Product Review: Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story (Age 6+)
For Those of Us Who Are Impatient, Lack Discipline and Are Known for Making Mistakes!
One thing I have always noticed is that the best leaders in a work environment put each of their employees on tasks that are their biggest strengths. After all, if you can’t do calculus, you probably won’t be a great statistician. If you can’t draw a straight line, you may not be the best architect. It’s easy to point out people’s weaknesses, we all have them of course, but we also all have great strengths. When you are put into a situation in which you are ill-suited, you can quickly become the butt of jokes and earn hurtful nicknames, like poor little Smudge (who had terrible handwriting) in this Christmas Story about the illustration of the Christmas Story. This book is a great reminder that we all make mistakes and that our smudges are just that…..marks on the page of life that can be erased and started anew with the right guidance and support for those that do believe we all have the ability to be strong in lots of areas we never even realized.
First a little history: Smudge and the Book of Mistakes centers around Brother Cuthbert (aka Smudge) who lives in the Middle Ages and is sentenced to the monastery of St. Ambrose on the Irish Island of Morcarrick when his dad thinks he is too ‘weak’ to be a warrior. I tried to find out more about this island, but I think it might be based on the actual island called Carrick-on-Suir (originally called Carrig Mac Griffin) that was formed on an island settlement upstream of Waterford in Ireland. The monastic movement was huge in the Sixth through the Tenth Centuries in Ireland and St. Ambrose was a bishop that became ‘famous’ by organizing the first monasteries in the West.
OK, now back to Smudge! In the monastery Smudge lives quietly in service and prayer until he is tasked with the illumination of the Christmas Story. It was a complete accident, of course, Brother Bede knew Father Abbott said Brother Cuthbert would be in charge of the endeavor in error, but no one dared to question Father Abbott. So Smudge was in charge of this very important task. For once in his life, Smudge decided to stick to his task and practice, practice and practice. He wrote and re-wrote his letters until the lines he drew were perfect. And you know what? Smudge (*ahem* Brother Cuthbert) became the monastery’s official scribe although, like all of us, he still made mistakes. And that is okay.
“Always Try To Make an Opportunity of Your Mistakes, Smudge, and Not a Regret”
List Price: $17.95 (currently $10.40 through Amazon.com)