Review Blog

Jul 10 2020

Magnificent mistakes and fantastic failures: Finding the good when things seem bad by Josh Langley

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Big Sky Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781922265692.
(Age: 5-12) Recommended. Award-winning author Josh Langley (Being You is Enough, It's OK to Feel the Way you Do) is back with another title that aims to help kids feel good about who they are. This one is all about resilience and looking on the bright side when things don't seem so great. He tackles a serious subject in a fun and non-threatening way, offering hope and strategies for kids to build their resilience and see mistakes as opportunities for learning. The book is really a series of illustrated messages, similar perhaps to Todd Parr's books, although this is more suitable for older children. The structure is also reminiscent of Parr's books, with illustrations and a small amount of text on each page flowing on to the next. Although it reads well as a whole, each section (Mistakes can be magnificent, Failing can be fantastic!, Maybe problems aren't really problems at all, Good friends are good to have around, Every 'body' is OK just the way they are, Feeling weird and awkward is normal too, Be the star and director of your own life, and Talking to someone always makes you feel better) could be read independently. The final message is 'You are important to the world. Now go and be amazing in your own unique way.'
This is a gem of a book to read with all children in the hope that some of this will stick in their mind as well as to put into their hands when they are having a rough day. It will also provide a really good conversation starter about how they feel about themselves, what worries them and how they can reframe their self-talk. Perfect for primary school classrooms and homes. Themes: Resilience, Positivity, Confidence.
Nicole Nelson

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