Birth Year Reading: The Important Book

Robin in 1949…

I’ve noticed that around the blogosphere there are a number of challenges for reading books published in your birth year. Since I’ve already taken on a number of reading challenges for this year, I’m not going to join any of the official birth year challenges, even though I’m very interested in them. Instead, I’ll review each book I read in a special “birth year post.”  I love the idea of reading more books published in 1949, since that year was the beginning of my lifelong love of books and reading!

The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown, was published in my birth year of 1949. Her book, Goodnight Moon, is one of our family favorites. The Important Book, with its illustrations by Leonard Weisgard, is a book that I used more in the classroom during my teaching years.  It’s a simple idea, each page starts with “The important thing about…” and identifies an object and then lists numerous characteristics of that object. It always ends with the most defining characteristic, saying “But the important thing about ___ is that____.”   The repetition and the simple, daily objects that are focused on, capture children’s interest and expands their way of looking at things and expands their vocabulary as well.

I used this book as a teaching tool in my poetry unit when I taught  6th grade and later when I taught 2nd grade. The format of the book really is a form of poetry. The students always seemed to enjoy the book, the ideas, and the challenge of describing interesting objects by their characteristics and then nailing the most important characteristic of all. Each student then would write and “publish” their own “Important Book.”

The Important Book is an idea book, and although it’s not warm and fuzzy like Goodnight Moon, I know that children enjoy it and I think it’s an important book to share with them.

6 thoughts on “Birth Year Reading: The Important Book

  1. Marlo Quick

    Once again, you have mirrored my experiences. The Important Book was one of my favorites to share with students in my first grade classroom. Now, I have it in the box under my bed where I keep gifts to give later since my grandchildren are 1 and 3 and not quite ready for it. It is a lovely book and speaks to children in so many different ways. Even our birth years are close but I started my love of reading a year before you. Thanks for bringing such good memories to mind.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Nan, we love her Goodnight Moon, but this one really was a teaching favorite of mine. I read her biography last year and was quite interested in her work process. She was a very different person than I imagined knowing only that she wrote Goodnight Moon. She actually was quite a difficult personality. Very interesting reading.

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  2. Kristen M.

    Z’s third grade teacher used this book in the classroom as well and eventually each student created their own entry and actually printed a class book. Now I want to go back and take a look at it again. 🙂

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