Perfect Square

Beautiful Oops!

Dear Friends, 

How many times a day do you or your yong reader say "Oops"? (Do you get a sinking feeling when your young reader says it?) Normally this would means a mistake has been made, but not so with our book choice for this week. 

We all try so hard to be perfect, but it is much more fun to celebrate the imperfections that happen every day by turning them into good things. So Oops it up today and enjoy!


Beautiful Oops!

By Barney Saltzberg

Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
Worrying about doing perfect can hinder the creative spirit and cut short the wonderful ability of children to think they are capable of practically anything. If only more adults could remain true to that spirit the world would be a much less angst-ridden place.
Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf

Barney Saltzberg has given the world a celebration of turning mistakes into a masterpiece with the highly entertaining Beautiful Oops! Torn paper, smudges, spills, and drips of paint are nothing to be upset about because as Mr. Saltzberg shows us, they are just the beginning of some very great things.
Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
Interactive, engaging, inspiring and down right delightful. This is one to share with your young reader and even some adults in your life.

In this Issue



Tear-iffic Oops!

This is a great activity for a day when everyone is in a silly mood. How many different ways can the paper be torn? We tried holding it with our elbow, using a chair leg, and then having one of the dogs stand on it (he wasn't very helpful, but made a great shark shape!). What will you do? 

Why We Like It

  • Encourages young readers to look at the torn paper in a new perspective and be creative

Tear-iffic Oops!

What You Will Need

  • Construction paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue

How to Do It

  1. Place a piece of construction under a chair leg, under your foot, or anything else that will hold it down securely. Grasp part of the paper and pull to tear.
  2. Examine torn paper and see what you can turn it into!
  3. Use markers, crayons, or additional paper to add details. 
Tear-iffic Oops! - Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
A Hat
Tear-iffic Oops! - Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
A Shark
Tear-iffic Oops! - Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
Tear-iffic Oops! - Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf
A Baby Elephant 

Related Activity: It Looks Like...


Berry Smear

We thought a lot about what would be a good recipe to go along with this book choice. Somehow, this fit the bill: similar to jelly, but its thinner consistency lends itself to lots of oops. So smear away, and don't worry about the oops!

Berry Smear Recipe - Beautiful Oops! - Off the Shelf

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Kids can stir, mash the berries and, most importantly, smear on bread or graham crackers. 

Berry Smear

Adapted from Fifi's Fruit Spread


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Mash berries with a potato masher, a wooden spoon, or a fork. 
  2. Cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The smear will continue to thicken as it cools. 

Serve smeared on a slice of bread or some graham cracker. We recommend Beginner's Yeast BreadHoney Oat Quick Bread or Perfect Graham Squares.


One Year Ago: Extra Yarn is a quirky tale full of fairy tale magic and modern, deadpan humor that delivers a wonderful message about generosity and selflessness.

Two Years Ago:  January is National Hot Tea Month! Celebrate by reading the first of author David Kirk’s Miss Spider books, Miss Spider's Tea Party


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