'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 10 October 2010

Review: Beautiful Oops

We get book review requests from all over the world and things can get awfully stacked-high around our respective houses, so there’s many books we have to turn down. When author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg sent us an email, however, I knew we had to see this book.

Although I adore and appreciate an enormous variety of children’s literature, I must admit I have a secret penchant for Different. It could be in any genre – YA, picture books, junior fiction, information… but when I see a book that hasn’t in the least bit been ‘done’ before… well, that gets my heart thundering.

And Beautiful Oops is a heart-thunderer extraordinaire.

Part picture book, part baby board book – this amazing square-shaped tome entranced this 40-something year old woman as intently as it did my 10-year-old and my seven-year-old. And I don’t need a toddler or baby to know it would also strike them motionless.

Beautiful Oops is creativity personified. It’s crumpled paper, tears, splotches, stains and mistakes. It’s spills, folds, bends, holes and smears. But it’s more than that. It’s what you can make, create and formulate from this ‘oops’ that really get the imagination firing.

Essentially – and inspirationally vital in a world where perfection is everything – Beautiful Oops teaches children there’s no such thing as perfect. Imperfection is okay – no, no… it’s beautiful. And seeing the beauty and extraordinary possibility in the things that go wrong… what could be more priceless than that?

I adore this book. It is beautiful, beautifully-crafted and steeped in a beautiful message. Oh, and it’s different. And my heart is subsequently thundering beautifully.

You can see inside Beautiful Oops here – but please please, only take a peek at a few pages. Don’t spoil it by viewing it all in advance. Have a glimpse then wait for the hard copy to arrive. You will surely peep with glee. And after you’ve finished peeping, get the kids together and make a few mistakes and make something beautiful from your oops.

Title: Beautiful Oops
Author: Barney Saltzberg
Publisher: Workman Press, $22.95RRP
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780761157281
For ages: 0+
Type: Picture Book/Board Book