Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes Book Review

I love to read to my son. Its the one time he is mellow and likes to sit and listen. Its so sweet to see him point to the pictures and help turn the pages. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett is cute and simple book. It teaches about how we try to live up to the impossible "perfect". I like that when she does make a mistake she learns that things are fine. That she can just relax and enjoy life without the worry of perfection. This book is cute for boys and girls alike.

Book Summary:
Beatrice Bottomwell has NEVER (not once!) made a mistake…

Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!

Interview info from authors of the book:
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
Mark and I met in 2000 at a Teach For America reunion. At the time he was writing a comic strip
called 'Mr. Lowe', about a teachers, and I had just had my first book 'Reluctant Disciplinarian', about
my first year of teaching, published. We became friends and soon found ourselves sending each other
drafts of our new projects for one another to evaluate. Ten years later, around the time that both of our
daughters had turned one, Mark and I talked about finally working together on a project.

We each came up with about five ideas and over Skype we agreed to work on one of Mark's ideas about
what life might be like for a girl who never made any mistakes. When I wrote the first draft, I thought
it reminded me a bit of a 'Twilight Zone' episode where a word exists with an unusual character with an
unusual ability, yet people are accepting of this reality.

Throughout the next four months, we went back and forth writing drafts until we had about fifteen.
Then we evaluated what were the best parts about each draft and assembled them together. Mark
drew rough sketches for the book, which we learned needed to be exactly 32 pages. This limitation was
a challenge since it meant that certain scenes we had wanted to have needed to be completely changed
or deleted so the ending wouldn't need to be rushed.

We sent the illustrated draft to several agents, and heard back from Kerry Sparks at the Levine
Greenberg agency that she wanted to represent us. Within two months, we had an offer from a great
publisher called Sourcebooks. The next year was a lot more work than we had anticipated. There were
a lot of issues that our editor pointed out to us about certain word choices and other things which we
needed to fix. It was tough, sometimes, trying to get all three of us to agree, but the final product, I
think, is that much better for the process.

When the final text was approved, Mark got to work on the huge task of producing 32 watercolor
paintings. As the co-writer, my job was to 'annoy' Mark (at his request) by asking him how it was going
every few days.

Finally, after over two years the book is a reality. I'm glad that Mark and I both already had internalized
the message of the book that you can't be paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes. Getting a children's
book published is hard and had we really thought about the likelihood that it would never go anywhere,
we may not have worked so hard on it.

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes can be purchased at the publishers Source Books website or on Amazon.

* I was not paid or compensated for this post. I was sent a free copy of this book for my review by the publisher/PR company. The opinions are 100% mine and may vary from others.

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