I was in our local toy store with my kids when Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg caught my attention. I picked it up, read it and tried to hold back the tears that were welling up in my eyes. Ahhhh, I so needed this simple, yet powerful book at just that moment.
The message of Beautiful Oops! is we are not stuck in our mistakes. With each page turn the reader is reminded that a mistake isn’t the end of the world, but a new beginning.
Throughout the book, Saltzberg takes seemingly unredeemable artistic mistakes (torn paper, paint spills, smudges), and turns them into fun, silly and beautifully recovered works of art. It is a great visual for teaching kids that mistakes can be hidden opportunities.
This book has fostered so many great conversations with our kids who lean toward perfectionism. As we go through the book I think it’s healthy for my kids to hear me say, “You are going to make mistakes. My expectation is not perfection.”
And it’s a great reminder to me, as well. I’m going to make mistakes. I’m not a perfect wife, mother or anything else. But my mistakes can be redeemed and even turned into something lovely.
Each page is an adventure with pop-ups, overlays, holes, tears, wadded up paper and even an accordion-style telescope.
While this book was written for children (suggested for ages 3 and up), its message has no age limit — because we all make mistakes.