There’s always the ‘second album’ issue isn’t there? The first goes down a storm because it’s different and fresh and the second often disappoints because it’s more of the same and has lost the novelty. In Katie Walton’s second book (third if you count The Mindset Melting Pot) largely, but not exclusively directed at children and exploring the benefits of a growth mindset, she has avoided the ‘second album syndrome’ with aplomb. Fortitude rides again and the message to young people (and old for that matter) is “go for it”! Blow the mistakes, who gives a tick, a cross, a smiley face or a star. The fun is really in the making of mistakes, learning and moving on, dabbling in things outside the comfort zone and discovering that you can do things that you didn’t think you could, after all. The illustrations remain as fun and accessible as before, the text as stretching and unpatronising as it should be and the message one that OfSTED should take on board: children DO NOT progress steadily and in every lesson, they are being scared out of taking risks and making mistakes and many (boys perhaps particularly) will avoid trying things for fear of “getting it wrong”. The message in this book is as strong as its predecessor: making mistakes is the very essence of real learning and should be enjoyed, applauded and not avoided or marked as failure.
Reading this book makes me think the possibilities are almost endless: Fortitude Does Fractions, Fortitude Falls out with Friends, (now that has possibilities Ms Walton!) but perhaps my suggestions should stop in case the alliteration takes me down avenues it would be best not to go. Katie Walton should be congratulated on A Muddle of Mistakes and I would recommend it for reading at home or in the classroom. Good to look at, good to read and a genuinely clever piece.
As a teacher, I can highly recommend Katie’s books as they are rooted in what is most important for our present day learners – mindset. After using her first book ‘I Can’t Do This’ extensively in my classroom and beyond, I quickly ordered her next book (The Mindset Melting Pot) for teachers on developing growth mindsets within your own classroom. This has now brought us to A Muddle of Mistakes. The layout and graphics in this book are so different from your average picture book that is appeals to all age groups. It lends itself well to visible learning work and development, but also some great literacy challenges. Reading this with your own class, or child, is bound to lead to further questioning and discussion. Katie’s passion for teaching and learning comes through clearly in this book and I look forward to Fortitude’s next adventure!
I am a huge fan of Katie’s books… I have all of them and I have found them hugely inspiring and helpful in the classroom. This book in particular sparked great discussion in my classroom and the pupils enjoyed the story. It was thought provoking for the pupils and myself! The book allows pupils to challenge their thinking and the discussion and ideas that came as a result were super!
I really like Katie’s books because they share the language of learning and promote Growth Mindset thinking in a fun and engaging way! I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking at Growth Mindset work!
Thank You Katie!
A delightfully zany introduction to children of the power of error. In a high-stakes education system where children can learn very early to avoid mistakes in order to meet a performance agenda, this book acts as a happy antidote and a spur to keep them learning – not just performing. Carol Dweck’s mindset research is its catalyst, but it’s books like these that help translate theory into practice. I hope it does really well.
As an Educational Psychologist I have recommended this book (along with Katie’s other books) to lots of schools. It’s a great resource for introducing growth mindset and relates really well to resilience & developing a language of learning. I’m sure this book will be a great success!!
Excellent tool for intervention work with small groups, going through a couple of pages at a time as quite meaty, evokes lots conversations and encourages the children to share stories of their own mistakes.