Missing Piece

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Overview

It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in searchof its missing piece. And as it rolledit sang this song-

Oh I'm lookin'for my missin' piece I'm lookin' for my missin' piece Hi-dee-ho, here I go, Lookin' for my missin' piece.

What it finds on its search for the missing piece is simply and touchingly told in this fable that gently probes the nature of quest...

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0060256729 YOUR PURCHASE BENEFITS THOSE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES TO LIVE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE. wear to DJ;-sundamage to DJ;

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Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 1976 Hard Cover Very Good in Very Good jacket Light shelf wear to dust jacket. One cover corner is slightly dented. Previous owner's sticker on ... front endpaper. Spine is tight; pgs are unmarked. Nice, sturdy copy. Read more Show Less

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Overview

It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in searchof its missing piece. And as it rolledit sang this song-

Oh I'm lookin'for my missin' piece I'm lookin' for my missin' piece Hi-dee-ho, here I go, Lookin' for my missin' piece.

What it finds on its search for the missing piece is simply and touchingly told in this fable that gently probes the nature of quest and fulfillment.

A circle has difficulty finding its missing piece but has a good time looking for it.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"It was missing a piece. And it was not happy." So begins this delightful fable of quest and fulfillment with its lovely sparse line illustrations to supplement the text. Singing nonsense rhyme repetitions like "So grease my knees and fleece my bees I'm lookin' for my missin' piece," it travels far and wide searching for its missing piece. Sadly, when it finds its missing piece and can roll very fast it discovers that life at a fast pace does not have time for pleasurable things like talking with friends, entertaining a butterfly, and singing a happy song. In fact, when it was complete it could not sing at all, so it set the piece down gently, slowly rolled away and sang its song, "Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece . . .," once again singing to its butterfly friend. There are many choices to be made in a child's life and gentle guidance without tedious preaching is important to their development. This book can be a helpful tool in the process. The message that everyone has some "missing piece" is important for self-esteem, and when the message is packaged in an entertaining, readable book, it is doubly valuable. You may also see the sequel, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. 2004, Evil Eye Music, Ages 5 to 7.
—Mildred Hart
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060256722
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1976
  • Series: Ursula Nordstrom Book Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Biography

If there is such a thing as a "bad boy of children's literature," it would have to be Shel Silverstein. Though often compared to Dr. Seuss for his ability to blend humor and nonsense into irresistible rhymes, Silverstein also ventured into macabre territory that the good Doctor wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot Sneetch. Silverstein broached such unsavory topics as nose-picking, the consumption of children, and winds so strong they could decapitate a man right out from under his hat.

It's a testament to Silverstein's abilities as a cartoonist and storyteller that he was able to endow such subjects with just the right silliness and humor, endearing him to both children and adults. In collections such as the classic Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, Silverstein makes poems into page-turners -- aided in no small part by his grungy, whimsical black-and-white drawings. He also displays a tenderhearted understanding for kids' fears and peccadilloes; one poem in A Light in the Attic, for example, all but endorses nailbiting: "It's a nasty habit, but ... I have never ever scratched a single soul."

A lifelong writer and illustrator, Silverstein had been a cartoonist for an army newspaper in Korea in the 1950s, and then a contributor to magazines. Like many succesful writers for children, Silverstein never planned to author children's books. Ironically, his first attempt at the genre -- the book that established the one-time Playboy cartoonist as a school library fixture -- is something of an anomaly in his ouevre: The Giving Tree. This bittersweet story of a tree that ultimately sacrifices itself -- down to the stump -- to the boy she loves over the course of his life was initially rejected by Silverstein's editor. Of course, it has gone on to be a great, if sentimental, success. But it was Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein's straightforward collection of crooked poems, that cemented his place as a must-read for the young and young at heart. Silverstein bristled at comparisons to fellow "nonsense poet" Edward Lear, preferring instead to cite his former teacher, Robert Cosbey, as an influence.

It's worth looking at some of Silverstein's less well-known picture books, such as Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? and Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back, as examples of how funny (and how subversive) Silverstein could be. In Lafcadio, the ultimate anti-hunting story, a lion learns to become such a good marksman that he provides "hunter rugs" for his fellow lions and ends up touring as a celebrity. Lafcadio soon gets bored with his opulent life, and what used to be thrilling no longer is: "This morning I went up and down in the elevator 1,423 times," he cries at one point. "IT'S OLD STUFF!"

In later years, Silverstein turned more attention to dramatic writing. Titles such as The Lady and the Tiger, Wild Life and The Devil and Billy Markham were produced with varying degrees of success, and some are still being staged by small theater groups. Silverstein also wrote a well-received screenplay, Things Change, with pal David Mamet in 1988.

Still, Silverstein's poetry is what remains his most popular contribution. His verse gave kids permission to be a little grown-up for a while, and (just as importantly) let adults experience the not-always-simple perspective of children.

Good To Know

Silverstein was a soldier in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea in the '50s and drew cartoons for Stars and Stripes, the American military publication. His next cartooning gig was for Playboy.

