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Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Book of Mistakes, by Corinna Luyken. Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin,. 2017. $24.99 all ages

"The elbow and the extra
long neck?

But the collar -

ruffled with patterns
of lace
and stripes -

that was a good idea.

What a concept! In her first book, Corinna Luyken inspires her readers to look beyond what they might call mistakes and fire up the imagination to change perception. It is an observation of what happens when an illustration does not portray what was intended, and provides encouragement for the
artist to let creativity flow in search of a different image. This can be very inspiring. A 'mistake' can become something completely different with a shift in how it is discerned.

Parents and teachers will use this book to encourage aspiring artists to take chances and be bold when creating their art. Very impressive in the way it is presented to readers, it is sure to attract their attention from the start - the happy cover showing a group of children hanging tightly to the strings of a mass of brilliant yellow balloons - to the finish - when a yellow balloon (or many) lift a basket filled with familiar faces high into the sky.

Two black splots on the opening endpapers carry through to the title page and the word 'mistakes'. Kids know where this is going - or do they? The questions never end as the tension builds for what to do following a new 'mistake'. With each turn of the page, the reader is aware of recurring images, people, inventions. A constant invitation to carefully observe each resulting change is all they need to move forward, all the while preparing themselves for what happens next.

Patience and joy are in store for everyone who shares this book! Kids will not be able to contain their responses to all that happens in the increasingly detailed and brilliantly designed images.

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