“The Book of Mistakes” by Corinna Luken
Things don’t always go exactly as you plan. Especially the first time around. It’s pretty much a solid fact of life. That is why a healthy perspective of mistakes is so important. If we can teach our kids that mistakes are a part of a successful journey and that beauty can be found in them, just think of how empowered they will be. This book is a wonderful launch point for discussion on just that.
It starts with the narrator explaining the process for the illustrations in the book. They calmly point out that making one eye larger than another on the protagonist was a mistake, but putting glasses on to complete the look was a good idea. And so the process continues as the reader watches the narrator/illustrator make mistake after mistake and turn it into a wonderful opportunity or something new each and every time.
Because the skeleton of this “story” is so straightforward and clear it makes a wonderful demonstration of “growth mindset” for children and is a great pattern for them to follow in their own art experiences. Make a mistake, then turn it into fantastic art.
Ink Blot Art inspired by “The Book of Mistakes”
As mentioned above, this book follows the artists process of making mistakes and then turning them into something new. Many of the “mistakes” in the book look like splatters of ink which gave me the idea of pairing this book with ink blot art. The famous phenomena about ink blots is that different people can look at the same ink blot and see different things. That made them a perfect fit for this activity.
Essentially for this craft all you do is create a random ink blot on your paper and then once it is dry you use colored pencils to turn it into something new. The possibilities with each inkblot are endless and allow each little artist complete creative freedom. My kiddos really enjoyed watching their ink blots form and we had so much fun sharing what we each saw in them. That makes this book not only a great discussion tool for the beauty of mistakes, but a discussion on perspectives.
- colored pencils
- acrylic, black paint
- paint brush
- 2 pieces of white cardstock
- Gather your supplies.
- Fold one of your pieces of white card stock into fourths and then cut out one of the “quarter square” to use for your “ink blot”.
- Fold that “quarter square” in half and squeeze a small amount of black acrylic paint on one side of the fold in a random manner. Then use a paintbrush to spread the paint out on that same side until you create an abstract splotch.
- Close the fold of your “quarter square” with the paint on the inside and press it flat. When you open it you should have a symmetrical blot.
- Immediately use that blot as a stamp and press it to your whole, remaining pice of white card stock. When you remove it you should have a blot that looks more like ink.
- Wait for your paint to dry and then use colored pencils or another art medium of your choice to create a picture featuring your ink blot.
In the photos above we turned the “ink blot” into a butterfly. We had a lot of fun and I hope you and your kids enjoy this one as much as we did. If you give this Beyond the Book activity a try I’d love to hear how it goes! Share it on Instagram using hashtag #beyondthebook (I’m on Instagram as @book.nerd.mommy) or even just comment here with your thoughts. It would make my day!
Or to simply save for later pin the image below: