A Review of "Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story" in Booklist
Young Cuthbert, small for his age of 15, is sent to a monastery because his father thinks he would be hopeless as a warrior. But when he is sent to the scriptorium, Cuthbert couldn’t be happier. He loves forming letters, though he always smudges the ink, earning him the nickname of Smudge. By mistake, Smudge is chosen, rather than the greatest scribe in Ireland, to illuminate the Christmas story—a proud endeavor that will make the monastery famous. Can messy Smudge make it perfect? Under Brother Gregory’s tutelage, Smudge practices his letters over and over, but he makes a mistake in the letter B as he is about to finish the manuscript. Thankfully, Brother Gregory rescues the parchment by demonstrating how to make an opportunity of your mistake by drawing a flower inside the B. Meditative, earth-toned illustrations alternate between full-bleed and bordered pages resembling those of ornate Bibles. The tale is fictional, but the dual messages of practice makes perfect and we all make mistakes ring true.