Silverstein wrote several songs. His country-western song "A Boy Named Sue" was a hit for Johnny Cash in 1969. His song for Postcards From the Edge, "I'm Checkin' Out," was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sheldon Allan Silverstein (full name)
      Shel Silverstein
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      May 10, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Key West, Florida

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2007

    Don't Go Looking for the Negative

    This book is an absolutely amazing book. It is always easier to find the beauty in something and yet critics continue to dig for the ugly! Perhaps if those who give this book a poor rating were happy in their own lives they could see the beauty in this book. Look beyoind relationships - just look at yourself - this fits on SO many levels and I applaud the author. Bravo Bravo

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2006

    Harsh reviews are missing the point.

    It's not about the need to separate from the other to be happy. It's about becoming a complete person BEFORE you go looking for the other. If you don't find the missing piece in yourself, you're dependent on exploiting another person. Silverstein's character was fortunate enough to encounter a whole person who inspired this transformation. You CAN complete yourself through a growth experience (which is what a relationship is supposed to be), but you still have to do the work (like a triangle that rounds off the rough edges of itself).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2004

    Almost one year later

    I read this to my ten year old grandson who was having a very difficult time with the recent death of his Grandfather. As we sat on the floor together I explained that just like the circle, my grandson would have a missing piece in his life too. And that after a while he would still feel that piece missing, but it wouldn't hurt quite so much. The book was the key to unlocking the tears he had tried so hard to hold back those three days. It started a process of healing and understanding with the knowledge that death is a part of life. Almost a year later he finds it easier to talk about his beloved Grandpa.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Many hours of happy reading...

    Highly recommend this book! Both of my children enjoyed this book growing up and now they both want to own their own copies...

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    fun for all --

    unique and brilliant writing - check out all his work - great for all ages

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Wonderful Shel

    My granddaughter was an avid book lover and reader at a very young age. Always on the lookout for the best of the best during those early years, I became very familiar with Shel Silverstein's writings. She loved his works and I loved them too. Most wonderful of all, before she was reading on her own, it never became boring or monotonous reading his books TO her. As I finish this review, from an academic perspective I'd have to say these are excellent choices for thought and language development, especially his books of poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Love It!

    This book is wonderful...for children and adults! I read it to my kindergartners, and they LOVE it, I also gave it to a very special adult for Christmas, and it even made him cry! Lovely story for anyone!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    The Missing Piece...

    Has every piece necessary to be an all time favorite. My friend and I read it in class one day (even making our own little toon for the song) and instantly fell in love with it. Everytime I see this book I always crack a grin, even though a chunk of the plot isn't much to be smiling about. This book is something I hope to read to my children one day!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2006

    This Book Is A Paean To Divorce/Splits.

    Written by the author and divorcee, Shel Silverstein, this book trys to instill, via allegory, the idea that a permanent split or divorce is unquestionably good. Although this story can be read as a lamentable opinion of the author on the union of couples, it can be also read as a story of an abusive relationship wherein one of the partners in the union is controlling to the point that the other partner cannot stop to talk to friends, smell the flowers or act in any independent manner. Whatever the author meant to convey when he wrote this book, 'The Missing Piece,' it is at best a gloomy read, if not an outright pessimistic one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2004

    Shel's poem on finding...and losing your soulmate (Missing Piece indeed!)

    Don't let the book title fool you. This book/poem is about FINDING the missing piece which you can pretty much figure out means finding one's soulmate (i.e. 'you complete me'). Clever no? Give me a break!! After a long a painful process of searching (going thru life, meeting the wrong pieces), the er..., subject of our story (which it turns out looks a bit like Pac-Man or 5/8 of a pizza) finds a perfect fit. WOW! Now being complete it can move faster up and down the hills but, darn the luck, it just can't seem to slow down and enjoy life like it used to. It also can't even have a voice of it's own as the two pieces have their own mouths (like a couple in a relationship anyone?). So what to do? Gently separate from each other and continue to roll on through life. The book ends with Pac-Man singing for his missing piece. La, la, la. WHAT?!? This is a great book to give your partner or someone you know if they are on the verge of splitting up. It is also a wonderful tale for people in the process of a divorce. Don't let your emotion cloud your comprehension of this story. Silverstein is very direct here...and I just don't agree with his story and views ('cause that's what he's giving here) and I don't believe in soulmates...I believe in love. Two stars.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2003

    a perfect going away gift

    A perfect tale for someone in your life about to take the next step in life. The book shows us how life should be a journey not so much a quest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2001

    The best book not just for the little ones but, the big ones too.

    During my first date with my boyfriend he read me this book it was so true and romantic all at the same time.He even bought me the book for my birthday. This will be a book that my future children will read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2000

    great book for everyone

    Some of the best peoms are in this one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 1999

    Outstanding!

    I love this book. Shel Silverstein has been one of my favorite poem writers. I have even used one of his poems for an oral report in Speech class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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