Beautiful Oops!

Keeping with this theme of mistake-making and perfectionism, the Book Elf brought us a little tome titled Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg.  A quick Google search has also turned-up a song and a lesson plan and all sorts of other teaching accoutrement.

So now that Jacob is learning to write, and in Spanish no less, we have many opportunities to battle frustration and fix mistakes and raise our adversity quotient by continuing onward and upward because Hugglemonsters never give up!  I’ll save you the trouble and do the Mom eye-roll for you…

In a nutshell: This little little board book is slightly more sophisticated than your average board book… which we have generally grown out of except for Sandra Boynton’s Happy Birthday Pookie which just gets funnier and funnier every time you read it.

The Oops book helps you visualize how any mess-up can be turned into something new.  Paper tears and stains and holes and folds can be turned into frogs and penguins and all sorts of neat things if you just use your creative noggin.  The execution of this book in cardboard helps to better deliver this message with tactile flaps and folds and holes and a telescoping view-finder page that takes five minutes to turn.

Yesterday Nate came to me, fit to be tied, because Jake had drawn a sun in the corner of his picture that he had colored at Geoff’s birthday brunch.  It was “wuined!”

And I said, “Hey Nate.  I bet you can turn that sun into something cool.  Go find the Beautiful Oops book for inspiration.”  And get this: he actually ran to find the book and started looking through it for ideas and stopped crying and left me to clean-up the kitchen alone.  Beautiful miracle.

Families can talk about: What can you do if your brother accidentally steps on your drawing?  Which writing instrument do we choose if we want the ability to erase?  How many other letters can you turn an ‘i’ into?  Who makes mistakes?  Do grown-ups make mistakes?  What could we say if we see a friend getting frustrated?  What are other words for mistake?  Accident?  Should you apologize for accidents?  Was drawing on your brother’s paper a mistake or an accident or both?  Theoretically, what does a sincere apology sound like?  Theoretically


Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

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