Another Important Book

( 1 )

Overview

The Important thing
about being One
is that life
has just begun.

In a playful voice that is uniquely Margaret Wise Brown's comes this delightful picture book about just what it means to be six, five, four, three, one, two and'most importantly'you. Caldecott Honor Medalist Chris Raschka's innovative illustrations burst with energy and ...

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Overview

The Important thing
about being One
is that life
has just begun.

In a playful voice that is uniquely Margaret Wise Brown's comes this delightful picture book about just what it means to be six, five, four, three, one, two and'most importantly'you. Caldecott Honor Medalist Chris Raschka's innovative illustrations burst with energy and literally dance along with Brown's whimsical verses of discovery. A sturdy mirror fixed to the last page allows readers to literally become a part of the story.

Another Important Book is the never-before-published companion to one of the most beloved children's books of all time, The Important Book, originally published in 1949, by Margaret Wise Brown, with illustrations by Leonard Weisgard. It's an invitation to celebrate toddlerhood. Turn the pages to find out exactly what's so important about some of the most important ages of a child's life.

00 2X2 Reading List (TLA)

Author Biography: Margaret Wise Brown's contribution to children's literature is legendary. Her many popular books, including Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, Little Fur Family, and The Big Red Barn, continue to delight young listeners and readers year after year.

Illustrations and simple rhyming text describe how a child grows from ages one through six.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
(Preschool)
Fifty years after the appearance of Margaret Wise Brown's Important Book (illustrated by Leonard Weisgard), a never-before-published companion volume has arrived. Brown's text begins with one: "The important thing / about being One / is that life / has just begun. / You can't quite talk. / You can't quite walk. / You've found your nose / and discovered your toes...." Brown is, as always, conscious of child development: two is a doer, three learns about "being me," four has grown in both size and accomplishments. Chris Raschka explicates the underlying complexity of Brown's simple-seeming statements in illustrations that pay deliberate tribute to her earlier illustrators. His graphic approach to form and composition recalls Weisgard's illustrations for The Noisy Book; his saturated palette echoes the tonal balance of Clement Hurd's Goodnight Moon; his vigorously drawn figures outdo Jean Charlot (A Child's Good Night Book). Most intriguing is Raschka's use of geometrical forms to represent the increasing complexity of the small child's understanding and capabilities. Like translucent, multi-colored blocks and balls-simple toys that become imbued with meaning and purpose in the child's imagination-these shapes interact with the vibrantly sketched figures of the children. One has a basic circle-the sun and moon mentioned in the text, the child still wrapped in the cocoon of babyhood. For two, squares-blocks to stack, steps to the many actions of the busy toddler, which Brown lists in a string of verbs. Three, like one, a circle, but larger now, and formed from three concentric circles: "Me" in the context of a larger world. Again, four elaborates on two: the square is quartered diagonally, the resulting triangles open like doors, and then they reform, like a tangram. And so on. There's a spread that's a grand concatenation of all ages and shapes together; a winding-down backwards count; and then the inevitable conclusion: "But the important thing...is that you are YOU." More on-target developmentally than poetically; but Raschka's illustrations are innovative, intriguing, and brimming with vitality. j.r.l.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While Brown's 1949 title, The Important Book, described the essential qualities of the familiar things in a child's world, this never-before-published companion addresses the developing characteristics of children themselves. As Brown leads readers through the ages of one to six in a series of jaunty rhymes ("The important thing about being Four/ is that you are bigger than you were before"), Raschka (Like Likes Like) emerges with a series of images whose fluid lines, simple geometric structure and concisely edited palette bring to mind the Bauhaus School. A master at conveying motion with a simple sweep of his watercolor brush, he launches a succession of sprightly imps to cavort against backdrops of mustard yellow, brick red and Prussian blue. For the progression from chubby babies ("You've found your nose/ and discovered your toes./ You've seen the moon/ and felt the sun") to agile kindergartners ("You learn how to count./ You learn how to read./ You know how to dress/ and get what you need"), Raschka assigns each age group a geometric shape: a simple circle represents age one, pairs of stacked squares indicate two, a five-pointed star signifies five and so on. All the forms blend together in visual harmony for the sweeping finale. It's a pleasure to hear the organic rhythms of Brown's prose again, and Raschka paints in boisterous surprises. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"In this companion to The Important Book, Brown addresses the developing characteristics of children, in a series of jaunty rhymes," PW said in a starred review. "Raschka paints in boisterous surprises." Ages 6 mos.-5 yrs. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
PreS-K-Energetic artwork and vivacious verse delineate the wonders children discover and the milestones they reach, from ages one to six. A joyful book with a timeless theme. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-K In comforting language and perfect rhyme, this previously unpublished companion to Brown's classic The Important Book HarperCollins, 1949 identifies significant achievements and developments, year by year, in a young child's life. Using the second person, the text addresses youngsters directly, succinctly describing a one-year-old: "You can't quite talk./You can't quite walk./You've found your nose/and discovered your toes." The excitement of being two revolves around all the new things "you can do." Being three means discovering "ME." Questions are presented in a circular pattern around tricolored circles, emphasizing the newfound joy of self-awareness. For each age group, there is a corresponding number of geometric shapes. For example, a page describing four-year-olds shows a wide-eyed child surrounded by four triangles. Raschka has done a lovely job of creating illustrations that capture the look and feel of books published during Brown's era. The pictures show children joyfully testing new abilities. The last page offers the same delightful affirmation as its predecessor the important thing "is that you are you." Jackie Hechtkopf, University of Maryland, College Park Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Raschka (Like Likes Like, p. 304, etc.) illustrates this previously unpublished companion to the recently reissued The Important Book (1999) with page after page of wriggly children rendered in looping, calligraphic black strokes and freely brushed color. Adopting an assured tone, Brown tracks the development of a child's capabilities and sense of self: "You can't quite talk./You can't quite walk./You've found your nose/and discovered your toes./You've seen the moon/and felt the sun./But the important thing about being One is that life has just begun." Her text takes children to age six; by alternating pictures of single children with group scenes, Raschka expands the author's focus on the individual to make growing up a social as well as personal experience. Think of this as a free-spirited alternative to Robert Kraus's Leo the Late Bloomer (1973) and its blatantly commercial reprise, Little Louie the Baby Bloomer (1998, not reviewed). (Picture book. 1-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060262822
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Series: Joanna Cotler Bks.
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 993,456
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Few writers have been as attuned to the concerns and emotions of childhood as Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). A graduate of Hollins College and the progressive Bank Street College of Education, she combined her literary aspirations with the study of child development. Her unique ability to see the world through a child's eyes is unequaled. Her many classic books continue to delight thousands of young listeners and readers year after year.


