I just came across an adorable little book and wanted to share it with you. Make no mistake about it: Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg (Good Egg, Crazy Hair Day) will make you smile with delight. This 7” by 7” interactive book begins with the word “Oops!” written in large colorful letters that look like they’ve been imperfectly finger painted. On the opposite page, you read the words, “A torn piece of paper ….” And above those words, the page is actually torn. Intriguing, no? Then you turn the page, and the sentence continues: “is just the beginning.” To illustrate this point, you see a happy bright-green alligator with a wide grin formed by the tear seen on the previous page.


Saltzberg finds other ingenious ways to show us how mistakes are opportunities to get creative. Lift a series of flaps and a spill transforms into all kinds of cute animals. A bent corner of the paper turns into a penguin’s head when you turn the page. Drips of paint become a piggy and the wheels for a piggy vehicle. A stain left by a mug of hot cocoa reveals a curious creature underneath. What looks like a crumpled piece of paper stuck on a page turns out to be a sheep. The most spectacular set of pages tells us that “holes are worth exploring.” It contains a box, constructed like an accordion, with a hole in it. When you pull the box up and peer into the hole, there is a small critter at the bottom saying, “See!”


When they finish exploring this clever, imaginative book, kids will be inspired to turn their own “oops” into something unexpectedly delightful. And hopefully, they’ll get the hint that mistakes aren’t something to be afraid or ashamed of. As Saltzberg cheerfully writes, “Think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!”  Isn’t that a reminder we can all use? Even though Beautiful Oops! is categorized as a children’s book and suggested for ages 3 to 8, I know a lot of adults who would get a kick out of this book. And that’s a good thing because the holidays are coming up soon.


Are you familiar with Barney Saltzberg’s books? Which have you read and would recommend?