Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Vivian French
Illustrator: Angela Barrett
Publisher: Candlewick Press
A long time ago there was a king and queen who loved their daughter Lucia very much. They worried about finding a suitable husband for Lucia so they sent a message to Wise Old Angelo asking for advice. Angelo sends his grandson, Salvatore, with a message saying that whoever can show the king and queen the most wonderful thing in the world will be the proper husband for Lucia. The king and queen begin searching for suitors immediately. Each suitor brings spectacular things to the palace, but none of them are the most wonderful thing in the world. Meanwhile, Lucia asks Salvatore to show her around the city which she hadn’t had the chance to explore before. They slowly fall in love and Salvatore eventually presents Lucia before the king and queen as the most wonderful thing in the world. Lucia and Salvatore marry and become the most loved rulers of the kingdom.
The Most Wonderful Thing in the World is a beautiful and uplifting story. While the book contains several beautiful illustrations, the emphasis is definitely on the words. This is a good book to help children transition from picture books to chapter books. The illustrations in the books are beautiful and intricate. There are many small details hidden within the pictures that take time to see and appreciate. Young children may lose interest in the book quickly because of that. It is best suited for children with a slightly higher reading level that are beginning to understand stories without the aid of pictures.