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The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

19 Mar 2015


Voice Cast Announced for The Most Magnificent Thing Animated Short, Based On Ashley Spires’ Book

October 12, 2018

Canadian animation studio Nelvena’s short film adaptation of Ashley Spires‘ picture book The Most Magnificent Thing is currently wrapping production, and the voice cast has officially been announced! At the helm is Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg, in the role of “narrator”. Additionally Alison Pill (The Newsroom) will play the “Mom” character, Lilly Bartlam (The Handmaid’s Tale) is “the determined girl,” and Tony Daniels (Atomic Puppet) takes on the role of her canine best friend. The CGI-film is set to debut at various film festivals in early 2019, and will then appear on Corus Entertainment’s kids networks in Canada.

Ashley Spires’s The Most Magnificent Thing to be Turned into Animated Short

February 20, 2017

Canadian animation company Nelvana has announced that, in association with Kids Can Press, they will begun producing an animated short based on Ashley Spires‘s bestselling picture book The Most Magnificent Thing. The short is currently in pre-production.

The Most Magnificent Thing tells of a young girl’s trial and error attempts to create the most magnificent thing ever, and has been praised for its portrayal of the creative process and its message of perseverance and hard work. Ashley is excited by the short, saying, “There can never be enough opportunities to present young female characters as empowered, inventive problem-solvers to inspire children…I can’t wait to see the final product.”

Keep an eye out for this exciting new short! You can find out more information about the film here.


September 11, 2015
The finalists have been announced for the 2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards, and Ashley Spires and Steve Adams have books on the list.  Ashley’s The Most Magnificent Thing and Steve’s If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers are both up for the  TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Congrats Steve and Ashley! Read the full list here.

Booklist’s “Classroom Connections: Maker Minds” Features Three Painted Words Artists

April 20, 2015

We were delighted to find that books illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Vanessa Brantley Newton, and Ashley Spires were included in Booklist’s article, “Classroom Connections: Maker Minds.”  The books featured help inspire “hands-on creativity” for kids. It’s no surprise that The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Magic Trash, and The Most Magnificent Thing made the list.  Get inspired by these wonderful stories and start a DIY project of your own!

Bank Street College Best Books of 2015 Includes Connie Schofield-Morrison, Frank Morrison, Molly Idle, Ashley Spires

March 26, 2015

The Bank Street College of Education releases an annual list of the best children’s books, and this year we are proud to announce the inclusion of several of our illustrators’ and authors’ books. Included on the list are The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle, I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison, and Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, illustrated by Frank Morrison.

According to Bank Street’s website, “In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotype.”

Congratulations Frank, Connie, Molly, and Ashley on this fantastic honor!

To view the complete list, click here.

2015 Wisconsin State Reading Association “Picture This!” List

March 19, 2015

Painted Words authors and illustrators Molly Idle, Elise Gravel, Vanessa Brantley Newton, and Ashley Spires had books selected for the 2015 WSRA (Wisconsin State Reading Association) Picture This! ListFor this award, the committee evaluates books based on the quality of literature, the appeal for students, and the value for classroom use.  The books selected from our talented artists include Flora and the PenguinThe Fly, The Worm, The Hula Hoopin’ Queen, and The Most Magnificent Thing.  Congrats, ladies!

To view the full list, click here.


New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing Includes Frank Morrison, K.G. Campbell, & Ashley Spires

December 30, 2014

The New York Public Library’s end-of-year list, 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing, includes The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell, and Frank Morrison‘s illustrated reader Ballerina Dreams.  Also selected was The Most Magnificent Thing, a picture book by Painted Words’ newest author-illustrator, Ashley Spires.  Congrats K.G., Frank, and Ashley on this great honor!