Ashley Spires The Most Magnificent Thing

Last updated date: June 28, 2019

DWYM Score

8.5

Ashley Spires The Most Magnificent Thing

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We looked at the top Picture Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Picture Book you should buy.

Update as August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Picture Book for a detailed review of all the top picture books.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 77 expert reviews, the Ashley Spires The Most Magnificent Thing placed 10th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

One day, a young girl who enjoys creating things decides to build something truly special. So, after drawing diagrams, hiring an assistant (aka her best-pal pooch), and collecting materials, she establishes her sidewalk workshop. But, alas, bringing vision to fruition isn’t easy. Progressively, excitement and confidence wane, motivation turns to meltdown—then to defeat (I’m no good at this. I QUIT!). Happily, some timely dog walking brings clarity, calm, and an inspiration for an imaginative solution that just might work. Fanciful illustrations depict the spindly, cartoonish characters; the girl’s intricate found-object contraptions; and colorful scenarios against black-and-white line drawings of a city-neighborhood setting. Interspersed all-capitalized words enliven the text, though the smaller-sized, spiky font may be more for one-on-one sharing or slightly older readers. With witty and whimsical elements (including the dog’s side antics), this supportively portrays the sometimes-frustrating process of translating ideas to reality and shows how a new perspective can help problem solve and rekindle enthusiasm and joy. Grades K-2. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.2
8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
596 user reviews

What experts liked

WOW! This book AMAZED me. The illustrations are adorable, colorful and filled with so many details to look at. The vocabulary used in the book is fantastic, using words like “tinkered”, “pondered”, “fiddling” , and “wondered” throughout the story.
- The Plot Bunny
April 7, 2016 | Full review
The colorful caricatures and creations contrast with the digital black outlines on a white background that depict an urban neighborhood.
- Kirkus Reviews
The goofy, brilliantly paced journey is rendered through emotive images that all kids can relate to as they witness her artistic process.
- Foreword Reviews
Spires’s buddy tale of overcoming obstacles and learning to manage expectations will likely find an appreciative audience, especially in a classroom setting.
- Quill and Quire
For the early grades' exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes.
- Kids Can Press
The Most Magnificent Thing is one of the most visually stunning books that I have seen in a long time. The fantastic illustrations, the layouts of each page, even the font draws you in. Quirky, unique, and fun!
- Blessed and Bewildered
March 29, 2016 | Full review

What experts didn't like

The pace suffers from the flurry of words, and the story is too long and didactic to earn favoured-book status.
- Quill and Quire

An Overview On Picture Books

There is nothing like enjoying the fascination of a child when you read to them from a picture book. Whether you cozy up under a blanket on a couch or read by a flashlight in a tent, your audience is sure to find joy in reading their favorite picture book over and over again. Picture books are a great combination of beautiful art (art is in the eye of the beholder) and compelling prose. There are only a few things that a good picture book needs, and you will certainly know when you’ve found a good one!

As a reader and true appreciator of a picture book, you’ll automatically find several things that make you love a picture book. First is the story. There is nothing better than a good story, and if it is good, it will certainly stick in your mind and keep you wanting to read the same book time after time. Kids often hold on to stories that are relatable — like “Goodnight Moon,” which is a story of something they can easily identify in the sky when they say goodnight.  On the other hand, picture books for young adults or teens might have a story of things that are out of this world and magical, such as “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition.”

Next, readers and onlookers alike will find that when the words and the art perfectly complement each other, the picture book will be a winner. In “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt, you’ll find a kid-friendly storyline with child-like drawings for the pictures. This children’s book masters the playful give and take of the words with the pictures.

Lastly, the best picture books will yield that encore shouting from your little ones when you get to the end. That yearning for a reread is a surefire sign of a fantastic picture book. You will find that in “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin.

Find that fun reading time with your kiddos when you pull these awesome picture books off the bookshelf and snuggle in for some quality time with them.

The Picture Book Buying Guide

  • One thing to keep in mind when buying a good picture book is your audience. Do your kids like a specific topic such as animals, vehicles or insects? And always keep their age in mind as you look for a good picture book.
  • Read the book summary before buying it to give you an idea of the story, and flip through the pages to check out the art.
  • Look for reviews from other readers.
  • Use your best resources: family and friends’ suggestions.
  • Make a visit to your local library and ask a librarian for suggestions. If your kiddo loves a book you read from the library, you can buy it to add to your child’s personal library.
  • Interactive picture books are a fantastic way to get children to love picture books. Even if the book doesn’t have flaps or touch-and-feel features, you can make a book interactive by asking the child to find a hidden object or dance like the characters in the book. Make it fun for them so they want to read the book again.