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Literature / The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

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The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes is a children's book by two men named Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett.

It is about a girl named Beatrice Bottomwell, who has become famous in her town as the Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes because she has never in her life made a mistake.

However, when she trips and almost breaks some eggs at cooking class, she doesn't count that as a mistake because the eggs didn't break, but it's close enough to a mistake that she worries that she will make a proper mistake on her talent night.

And sure enough she does: she accidentally uses pepper instead of salt in her juggling act, which makes her hamster sneeze and pop a water balloon, which lands on her. Afterwards, she's happy but nobody's impressed by her anymore.


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The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes provides examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: When Beatrice is juggling Humbert the hamster, he wears a cape and aviator's hat.
  • Alliterative Name: Beatrice Bottomwell.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Carl Bottomwell, Beatrice's brother, likes to do crazy things like draw with his green beans, eat his crayons, and wear his cereal bowl on his head. At the end of the book, Beatrice also adopts his mannerisms.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Carl eats his crayons.
  • Failures on Ice: Beatrice, Millie, and Sarah all fall down a lot while ice skating.
  • Lost Aesop: There seems to be An Aesop in there somewhere, but it's hard to find. It could be that Mistakes Are Not the End of the World, but if Beatrice truly had never made mistakes in her life, then wouldn't suddenly making a mistake be reason to be concerned? (for an analogy, imagine if Alice spoke perfectly her whole life but then suddenly got a Speech Impediment for no apparent reason, only for Bob to tell her, "It's OK, Alice- lots of people have speech impediments!"). The Aesop could also be not to pressure kids not to make mistakes but, again, if Beatrice had truly never made a mistake in her life, people would have reason to be impressed.
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  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The audience are "stunned" when the water balloon pops on Beatrice because "they couldn't believe that the Girl Who Never Made Mistakes made a mistake".
  • Pepper Sneeze: When Beatrice accidentally juggles pepper instead of salt, it makes Humbert sneeze.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Carl's behaviour is described as "mistakes" but some of it (like drawing with his green beans and eating his crayons) is clearly intentional, and by definition, a mistake is unintentional. Also, a mistake is anything you do accidentally, so even if Beatrice didn't break any eggs, it's still a mistake because she didn't mean to trip.

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