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.