Book Review: The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken


Pages: 56

Publisher: Dial Books

Release Date: April 18, 2017

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC



Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration One eye was bigger than the other.  That was a mistake. The weird  frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky. As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.



By John W. Kurtze

THE BOOK OF MISTAKES looks at the creative process of drawing a story picture from a child’s point of view.  Corinna Luyken skillfully demonstrates when a child begins to draw, he or she is not sure what he or she is creating.   The author shows drawing a circle on a piece paper inspires the creativity of a child to add to the picture.  Luyken demonstrates how drawing only one dot in the circle creating a face with only one eye.  The mistake can inspire the artist to add a second dot completing the face or add a patch covering the missing eye.  The author adds new items to her drawing changing the message of her story with the stroke of her pen. The ability to see a mistake in a picture, adding colors or a hat or a balloon or a pile dark blotches that could be an animal of a bunch of leaves of at the bottom of the page, expands the story.

Luyken shares there is nothing wrong with not liking what we first draw or write.   She empowers her readers to change their minds.   What matters is what the artist adds to the picture to change the picture, instead of just starting over with a new piece of paper.  Luyken inspires readers to tweak the drawing creating an entirely new picture one detail at a time.   THE BOOK OF MISTAKES uses the visual of Luyken drawings to teach adaptability and demonstrates the creativity is a work in progress.  Luyken’s story is for readers of all ages and earns a five-star ranking.


Corinna Luyken lives with her husband and daughter in Olympia, WA. THE BOOK OF MISTAKES is her first book— an idea that would be nothing without her many, many mistakes.

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