Friday, October 11, 2013

PPBF: Beautiful Oops!

TitleBeautiful Oops!
Author/Illustrator: Barney Saltzberg
Publisher/Date: Workman Publishing/2010
Genre/Audience: Interactive Concept Book/Ages 3+
Themes: making mistakes, creativity, imagination

Opening: "Oops! A torn piece of paper... is just the beginning!"

Synopsis: (from 

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator.

Barney Saltzberg, the effervescent spirit behind Good Egg, offers a one-of-a-kind interactive book that shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Why I Love This Book

I was so excited when my sister-in-law shared this book with me this summer. This is a completely unique example of paper engineering. Much more than lift-the-flaps, this book uses the tears, flaps, holes, etc., to draw the reader deeper into the book's theme: that mistakes are opportunities for creativity. What human doesn't need that message? This book teaches an important life lesson without preaching and is delightful for children and adults.


Grab some markers or paint, paper, and scraps and let the artist in you OUT! And, of course, don't be afraid to make mistakes :) 

Book Trailer

A Creativity Sketchbook available from MoMA

Craving more Perfect Picture Books? Author Susanna Leonard Hill compiles weekly book reviews from bloggers at Visit Fridays or click the Perfect Picture Books tab at her website for a subject listing.


  1. This is a fabulous lesson. I try to tell my kids that mistakes are how we learn. No great scientist made a discovery without lots of trial, error, and OOOPs!

  2. Fantabulous sounding book! And so important for kids to learn that mistakes are okay. I was so uptight about doing things "right" as a child that I caused myself and those around me a lot of needless anxiety, and I missed out on a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing this book.

  3. This is an absolutely fantastical book! i make beautiful oops all the time. The Mom Person shakes her head a lot.

  4. What a beautiful book. I'm wishing my mum had seen this when we were kids. Everything had to be "just so." Even homework was rewritten at home to ensure it was correct. I would have loved this book.

  5. Looks right up my alley, thanks!

  6. Yes, yes, yes for making mistakes!!!! And yes, yes, yes for this book! What a great choice, Laura...I'm so grateful to you for spotlighting this for is now on my 'must get this book for my grandson' list.:) Wonderful review and super activity resource list!

  7. Sounds like a very cool book, Laura, with a message kids need to hear - it's okay to make mistakes - that's how we learn :)