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The Important Book

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,337 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Margaret Wise Brown, the New York Times bestselling author of the perennial classics Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, asks children to think deeply about the importance of everyday objects, from apples to spoons. With lyrical words and vivid illustrations by Caldecott winner Leonard Weisgard, The Important Book shows children just how important everyday objects can be. Th ...more
Paperback, 24 pages
Published May 19th 1999 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 1949)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  2,337 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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The illustrations are wonderful and I love the way they had found different ways to include the text in the picture such as writing it on a flag but I did find the text a bit repetitive and annoying. There is a statement on each page about the picture such as - a daisy is important because it is white, shoes are important because you put your feet in them, grass is important because it is green. I wasn't sure if it was intended to be incorrect so the child could correct the adult reader and say ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
My first experience with this book was with grade 4 students today and I just loved it! Each page chooses something different an apple, grass, the sky etc and talks about the most important thing about it. My colleague used this as a great writing icebreaker for students to then let her know what is the most important thing about them. Great use of repetition and eye catching illustrations.
I am ranking Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book with two stars only because Leonard Weisgard's accompanying illustrations are once again aesthetically wonderful and a true visual treat (and that I with very much pleasure remember them from when I read The Important Book when we first moved to Canada in 1976). However, with regard to the author's text (which I really do not remember all that fondly), I can only say that I have found Margaret Wise Brown's words presumptive, annoying and inde ...more
Shala Howell
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The important thing about this book is that it is fabulous. It is true that if I could give this book 6 stars, I would. It is true that if I could give this book to every child who would eventually need to write an essay, I would. And when my daughter is ready to learn how to write, this book will help me explain the difference between the main idea and secondary supporting details and the various places they should go in a well constructed paragraph. For now, though, this book is just a joy to ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-nf-unsorted
When I first read this book, I was super frustrated by the end of the book, and then I realized that I just needed to think differently. This is a great book for a discussion starter on points of view and the difference between a big idea and supporting ideas. Here's one example from the book:

The important thing about an apple is that it is round.
It is red.
You bite it,
and it is white inside.

I cringed as I read these words. I wanted a red correcting pen. This is wrong! I wondered, 'does anyone ag
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the classic writer, illustrator Margaret Wise Brown, comes a book with simple yet important facts.
Alana Graham
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: perspectives
I was excited to read this book because I completely agreed with the idea of a book that illustrates how to determine the most important aspects in contrast to other characteristics. I thought the first page was very simple, and true to everyday observations. Many of the examples, however, I did not agree with. For many of the items It said that the most important thing was the color or some other outward characteristic, and I think this is a shallow message to send to children. It also implies ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: younger-kids
Good grief, is the important thing about a daisy is that it is white? Or the important thing about a grass is that it is green? I think that is a matter of opinion.

I do like the message at the end that what is important about YOU is that YOU are YOU!
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great book to use with younger students at the beginning of the year. A follow up activity could be for the class to make their own 'The Important Book' with each child making a page. My instructor read this to us with a group of kids and she made the point of saying during the reading "This is what the author thinks is the most important thing, you might think differently." To me this was perfect because you wouldn't want a child to have a narrow view of what's 'the' most important thing about ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teaching
Could use as a jumping-off point for a poetry unit, but most of the things Margaret Wise Brown claims are "important" about objects in the book are pretty subjective. I suppose that would also be something good to discuss in class.. anyway, I recalled not really liking this when it was read to us in a Children's Lit class last year, and now that I've given it a second chance I still am not overly fond of it. ...more
Callie *Fights Censorship*
Oct 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
I really did not like this book, it is repetitive, and annoying, and lacking in creativity but the most important thing about this book is that I didn't like it. ...more
This book was written in a formulaic manner. It is not a storybook, because there is no plot. Illustrations on every page are accompanied by a short paragraph that lists facts and details about objects in the pictures. For example, the most important thing about a spoon is that we eat with it. Then follows a description of the spoon that is like a little shovel you hold in your hand and bring to your mouth. It’s not flat, but hollow, and it spoons things up. Finally, the writer repeats “But the ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book that I adapted to use for a writing project with my fourth graders. The book highlights the important characteristics of certain items. Students use the same format to highlight who/what is important to them in their lives. The stories are touching.

