The Most Amazing Thing

The Most Amazing Thing

By Author / Illustrator

Ian Hayward Robinson, Matt Shanks


Mental Health & Wellbeing

Age range(s)



Allen & Unwin




Paperback / softback




'What is the most amazing thing?' asks Henry.

'Life,' says his sister.
'The mind,' says his brother.
'The universe,' says his father.

Henry can see these things are amazing, but are they the MOST amazing thing?   A timely story with an enduring message about the different ways to find wonder in the world.

Philosopher and primary school teacher Ian Hayward Robinson teams up with the bestselling illustrator of Rosie the Rhinoceros, Matt Shanks, to show young readers that while the world is full of wonders, the search for meaning is an individual quest.



Henry is bored. He is stuck inside because of the weather and nothing anyone suggests to him appeals. He also feels useless and tries to find something amazing to do. His family all offer suggestions but nothing piques his interest of imagination. Then his mother says something that completely transforms the way he thinks about himself.

The Most Amazing Thing explores a very 'real' scenario for many children. Everyone seems busy and capable and they feel left out and useless. My ten-year-old was quite taken aback by the story as it resonated with her too (she still loves picture books I'm glad to say). The mother says almost exactly the same as I say and it helped her understand why I tell her how amazing she is.

The pictures by Matt Shanks are full of personality and both amusing and engaging. This is the perfect match of text and illustration, each adding to each other. I think this book can be read in different ways, with the deeper understanding (and the humour) being taken from it once children are a bit older, but it can be enjoyed by younger children too.

Suggested Reading Age 3+


Other titles