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The Important Book
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Product Description

"The important thing about rain is/ that it is wet./ It falls out of the sky,/ and it sounds like rain,/ and makes things shiny,/ and it does not taste like anything,/ and is the color of air./ But the important thing about rain is that it is wet."

Goodnight Moon creator Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book is a deceptively simple exercise--taking familiar things like an apple, spoon, or shoe, and finding the most basic association with those things. The most important thing about an apple? It is round. A spoon? You eat with it. A shoe? You put your foot in it. But why, according to Brown, is the most important thing about grass "that it is green," while the most important thing about an apple is "that it is round"? Why is "that it is white" the most important thing about snow and a daisy? Whether or not you'd distill these things in the same way that the author does, Brown makes us think about the essence of everyday entities in new ways. The illustrations, by Caldecott Medal winner Leonard Weisgard (The Little Island), perform the same function--capturing the spoonness of spoons, the roundness of an apple, the motion of wind.

Happily, Brown went on to create the companion Another Important Book, about the importance of being one, two, three, four, five, and six years old--published for the first time in 1999 with fabulous artwork by Caldecott Honor artist Chris Raschka (Yo! Yes?). Both of Brown's "important books" will endure the test of time as fresh, thought-provoking ways to examine the world around us. (Click to see a sample spread. Text copyright renewed 1977 by Roberta Brown Rauch. Illustrations copyright renewed 1977 by Leonard Weisgard. Permission from HarperCollins Publishers.) (Preschool and older) --Karin Snelson

The important thing about The Important Book--is that you let your child tell you what is important about the sun and the moon and the wind and the rain and a bug and a bee and a chair and a table and a pencil and a bear and a rainbow and a cat (if he wants to).For the important thing about The Important Book is that the book goes on long after it is closed.What is most important about many familiar things—like rain and wind, apples and daisies—is suggested in rhythmic words and vivid pictures. `A perfect book . . . the text establishes a word game which tiny children will accept with glee.' —K.

Customer Reviews:

  • Books for My Classroom
    This is a great book. I read it to my class and then they wrote their own "Important Books."...more info
  • Interesting read
    I like this book for its simplicity and thoughtfulness. The pictures are nice and it's fun to read!...more info
  • AWESOME
    This is a cute book. I read it to my first graders but they really didnt get it. Yet, I read it again and they totally got it! Personally, I love this book.... Every child should read and/or have this book read to him/her....more info
  • Classic
    I think I might like this book more than my son. That's okay. It's a classic....more info
  • Great Writing Lesson
    This is a wonderful book to use for a writing lesson. I used it in a 1st grade classroom. We read the book aloud and discussed the pattern the author used for each item. Then as a writing activity each student chose one person to write about. They followed the same pattern as in the book, saying that "The most important thing about ________ is..." After they finished, I had them share their completed poems with the person they wrote about. It was a very rewarding activity and the kids really loved it!...more info
  • The most important thing is that this is a good book...
    Sweetly and simply written in a similar lulling tone as other Margaret Wise Brown books. Take it for what it is -- a children's book that offers children simple, concrete information that provides them with security and a basic understanding that regardless of how many things define us, there is at least one thing that makes us unique / who we are. And that's a good thing to know and count on. I don't think this book intends to speak to children as if they're brainless and I believe that a young, innocent mind "gets" the message. Any book that reinforces that the best, most important thing about being you is simply that you are you should be applauded and supported by all of us....more info
  • Discard it!
    This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Its title deceives us. We expect to see things like "kittens are cuddly," or "mothers love us." Instead we read "snow is white," and "rain is wet." We are led to believe there is something important in "whiteness" and "wetness," but these are merely descriptions of the world about us. In giving such bland descriptions, the author attempts to derive values from facts, in effect deadening our senses to what should be depicted for children as a wonderful world. The fact of the matter is, there's nothing important about this book at all. Discard it!
    ...more info
  • One of my child's very favorites
    The important thing about "The Important Book" is that my 2-year-old son loves it.

    It is true that it made of paper, and is beautifully illustrated, and tells about wind and grass and snow and more, and sometimes makes Daddy-the-ex-English-teacher cringe a bit when it uses "has a grassy smell" to describe grass, and my little boy quotes from it liberally, six times a day, and that when we lost it, we had to buy another copy the next day because he missed it so.

    But the important thing about "The Important Book" is that my 2-year-old son loves it!...more info
  • Awesome Children's Book
    Everybody needs this book. It is a great addition to your collection. There are so many writing activities that you can incorporate into this book for young children. I love it. Thanks so much....more info
  • Not the best...
    I would have to say that I don't particularly agree with this book. I mean, in my opinion, the most important thing about an apple is that it is food, not that it is round. Regardless, it did provide for an interesting conversation in my 2nd grade class, as well as a fun get-to-know-you activity. After reading the book, disucssing differing view points, each student created a page about "The most important thing about me is_____". ...more info
  • The Important Book
    If you are a Margaret Wise Brown fan this book is a definite for your collection. If you are new to her works this is still a book worth owning and one that your three to five year old would want you to read again and again. The drawings by Leonard Wisegard are a big part of the charm....more info
  • Provocative on Purpose
    Hi, I just read the review below from the infuriated reader who said that this book talks down to children.

    But once I went to a talk about children's books and they discussed this book and said that Margaret Wise Brown was not doing that at all. That the intent of the book is actually to invite kids to debate and have their own opinions. She sets up these statements on purpose to provoke, and to get kids to think for themselves. She's playing with the reader because of course, how CAN you say that a daisy is important 'because it is white'? It's also yellow in the middle, and has petals, or whatever. Same with an apple. She says it's important because 'it is round' but what about because it's sweet? Or juicy? The whole joke is that she's announcing 'what's important' about something in order to invite thought and prompt argument. Her other stories reveal too much depth for her to have really been trying to control kids' minds with the 'important book.' ...more info
  • What a wonderful book!
    I love this book. It is so simple, yet wonderfully descriptive. As a teacher, the writing prompts are endless for this one!...more info
  • The Important Thing About Going Back to School
    I love The Important Book! The message in the text is clear and simple. It helps all of my students see that there is something important about everything, no matter how small or inconsequential we may think it is. I use this book with my new classes every August. I use The Important Book as a read aloud and then have my students use the format to tell me the important things about themselves. They love it, and it makes a great hallway display. ...more info
  • Teachers- this one's 4 U!!!!
    If you are a teacher who recognizes the importance of SUMMARIZING after each lesson (Learning Focused model) than this book is just the thing to have in your classroom! Just read the book, and have your students follow it's pattern to relate "The most important thing about...(insert topic here)" For example, although Margaret Wise Brown's pages talk about the most important points about spoons and snow, after teaching a lesson on polygons I had my students follow the pattern to summarize what they learned. Their summaries went something like this "The most important thing about a polygon is that it is a closed figure with straight lines. Polygons have 3 or more sides. There are regular and irregular polygons. Circles are not polygons. But the most important thing about a polygon is that it is a closed figure with straight sides." When I read this I knew my fourth graders had gotten exactly what I intended from my lesson on polygons! I hung this summary on our math bulletin board along with The Important Book slipped into a page protector stapled beside it.
    A librarian I met ordered a copy for every teacher in her school! This would be a great teacher gift too!...more info
  • The Important Book
    Its a classic and a great gift to give teens and adults as well as children....more info
  • Love it & my son does too!!
    Didn't think my 1 1/2 year old would sit through this book but he does & he absolutely loves it. Walks around with it begging for more. The pictures are simple enough for him to observe & point things out like the apple & shoe. The simple rhyming seems to relax him. I think this one will be a long time favorite for my son & I....more info