Muy pocos escritores de literatura infantil han logrado captar las emociones e inquietudes de la niñez como Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1952). Sus numerosos y ya clásicos libros y grabaciones continúan deleitando a lectores y oyentes de todas las edades.

Chris Raschka, when not creating award-winning children's books such as Another Important Book, Caldecott Honor Book Yo! Yes, and Caldecott Medal Winner The Hello, Goodbye Window, expands his mind with the poetry of Shelley, Bishop, and Biz Markie.

Biography

When Margaret Wise Brown began to write for young children, most picture books were written by illustrators, whose training and talents lay mainly in the visual arts. Brown, the author of Goodnight Moon, was the first picture-book author to achieve recognition as a writer, and the first, according to historian Barbara Bader, "to make the writing of picture books an art."

After graduating college in 1932, Brown's first ambition was to write literature for adults; but when she entered a program for student teachers in New York, she was thrilled by the experience of working with young children, and inspired by the program's progressive leader, the education reformer Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Mitchell held that stories for very young children should be grounded in "the here and now" rather than nonsense or fantasy. For children aged two to five, she thought, real experience was magical enough without embellishments.

Few children's authors had attempted to write specifically for so young an audience, but Brown quickly proved herself gifted at the task. She was appointed editor of a new publishing firm devoted to children's books, where she cultivated promising new writers and illustrators, helped develop innovations like the board book, and became, as her biographer Leonard S. Marcus notes, "one of the central figures of a period now considered the golden age of the American picture book."

Though Brown was intensely interested in modernist writers like Gertrude Stein (whom she persuaded to write a children's book, The World Is Round), it was a medieval ballad that provided the inspiration for The Runaway Bunny (1942), illustrated by Clement Hurd. The Runaway Bunny was Brown's first departure from the here-and-now style of writing, and became one of her most popular books.

Goodnight Moon, another collaboration with Hurd, appeared in 1947. The story of a little rabbit's bedtime ritual, its rhythmic litany of familiar objects placed it somewhere between the nursery rhyme and the here-and-now story. At first it was only moderately successful, but its popularity gradually climbed, and by 2000, it was among the top 40 best-selling children's books of all time.

The postwar baby boom helped propel sales of Brown's many picture books, including Two Little Trains (1949) and The Important Book (1949). After the author died in 1952, at the age of 42, many of her unpublished manuscripts were illustrated and made into books, but Brown remains best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

More people recognize those titles than recognize the name of their author, but Margaret Wise Brown wouldn't have minded. "It didn't seem important that anyone wrote them," she once said of the books she read as a child. "And it still doesn't seem important. I wish I didn't have ever to sign my long name on the cover of a book and I wish I could write a story that would seem absolutely true to the child who hears it and to myself." For millions of children who have settled down to hear her stories, she did just that.

Good To Know

When Goodnight Moon first appeared, the New York Public Library declined to buy it (an internal reviewer dismissed it as too sentimental). The book sold fairly well until 1953, when sales began to climb, perhaps because of word-of-mouth recommendations by parents. More than 4 million copies have now been sold. The New York Public Library finally placed its first order for the book in 1973.

If you look closely at the bookshelves illustrated in Goodnight Moon, you'll see that one of the little rabbit's books is The Runaway Bunny. One of three framed pictures on the walls shows a scene from the same book.

Brown's death was a stunning and sad surprise. The author had had an emergency appendectomy in France while on a book tour, which was successful; but when she did a can-can kick days later to demonstrate her good health to her doctor, it caused a fatal embolism.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Timothy Hay
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1910
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, N.Y.
    1. Date of Death:
      November 13, 1952
    2. Place of Death:
      Nice, France

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    Margaret Wise Brown is still going strong 50 years later!

    Fifty years has passed since Margaret Wise Brown wrote The Important Book and now she follows it up with Another Important Book...It's a great tribute to the toddler years. It was a gift for my 2 yr old but it's my 4 year old that wants to hear it nightly. She sweetly describes the thrills of ages 1-6. It's a keepsake book, great for a gift.

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