The Book of Mistakes
(Dial Book for Young Readers)
No mistake is ever wasted—just ask the artist drawing this beautiful picture book!
Author/Artist: Corinna Luyken
Genre: Picture Book
Reader Appeal: Preschool and All Ages
The Book of Mistakes is a work of art—literally! It’s oversized “story” is simply that of an artist creating an intricate and imaginative drawing right in front of the reader’s eyes. Along the way, we see the many, many mistakes the artist makes in creating her masterpiece—and how each “mistake” somehow make the picture better, stronger, more magnificent.
The unspoken lesson here resonates loudly: All those “mistakes” you make each day? You don’t have to let them be the end of you. Instead, like this picture book, they can become building blocks for beauty and greatness in your life. As the author and artist, Corinna Luyken says:
“Do you see—how with each mistake, she is becoming?”
Technically and creatively, The Book of Mistakes is a joy for reading time with a child. The text is simple, playful, and captivating. It really does lend itself well to interruption for further discussion with the child sitting in your lap as you read. The artwork is unique—discovery-oriented illustrations described as “inky lines, pops of color, and a gorgeous use of negative space.” Visually it certainly entertains.
Corinna Luyken reveals that this book grew out of her time working as an artist in residence in elementary schools. “In every class,” she says, “there would be one or two kids who, within minutes of starting to draw, were raising their hands asking for another piece of paper. They didn’t like what they were seeing. They wanted to start over. They wanted to make it perfect. It became my job to help them see the possibility in that mistake, to see how they could keep going and transform their drawing or painting into something that they still might love.”
Job well done, Ms. Luyken. Job well done.
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:
• What do you think The Book of Mistakes is about? Explain.
• What do you do when you make a mistake? Give an example.
• How can we help each other to transform our mistakes into something that becomes beautiful in our lives? Let’s brainstorm ideas.
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