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.
"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