Sometimes you plan and plan and plan, and your plans bomb. Those days are disappointing and frustrating. They are also the best days for learning. It is hard to remind yourself of what you learn from failure, especially in the moment. It is easy to want to walk away, and stop trying. But sometimes it is best to walk away, and keep planning. Keep building on what you’ve learned from your failure. (Can you tell that I’m trying to convince myself right now?)
This isn’t the easiest lesson to teach kids, because most of us haven’t mastered it ourselves. Staying positive and looking for new answers sometimes feels overwhelming or impossible. But it is a pivotal lesson for kids. Writers don’t write their best work the first time — writing and editing are an important part of the process. Scientists don’t construct an hypothesis and prove it right — they test the hypothesis and look at the results. In all fields, mistakes will be made and those mistakes will help lead to answers.
In celebration of mistakes, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite picture books about making mistakes. These are books that show that the process is as important as the result. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped us!
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett
Princesses are Not Perfect by Kate Lum
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Beautiful, Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett