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Beautiful Oops!

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A spill. A smear. A smudge. A tear. When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!

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.

An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! 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.


28 pages, Hardcover

First published September 9, 2010

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About the author

Barney Saltzberg

98 books106 followers
Barney Saltzberg is the author and illustrator of close to 50 books for children, including Beautiful Oops!, Arlo Needs Glasses, Good Egg, Cornelius P. Mud , Crazy Hair Day and the bestselling Touch and Feel Kisses series with over 800,000 copies in print. He has two new releases, Tea With Grandpa and Chengdu Could Not Would Not Fall Asleep coming this spring.
Additionally, he’s recorded four CDs of music for children. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two dogs.

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5 stars
2,765 (67%)
4 stars
963 (23%)
3 stars
287 (7%)
2 stars
55 (1%)
1 star
29 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 451 reviews
Profile Image for Karina.
765 reviews
December 19, 2018
I LOVE LOVE this!!! Such a great pop up book for the kiddoes.. Basically it's okay to make a mistake! Look what a mistake can be... something learned and beautiful... I recommend to all those that have littles in the house.. it made me smile and happy.
Profile Image for Cheryl .
8,917 reviews391 followers
June 11, 2016
How much different would my life have been, had I owned this "pop-up" book when I was a child? Not just for perfectionists, this book is for anyone who wants to be more creative, more open to possibilities. It's successful for me on both a metaphorical and literal level.
Profile Image for Becky.
2 reviews
April 30, 2016
Beautiful Oops is a delightful read for both babies and adults. The unusual artistic format of doors, windows, and unfolding paper creations will surprise, entertain, and challenge readers to think differently about mistakes. Don't miss out on this simple yet important lesson; Beautiful Oops is a beautiful read.
Profile Image for Sahar Pirmoradian.
72 reviews2 followers
September 11, 2018
“I like it, Maman! It’s fun!” This is what my almost-three-year-old toddler said about the book after asking me to read and read it again for about fives times in a row! And of course I had to continue re-reading it again at least for another 5 times!

It’s indeed a fun and interactive book for toddlers. The idea is that you can think of your mistakes as new possibilities. For example, a torn paper could be thought of the mouth of a crocodile. Or, a little drip of the paint could be imagined as wheels of a car. So you can think your oops as “beautiful oops” which brings beautiful new things to you.
Profile Image for Anmiryam.
766 reviews130 followers
January 1, 2016
A customer ordered this and I read it as I was doing the receiving which led me to immediately ask the owner if she had ordered some more. A great gift for anyone who loves creative serendipity or for those of us who need a little push to remember that there is often something wonderful in what others may call a mistake. Inspiring and charming to look at -- this little book made my day much brighter.
39 reviews
September 2, 2013
What a beautiful lesson to teach children... How to find creative solutions to what appears to be an "oops."
Profile Image for Nancy Kotkin.
1,363 reviews34 followers
February 13, 2019
A publishing triumph of cut-outs and lift-the-flaps; there's even a telescoping page. What a fun reminder that our "mistakes" fuel our creativity and imagination. Like this book's creator, we can all turn our oops into something beautiful. The perfect gift for a child, graduate, or a creative person of any age.
Profile Image for Oliver.R.
53 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2022
Such a great book it turns your frown upside down in art. This book taught me it's good to make mistakes because the smudge of paint that went on my painting turned out to be a better painting then before.
Profile Image for Chance Lee.
1,311 reviews120 followers
June 21, 2018
Cute but I unfolded the crumpled paper at the end and there was nothing inside so that was an oops.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,005 reviews42 followers
November 11, 2017
great way to celebrate artistic "mistakes". we loved the end exploring page.
Profile Image for Christen Tulli.
31 reviews3 followers
July 27, 2014
Category: Concept/ Informational

Publication date: 2010

Annotation is posted above via GoodReads

Themes: Acceptance of imperfection, avoiding self-criticism, creativity

Ways to Use Book:
* Barney Saltzberg's concept book Beautiful Oops is truly engaging for students. Here, a blob of paint with a few strokes becomes a frog, and a balled up piece of garbage becomes the fleece of a lamb! Collaborate with an art teacher when reading this book aloud. After reading it, have the art teacher demonstrate how she can turn an artwork "mistake" into something beautiful. Perhaps give the students discarded items (candy wrappers, old magazines, broken toys) to use to create found art!

* Have the art teacher hand out pieces of paper with blobs, streaks, or mistakes on them. Then, encourage the students to turn the blobs of paint into something beautiful by adding their own touches on them! This lesson comes from here: http://www.workman.com/static/saltzbe...

