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You Are Special

(Wemmicksville #1)

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  50,741 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews

Max was interested in helping children understand their value - not from the world's perspective, but from God's. Wemmicksville is a land created by Eli, the "God" figure of the story. He creates each Wemmick in Wemmicksville uniquely, each with its own look and personality. Each story and video is a new adventure with the citizens of Wemmicksville. Punchinello is the cent

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Candle Books (first published 1997)
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Kate Every age and grade level. It has no inappropriate content and has a great message. I'm currently 14 and still read this book and even read it to my y…moreEvery age and grade level. It has no inappropriate content and has a great message. I'm currently 14 and still read this book and even read it to my younger brothers.

hope this helped ;)(less)
Jacqui Liddell If you are reading it out loud, showing the pictures, maximum of 15 minutes.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  50,741 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews

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Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
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
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.

Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  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. ...more
Faith M ✨
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just read this 4 times for my 1 year old nephew so don't judge me for using this towards my reading challenge ...more
Faith Spinks
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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

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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about the Wemmicks, who are small wooden people carved by a woodworker named Eli. Every Wemmick is different, some have big noses, others have large eyes, some are tall, others are short, some wear hats, others wear coats. But all Wemmicks are made by the same carver and all live in the same village.

And while in that village the Wemmicks wander around and stick stars or dots on one another. The stars are stuck on the Wemmicks with smooth wood and fine paint, the dots are stuck on
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrea Warner
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love the object lessons in this book. We use them all the time.

If my bright child comes home from school and says, "Mom, John says I'm an idiot." I say, "Well, are you an idiot?" He'll smile & say "no". Then I'll remind him that the 'dots only stick if you let them'.

Also, whenever people ask who my hero is, I tell them Lucia. I know she's fictional, but I want to be just like her and not let the dots nor the stars stick!

Kid's books are so much fun. :)
Amy Bruestle
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Bower gave this book to me, when I was in 4th grade. Cute.
Jacob Seger
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I recently read a quote from C.S. Lewis, where he mentioned, “no book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally — and often far more— worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

I may have first read this when a bit younger than 10, and I may be only 20, but this book affirms said quote.

I’ve mentioned before, but there is something beautiful about children’s books. In this one, there truly is a beautiful childlikeness that I am certain Jesus would smile upon. The simple d
Angela Blount
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
A quick, charmingly allegorical read with an invaluable message. The author gave young readers a good deal of reasoning credit. While there are clearly Christian principles being expressed, it isn't heavy-handed or over explained. The gist being that what others think of us--good or bad--doesn't matter unless we ALLOW it to matter to us.

I liked the softly lit, watercolor and pastel feel to the illustrations. My children were a little off-put by the exaggerated proportions of the Wemmicks, findi
Bianca Sy
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this because the psychologist accidentally left it on the podium. When I saw this book, I did not hesitate to read it before bringing it back. And yeah... this is an awesome read.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judah
Read this to my baby boy for the first time tonight. It has a beautiful message of finding your identity in Christ. This may become a regular baby shower gift that I’ll be giving <3
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked that it taught me something and I really liked reading it. I liked that at first all the Wemmicks were mean to Punchinello and then he saw this girl who didn't have any stars or dots and he asked how she didn't have any on her, and she said "Go up the hill and the wood maker who made you, go to him and find out." The woodcarver picked him up and said "Man! You have a lot of dots!" Punchinello thought he wasn't special, but Eli said he was special to him, even though he couldn't jump high ...more
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
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
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
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book, good message, wonderful illustrations.
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
So good! I totally cried when reading it. It is obviously very religious but that's okay because I am pretty religious. I don't know it was just so good! ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
My 5 year old sat and listened to me read this book and I was so grateful for a good message to discuss with him. Really great children's book! ...more
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Julie Suzanne
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Monotheists, UUs, people who enjoyed the Sneetches, everyone
Recommended to Julie by: A UU minister
I would never have picked up this book on my own, what with the unfortunate title, but I'm ever so grateful that I found it on my Unitarian Universalist minister's bookshelf. If I were Christian, this would be a 5-star book, so I recommend it to monotheists. This is basically a Sneetches with a Christian spin that had both me and my son sitting in silent contemplation and wonder, flippng through the pages and thinking more deeply about that "mystery which some people call God." It then prompted ...more
Diana Judd
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-to-5-year-olds
Age recommended: age 4 and up

This is one of those gems that I loved so much I couldn't wait to read it to my child, but I also wanted to wait till she would really appreciate and comprehend it. Now she's four and a half and really enjoys it. It's one of those classics that you just have to own, and you don't get tired of reading, because it becomes more meaningful as you get older. Every time I read it it reminds me of who I am as a child of God. As my children get older, I'm excited to see wha
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With more than 130 million products in print and several NYT bestsellers, Max Lucado is America's bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy. His next book is publishing August 2018 and is titled Unshakable Hope.


Other books in the series

Wemmicksville (6 books)
  • You Are Mine (Wemmicksville, #2)
  • If Only I Had a Green Nose (Wemmicksville, #3)
  • Best of All (Wemmicksville, #4)
  • Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift (Wemmicksville, #5)
  • Your Special Gift (Wemmicksville, #6)

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
41 likes · 4 comments
“Who are they to give stars or dots? They're Wemmicks just like you."
Eli to Punchinello (p. 25)”
More quotes…