Primary Genre(s): Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Published: 4 Nov 2011 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Page count: 32 (print length)
My Format: eBook via Hoopla
Ending: Very Good
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
My rating: ★★★★★
Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable… she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!
As the end of the month approaches, I realized that I still had borrows left in Hoopla! So, after perusing a bit, I decided to select a few children’s books. I haven’t reviewed a children’s book in a while and this one definitely caught my eye. (Note that there are potential spoilers ahead, but this is a 32-page picture book and it is difficult to talk about it without telling you what happens.) Here are my pros and cons for The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes:
- The illustrations, by author Mark Pett, are cute and they enhance the story.
- I love that this book showed that being perfect isn’t a bad thing, but neither is making mistakes and being silly. Beatrice makes a big, harmless mistake in front of a whole bunch of people and instead of being upset or admonishing herself for it she laughs! She laughs at the absurdity of the situation and she realizes the mistake is just a mistake. Nothing more. It didn’t make her less of a person, less important, less liked/loved, or less anything. She’s still herself. I think using laughter to cope with the silly errors we make in life is a wonderful way to react! Of course some mistakes may be larger than others and have more serious impacts, but when they aren’t harmful we should definitely be laughing!
- I also appreciated that the people who witnessed her mistake also laughed… with her and not at her.
- I was so happy to learn that Beatrice embraces her new life as a girl who does make some mistakes and she recognizes that she no longer needs to do everything perfectly! She loosens up a bit, recalibrates her perceptions regarding what mistakes actually are, and she starts to do silly things just for fun! She learns that it isn’t a mistake to wear mismatching socks if you want to and it isn’t a mistake to use more jelly than peanut butter on your sandwich if that is what you want. Those things are fun and absolutely okay!
I was Beatrice when I was younger. Well, not maybe a perfect child, but I definitely strived to be perfect and I hated making mistakes. While Beatrice appears to be perfect in every way with no real effort, being perfect in real life is hard! And it is stressful. And it causes headaches and anxiety. Trust me, I know.
If you have a young perfectionist in your life, I think this would be a great book for you. After reading the book you can discuss with your little one how it is certainly okay to want to do everything perfectly, but it is also important to understand that mistakes will happen and that is okay if they do! If we aren’t doing things wrong on purpose or to be hurtful to others, then it is okay to embrace our silly errors, laugh at them, and learn from them. I also think this book could help children understand the difference between mistakes and just being silly (like wearing mismatched socks).
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Click here for a description of my rating scale.