The Important Book

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The Important Book
Bookcover The Important Book.jpg
First edition
AuthorMargaret Wise Brown
IllustratorLeonard Weisgard
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherHarper & Brothers
Publication date
Media typePrint

The Important Book is a 1949 children's picture book written by American author Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. The book describes various common entities and describes some of their major attributes in brief poetic passages, beginning and ending with what Brown considers the key attribute:

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.

— Margaret Wise Brown, The Important Book[1]


Mark Frauenfelder, calling the book Brown's magnum opus, described it as "true poetry about perceiving the world around us" that "rekindles the sense of wonder we were born with".[2] The book has remained in print since its initial publication, and is frequently used in early writing education since the simple pattern is easy for young children to mimic; Crista Boske and Autumn Tooms further attributed the book's popularity in education to "the value of working with a book that overtly invites the reader to think for themselves in the midst of learning the concrete and abstract simultaneously"[3]

The American National Education Association listed the book at #92 in its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children" list, compiled in 2007.[4]


  1. ^ "The Important Book". product description. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Mark Frauenfelder (April 25, 2013). "The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown". BoingBoing. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Tooms, Autumn K.; Boske, Christa, eds. (2010). "Introduction: Social Justice and Doing 'Being Ordinary'". Bridge Leadership: Connecting Educational Leadership and Social Justice to Improve Schools. Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Information Age Publishing. pp. xix–xx. ISBN 9781607523505. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". National Education Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2013-03-03. Retrieved July 6, 2014.