I have been using this book throughout my career to teach characteristics/properties. Other than relying too much on color, this is an excellent book. Students mimic Wise's style. Some years students describe themselves, o
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I like the idea of using this book for what Jeff Anderson calls "sentence stalking." Give students the structure, and try their hand at their own complex sentence construction. The book itself is repetitive to the point of tedium, but that could work in a teacher's favor in getting the rhythm and structure of the model sentences in a student's head so they can create their own. ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picturebooks
I'm afraid this book wouldn't pass today's ideological censors. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It talks about the "important" parts of certain things. Or, their essence in a way. What is the important thing about the sky? Or a spoon. This book allows children to reflect on the things around them and think about what is important about each and every one of them. ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
See my review for Hailstones and Halibut Bones if you want to know why I think this book is bad and stupid and boring. ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: Mrs. Sackman
Shelves: lawsonland
I can not believe I never read this book before. It's absolutely fantastic! What a teaching tool. I plan to use it next year for main idea, descriptive language, and Mother's Day. This year I used it for Mother's Day. One of my friends shared her Mother's Day plan with me, and it was wonderful. Basically, we read The Important Book to our class.... blah, blah, blah..... and end up making a page for our mothers just like the book's pattern. I used a selection of cool glittered scrapbook paper, 3d ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
This book has a good concept (identifying what is important about something) but the execution is terrible. The author lists various qualities about different things but then seems to pick something random from the list to conclude "what's important is.....". WRONG.

The book should have either left each conclusion as a question, such as "What do you think is most important about this?" or given clues to how one decides which quality is most important.

As written, the book gives children the very
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pbf-general
Brown writes what she thinks is the characteristic that is important about an object. But she also gives a few other characteristics about each object, and though I may disagree with her choice (I think the important thing about a glass is that it holds liquids), in this book she is introducing very young children to an eclectic variety of things in their world, including drinking glasses, snow, the sky, shoes, etc. I really liked Weisgard's illustrations for this book. ...more
Kristin Nelson
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've never been excited about Margaret Wise Brown books and this book is no different. Interesting concept but I didn't like her "important" things. I think the kindergartners in our classroom did a better job of zeroing in on the important things. (for example, "The important thing about the sun is that it is hot. It shines. It is yellow. But the important thing about the sun is that it is hot.") ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Mommy: 3 Stars. I think my expectations were too high based on author’s previous books, but a good book nonetheless.

Maxwell:3 Stars: I think it should make kindergarteners go up to 2nd grade. That’s what George’s mom said when George was in kindergarten.

July 10, 2019

Mom: read it again and like it even less. The only pages that are endearing and makes sense are the last about you are you.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I like the idea and the pictures and the repetition, and maybe it's a good way to discuss opinions and that written words aren't always to be accepted as true. Unless we accept that the color of something, for example, is *the* important thing about it. ...more
Luisa Knight
I don't know that it's an important, must-read book, but it has it's moments of charm and the idea is a clever one. And I can certainly see it being some children's favorite. If you haven't tried it, you should read it and let me know what your child thought.

Ages: 2 - 6
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
After two pages my son was groaning "This book is so boring!" I tend to agree. Not a big fan of how simplistic it is. There's more to things than their color, etc. ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I did not enjoy reading this, but I love watching my listener now try to read it to herself.
Stephanie Glenn

Summary: The Important Book is page of after page of descriptive words and an intriguing tambre to the words. The Important Book tells the reader what is important about everyday things they see, such as the wind, rain, daisies, and the sky, it even includes a nice little surprise at the end.

Evaluation: The Important Book contains pictures with a retro feel, as it was written in 1949. The book stands the test of time, however. The author's voice is still valid and the content is still true, eve

Isabel Young
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Important Book is a very simple book, but it has a great lesson at the end. Throughout the book, it talks about the importance of simple things in the world, like an apple, the sky, or shoes. The last page says the most important thing about you is that you are you. It explains to young kid what basic objects are and what makes them significant in the world.

A major theme is that everyone and everything is important. No matter its main use or significance, everything in the world is here for
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Part of my children's literature reading project.
Simply described, the book points out a number of extremely common objects and determines that each has various properties, but one stands out about each one. e.g., the important thing about the sky, whatever else you may say about it is that it's always there.
The value of such a book IMO is that it is a springboard to discussion about observation and analysis. Children may agree or even disagree with the points made. Is the important thing about
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EDCI 325 Fall 2012: The Important Book 1 4 Nov 16, 2012 07:59AM  

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Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Even though she died nearly 60 years ago, her books still sell very well.

Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or p

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