The Most Magnificent Thing

The Most Magnificent Thing

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. ?She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

For the early grades' exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn't just ?make? her magnificent thing --- she ?tinkers and hammers and measures,? she ?smoothes and wrenches and fiddles,? she ?twists and tweaks and fastens.' These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Publisher: Toronto :, Kids Can Press,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781554537044
Branch Call Number: JE SPI
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 28, 2018

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Publisher: Kids Can Press
ISBN: 9781554537044

Thanks to NetGalley and publisher Kids Can Press for the ebook ARC of The Most Magnificent Thing written and illustrated by Ashley Spires in exchange for an honest review.

A little girl sets out to make the most magnificent thing with the help of her canine assistant. After a lot of hard work, the end result is not what she had in mind. She ends up quitting, because she is frustrated. Her assistant suggests that they take a long walk and think about things. It slowly becomes clear to the little girl what she needs to do to succeed.

I give this book a rating of 5 stars. I think this a great story with a great message for children. It shows that practice and hard work can pay off in the end. It also shows patience. I really liked the illustrations in the book too. I read this book to my 4 year old daughter, and she really enjoyed it. She really liked that she was trying to build something magnificent and she liked that her dog was her assistant.

VaughanPLSarahN Feb 04, 2018

The author dedicates this book to perfectionists everywhere and it is a great little story of the frustration of not being able to bring the vision in your head to life. The message to find the little successes in one's failures and use them to succeed later is beautifully demonstrated.

Jul 17, 2017

Well, this was just totally delightful.

I love seeing little girls in STEM (or STEAM) and would totally purchase this for my classroom. This is about a little girl who sets out to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing. And it has such lovely illustrations but also very good 'sciencey' verbs for the little person in your life.

I like that it really showed the scientific process -- first we had diagrams, then many prototypes until finally, finally, after a lot of hard work, we came onto the most magnificent thing. A lot of the time if kids want to build things, they'll just build them, and that's fine, but when they're doing something scientific, they need more than just the idea in their head -- they need something concrete and on paper that they can refine.

With determination, perseverance and after a short tantrum, this clever little girl really does go on to build the most magnificent thing.

bookgirlatDCL Jul 09, 2017

Nice story about perseverance and learning to take a step back from a difficult situation in order to see things from a different perspective. Super illustrations - watch the dog closely. He's a stinker.

May 04, 2017

A wonderful book to read with your child about how sometimes things don't go according to plan. Sometimes we have to deal with our frustration and then try again. It's not whether or not you get things right the first time, it's whether you keep trying. And, of course, we learn from our mistakes and maybe in the end can do better than if we had succeeded the first time.

Dawn_B May 03, 2017

Ashley Spires is a magnificent author who created a marvelous tale about a girl, her dog, ingenuity and the importance of perseverance, as well as taking a break for a little self care. I love the change in her expression while she walks through the neighborhood. The girl's struggle to create what she has imagined are easily understood and engaging for all ages. The expressive language and pictures captivated the attention of a special education preschool class the first time I read it. Other classes did not receive it as well but I think that was due more to the size of the class and the smaller pictures in the book. It is a wonderful book to read one on one and in very small groups that can sit close and really see the pictures.

ArapahoeJanetW Dec 09, 2016

It's hard to invent the perfect thing when you don't have the right materials. Our little heroine doesn't give up. Great story about perseverance and process.

Sep 06, 2016

This little inventor gal and her sidekick pup crack me up. She has a vision, if she could just get it to work! Luckily he's there to break the tension when the frustration overloads, and chase away squirrels when she needs to concentrate. A lesson about trying and trying again presented with a big helping of humor.

Jan 09, 2016


PimaLib_MaryE May 08, 2015

A wonderful story about the importance of perseverance, and how failing can be an important part of finally getting it right!

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Jul 20, 2016

Fuzzypeaches321 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 3 and 7

Feb 09, 2016

Scrockett101 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

SPL_Childrens Oct 08, 2014

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 7


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 3 and 7


Add a Summary


A girl and her dog are best friends. They do everything together from exploring to racing to making things. So when the girl has an idea one day for “the most MAGNIFICENT thing” that they can make together, the dog has no objection. Plans are drawn up, supplies gathered, and the work begins. And everything seems to be fine until it becomes infinitely clear that the thing she has made? It’s all wrong! Not a problem. She tosses it and tries again. And again. And again. Soon frustration turns to anger and anger into a whopping great temper tantrum. Just when the girl is on the brink of giving up, her doggie partner in crime suggests a walk. And when they return they realize that even if they haven’t gotten everything right yet, the previous attempts did a right thing here or a right thing there. And when you put those parts together what you’ll have might not be exactly like it was up in your brain, but it’ll be a truly magnificent thing just the same.


Add a Quote


“One day, the girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing.”


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VIRL

To Top