* Another idea is to have students journal about a time they have learned from a mistake!

Other information:
* This would be a lot of fun for a read aloud! You could even invite students to come up to pull the different tabs to demonstrate a mess turning into a masterpiece! There is also a YouTube video of the book with a perfect song (also titled: "Beautiful Oops") in the background: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZjMY...
14 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2015
This is definitely a WOW book for me because I was surprised by every page at the way the author and illustrator turned each mistake into something beautiful. I really loved this book. I think the things you can use this book for are endless with this book. Not only will it show kids they can make a mistake with their writing or art creations and turn it into something beautiful, but it can lead to a great conversation about other things that can be seen as a "mistake" but can be turned around. I love the way it turns things that are normally a mess up into a beautiful picture. This would be a great book to use in my Kindergarten classroom where students are sometimes fearful of completing work because they are worries they will make a mistake.

I loved the illustrations and the overall story! What a great book!
Profile Image for Sara.
6 reviews3 followers
March 25, 2015
Beautiful Oops is a fun, wonderful book that teaches children that mistakes can be opportunities for creativity. The illustrations, tears and folds throughout the book encourage interaction and engages them in the process of seeing imperfections in a new way.
I got this book for my son because he would get so frustrated if he made a mistake: coloring outside the lines, an accidental mark on a drawing, etc. This book helped him realize that he can make something beautiful from accidents and that mistakes are ok.
I highly recommend this book to all parents!
Profile Image for Viviane Elbee.
Author 2 books48 followers
August 14, 2018
Fun book to read with pull out pages and a pop-up. There's a lovely message about turning mistakes into the opportunity to do something beautiful.

This is a quick read and can be read with preschoolers (though some of the flaps may be fragile), but it can also be read with elementary students.

With older children, you can discuss the message. One child pointed out "this works well in art class, but not so much on math tests."

It would also be a good book to read before an art activity - inspiring kids to have fun with random scraps of paper or artistic "mistakes."
Profile Image for Haya ald56.
87 reviews4 followers
January 26, 2018
Enjoy reading.
I learn how. Is it amazing creative thinking and solving with art
5 reviews
September 1, 2021
I love this book! I love the artwork, especially the hole in a paper artwork. The message of the book is great for kids and even adults.
Profile Image for Reba Walton.
20 reviews
November 5, 2017
As I was collecting books that related to the growth mindset, I came across this book. At first, I thought that this book would be best for young children, much younger than my second-grade students. After reading the first page, though, I quickly realized how neat this simple book is. Each page shows how to turn a "mistake" into something fun, clever, and exciting. My students come to me often wanting to redo a project or start their writing over on a new paper because they believe their work has been ruined by a smudge, random mark, or other mistakes. This book shows examples of how "oops" can become beautiful.
Profile Image for Parker Thornton.
50 reviews
April 12, 2019
Beautiful Oops! is by Barney Saltzberg, the story states that it is okay to make mistakes. It is a fun book to read it really shows and focuses on how mistakes can create a great thing. The illustrations helps the reader stay engaged, by encouraging interaction with the reader. The whole goal of this book is to show children that by making a mistake it is not the end of the world. Everything happens for a reason, can be fixed, or made into something better.

This book is a great way to show students how to stay positive, and it is a good read. There are lots of thoughtful moments throughout the book. I have always liked books that can help keep children from beating themselves up over silly little things. This is why I rated this book the way I did. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read it.
Profile Image for Trish.
3,479 reviews3 followers
February 2, 2017
This is a great book. It shows how a mistake can be turned into something cool. It is a great inneractive book.
12 reviews
October 13, 2015
Teaching Pre-K there is no shortage of “oops”. When ever my children are up set for making a mistake I always remind them that Pre- K is for making a mess and it is O.K. I love the book Beautiful Oops because it gives a positive spin on making mistakes and lets children know that its okay and we can learn from our oops.

The book provides a creative way to make new discoveries out of something that was unexpected. A spill on your clean, white sheet of paper can morph into a wild animal, a tear in your paper can be turned into a roaring alligator mouth. The possibilities are endless with this book. This book is great for children of all ages and even adults!
Profile Image for Emili.
76 reviews
April 22, 2020
K-2nd grade reading level

This book has such a wonderful message! I absolutely love this book. It tells all of its readers that any mistake can be turned into things for the better. When I read this book, I was mesmerized by all of the flaps and pop-ups. This is such a great book!
Profile Image for Heather.
996 reviews23 followers
November 15, 2010
such a fantastic board book for kids with a great message about how you can turn an "oops" into something beautiful!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 451 reviews

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