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You Are Special

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  34,992 ratings  ·  898 reviews
In You Are Special, Max Lucado tells the story of Punchinello, the wooden Wemmick who believes that he isn't good enough because of what others say about him. When will Punchinello realize how truly special he is?

You Are Special is a beautiful story that reminds us that we are precious to God just the way we are. It is through spending daily time with him that we begin to
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Published August 31st 2000 by Crossway Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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One of my high school teachers gave this to me when she was leaving to go to another high school. I was the girl who always was quiet so I had a teacher or two tell me that I wasn't going to get very far. But there were a few in the 11th and 12th grade who convinced me that I was more than my shyness. This book reminds me of that time and how far I've gotten since then from only saying 1 word a year to not being afraid of strangers. It always convinces me again that I am special. And on a plus n ...more
Jo-Anne Puggioni
The first time I read this book I cried. I was 26 years old and found this children's book on the shelf at my friend's house. I opened it and read it and found myself within the pages of the book.

You Are Special is the story of wooden people called the Wemmicks. Everyday the Wemmicks would give shiny stars to the Wemmicks that did amazing things and gave black dots to Wemimicks that did things wrong.

One particular Wemmick, Punchinello kept getting dots put on him, as he was a little clumsy. One
Shannon (leaninglights)
Decided to add this to my GR because it was a book my mom gave to me as a kid and I just pulled out my old book and read it to my daughters (4YO and 2YO). I forgot how sweet and simple and to the point it is. Beautiful message about loving yourself, being loved by God and not letting the judgments of people affect you. Beautiful illustrations as well :)
Dhanaraj Rajan
A small book with a 'simple' message....

Lessons Learnt:

1. Let not the opinions of others make you a prisoner. You are special.

2. Do not judge the other. Each one is special.

3. Value yourself and the others just for what you and they are.

This is on the coffee table in my therapy office. In my work with children, I frequently have parents read to their children books that will enhance self-esteem. This is one that does it through a spiritual message, emphasizing that we are special because of how our Maker sees us, rather than because of self-generated esteem or the esteem of others. In fact, it suggests that greater self-esteem comes when we let neither the criticisms nor the compliments of others stick, and instead look to our ...more
May 26, 2007 Alexis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: childrens-books
This book still makes me cry, even though I have read it a million times. Whenever I feel alone or distant from God or unworthy to be called his child, this is the book I turn to. I don't know how many copies of this book I have given away as presents, none to children.

Now, I will admit that when I saw little wooden puppets on the cover of this book, I was truly intrigued, since I enjoy reading books that deal with puppets in general (whether the puppets are cute or horrifying). “You Are Special” is a truly unique children’s book written by Max Lucado along with illustrations by Sergio Martinez that many children and adults will enjoy for the heartwarming message about being yourself.

Once upon a time, there was a little village where wooden people called the W
Faith Spinks
Max Lucado's story 'You are Special' is a written as a children's book but it is one of those books which isn't only appealing to children. The message of the story can speak to both adults and children alike and is definitely one of my favourites.

The Wemmicks are small wooden people who every day give each other stickers. The good looking or talented Wemmicks receive gold stars while those whose wood is rough or chipped or who can't do much get grey dots. Punchinello always tried to get gold st
You are special tells the story of Eli, the woodcarver, and the society of wooden people he creates called, Wemmicks. Wemmicks spend their days placing stickers on one another as a way of expressing their feelings: those who were appreciated received yellow "stars", those who were not would get gray "dots". There was only one Wemmick who never got any stars. His name was Punchinello. He was sad that no one gave him stars and he thought that, because of his gray dots, he was worthless. Until, one ...more
"You Are Special" continues to be one of my favorite books. The main idea of the story is to show children that they are wonderful, special individuals... regardless of how the world evaluates them; which relates to the idea of everybody being different. The main character, Punchinello, is not as pretty, smart, or talented as the others in his community, yet in the end he discovers that what others think does not matter. In this Religion genre text Eli, the woodcarver, represents the creator of ...more
Another book my mom gave me when I was having one of 'those' days. I never felt special growing up, much like Punchinello. I probably would have had lots of gray dots and no gold stars either! While the book was written for children to understand that God loves them no matter what, I was given the book when I was probably about 15 or 16. The message was still loud and clear - but I didn't see Eli as God... to me, he was my parents.

This is another one of those books that I still have on the shel
Great book, good message, wonderful illustrations.
Bojan Tunguz
This is a beautifully designed and illustrated spiritual book for toddlers and children. It is also very well written, and it is enjoyable to read in its own right. It carries a very simple message – we are all God’s creatures, and he loves us despite (or sometimes even because) of our many flaws and defects. The labels and categories that we put each other in are irrelevant. What really matters is how God views us and what He thinks of us. All we need to do is accept God’s love and spend some t ...more
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Excellent children's book. I wish adults would read this one too and remember the message - how candid God's love is toward us. On our personal journey, we are often labeled and framed according to our performance which is measured by human standards. God does not see us in labels, frames, or colors, and does not love us according to our performance. He made us, He did not make a mistake, and loves us as we are because we belong to Him. Once these words become revelation in us, everything change ...more
I absolutely love this book. It has a special place in my heart. It is very uplifting and sweet. I would read this book to my little siblings and it just was so great! I just have so many happy memories of this book and the overall message it brings. Well written and a creative way to share a wonderful message that we should all know.
Everyday Wemmicks go around sticking stickers on the other Wemmicks. If you are smart, pretty, or talented, they will place a star on your wooden frame. But if you are not star-worthy then they will place a grey dot instead. Punchinello is one such Wemmick, no matter how hard he tries, he just keeps getting more and more gray dots. It takes a chance meeting with a Wemmick that has no stickers whatsoever that finally sets Punchinello in the right direction.

