artists, Design of the Picture Book, and Let's Talk Picture Books.

2. Introduce budding artists to Ed Emberley's drawing pages and books. No one says "I can't draw" when they follow his step-by-step instructions.

3. Peter H. Reynolds's International Dot Day is all about creativity. You don't have to wait until September to be infected by his encouraging mission.

4. Not confident with a pencil? Try baking Oops cookies from Steph's Blessings.

5. More4Kids has posted a straightforward article on helping children learn from their mistakes. And Roots of Action lists ten ways you can turn mistakes into positive experiences.

6. Check out these and more related Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Laura
Reviewed by Barbara


Reviewed by Leslie
Reviewed by Sue

Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Joanne
Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, May 19, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. Beautiful, and a great book to slow a reader down and think too!

    1. I think you'll love this one! Thanks.

  2. Sounds like a fascinating book!

    1. It's going on my "must recommend" list. Thanks for reading.

  3. What an important and clever theme for a picture book! Kids need to know that it's okay to make mistakes. There are really no mistakes when you are creating and imagining. Nice pick.

  4. I once had an art teacher back in my schoolgirl days that told the class, "There are no mistakes, just creative beginnings." I've never forgotten those words. Of course, I'm wishing I had thought to create a picture book based on those words... I'm looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. I saw a trailer for this somewhere....gotta read it. Gotta steep myself in the idea that mistakes can turn into something wonderful. Gotta share this with kids, especially my son. Thanks!

  6. This is a beautiful book and I love the way it takes a "mistake" and keeps going, turning it into something amazing. Great book for all of us who need to relax a bit.

  7. I also immediately thought of Peter Reynolds. Great theme.

  8. Great concept. Eye catching cover and title.

  9. I love Peter Reynolds' books & can't wait to read this one. What a great message for kids (and adults) to spur creativity!


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!