This was a lovely story that perfectly i
Alexa Maring
The perfect book to read to a student who feels as though they are not good enough to fit in or are different from those around them. The moral of this story is that you don't have to be like everyone else. Each person has their own way of being special and the opinions of others do not define you. I am in love with this book. I feel like many children feel unwanted and they desire for someone to tell them they are cared about and are special. In our cruel world, it is too often that people are ...more
A well written fable for children in which the main character as well as the reader are encouraged to shun the negativity that threatens to define them in favor of love of self and love of the Creator.

Overall, a nice moral without being preachy.

I adore this story. First and foremost for the message, but also for the connections I've made with it. From classroom creative writing exercises to language practice with Czech university students, this book is a cherished piece of my history.

most recent re-read: December 2014
Diana Judd
This is a fantastic book that teaches everyone that reads it, regardless of their age, that it is more important to love yourself than to care what other people think of you. There will always be people judging you and telling you that you aren't good enough. But this book has a beautiful message that you were created to be unique and you are not a mistake. I love this book because it is a god reminder that I am in charge of how I will live my life. Little Punchinello is someone I think we can a ...more
This is the best children's book! I love this message.
Shane Bunn
The following is a review I wrote in May 2001:
Until my sister told me of this book, I would never have even given it a second look. Max Lucado is not my favorite author by any stretch of the imagination, but this one goes above and beyond any of those deep instructional books he and others have sent out to the world. It's simple, and the story goes right to the heart of the reader. It's definitely a great purchase for yourself or as a gift for others.
The story is about a land where beautiful peo
Kim Vu
You are Special, by Mark Lucado, is a story about little wooden puppets called Wemmicks that all lived in a village together. Each day they would put stickers on each other that were either dots or stars. Extraordinary and pretty puppets got stars, while ugly and untalented puppets received dots. One puppet named Punchinello, was covered in dots and he did not believe he was a good puppet, until one day he met a puppet named Lucia who was not covered in stickers at all. She told him to go see th ...more
Bernie Swain
This is the story of the wemmicks who every day place either gold stars or grey dots on each other based on what they think of each other. Gold stars go to the exceptional “stand out” and those who are damaged (chipped or scratched) get ugly grey dots. The story tells of the wood maker Eli who is representing God, helping Punchinello, a toy with many grey dots understand that he is special and is not defined by the dots on his body. He learns that you cannot classify people as special and not sp ...more
Wyatt Fessenden
You Are Special by Max Lucado is probably one of the most heartwarming children's book I have ever read. This book focuses on a group of wooden people called the Wemmicks. Every day, the Wemmick did the same thing - they gave golden star stickers to the Wemmicks that did good things, and gray dots to those that did bad. Punchinello was clumsy, so he always got dots, and he lost hope in himself, until he met Lucia, who showed him to Eli. Eli was the woodcarver and he changes Puncinello's life.

Brooke Wagner
You Are Special by Max Lucado tells the story of wooden people, called Wemmicks, who spend their days passing out stickers. These stickers represent your value, if you are special you get a gold star and if you are not you get a gray dot. Punchinello has more dots than any of them. One day he finds a girl, Lucia, who has no dots at all, the stickers don't stick. So she introduces Punchinello to the creator, Eli, the reason why the stickers never stick. Here Punchinello realizes that he is specia ...more
McKenna Crimmins
This is one of my favorite books for many reasons. It teaches many amazing lessons about being different in a world full of commonalities and judgment. The toymaker made every one of his toys perfect in his eyes and as long as you know that, looking and acting different won't matter to you anymore. It is a great book, that also has others in its series, that allows younger readers to understand that judging others and being judged won't matter anymore once you realize that you were made to be ex ...more
You Are Special is Max Lucado's message to children that no matter what others think of you, you are loved by the Creator. The story follows a small wooden doll named Punchinello who is an outcast among the other wooden dolls. He receives many "grey dots" for failing at various things and is looked down upon by everyone until he meets a doll named Lucia who has no markings. She tells Punchinello to visit the Creator Eli if he wants to have no marks like her. When he meets the creator, he learns ...more
Danielle Boles
I love this story because my mother gave it to me when I thought I wasn't exactly the most special person in the world compared to my friends who had nicer things than I did when I was young. This is a story about little wooden people called Wemmicks who spend their days giving each other golden stars for when they do something neat or ugly grey dots for when they do something one can frown upon. Punchinello, a Wemmick who only receives ugly dots meets a girl Wemmick who doesn't have any stars o ...more
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The book 3 18 Jun 27, 2013 09:45PM  
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Max Lucado has touched millions with his signature storytelling writing style. Awards and accolades follow Max with each book he writes. Max is the first author to win the Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year three times—1999 for Just Like Jesus, 1997 for In the Grip of Grace and 1995 for When God Whispers Your Name. In 2005, Reader’s Digest dubbed him “America’s Best Preacher.” In addition, ...more
More about Max Lucado...
He Chose the Nails Facing Your Giants In the Grip of Grace: You Can't Fall Beyond His Love Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear Just Like Jesus

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“Who are they to give stars or dots? They're Wemmicks just like you."
Eli to Punchinello (p. 25)”
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