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Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece

Today’s review of a “Lindy just loves it” book,  is The Missing Piece, by none other than regular contributor Lindy Michaels. 

Of course, most of us know of the late Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree, but The Missing Piece ($16.99, HarperCollins, all ages) is my favorite of his books.  Now who of us doesn’t go through our lives, at one time or another, feeling like we are, indeed, missing something within ourselves?

“It was missing a piece.  And it was not happy…”

IT, is a pac-manish (for lack of a better word)-looking creature  who is on a quest.  And it was exactly because of its missing piece that it could not roll along the path of life very quickly, which gave it time to… “talk to a worm or smell a flower…” always singing, “Oh, I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece.  I’m looking for my missin’ piece.  Hi-dee-ho, here I go, lookin’ for my missin’ piece.”  But all the while it desperately tried to fit different size pieces into itself so that it would feel complete.  So that it would feel whole.

But it was not to be.  One piece was too big, one too small, one too short, one too long.  And then one day, a wonderful thing happened.  It found that one special piece that fit absolutely perfectly.  “And away it rolled and because it was now complete, it rolled faster and faster.  So fast that it could not stop to talk to a worm or smell a flower…”  It couldn’t even sing, any longer, since the piece fit so tightly.  And so after much inner deliberation, “…it stopped rolling and set the piece down gently, and slowly rolled away.”

What a beautiful message this book imparts to children and adults alike.  We think we are lacking somehow, so we go to great lengths to fill ourselves up, only to find that by filling what we think is a void within us, we end up losing the very things that are most important to us.  A lesson for the ages, I do believe.  Now my friends… go outside and talk to a worm!

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READ ALL ABOUT IT – Top 100 Picks For Kids

The 100 Best Children’s Books

Here’s another great article from to help you make some worthwhile summer reading selections or even if you’re just looking for that great gift to give to someone special.
images-3When it comes to great children’s literature, kids have hundreds of books to choose from – everything from the enduring classics to award-winning, modern-day picture books and novels.

Here, listed by category, title, author and illustrator is our list of the best children’s books on the shelves – stories that will excite your kids and remain in their memories for years to come. This list represents the views of parents, children’s literature experts and our own readers.

While not every classic children’s book is listed, these are the books that strike a special chord and stay with us through adulthood.

Books for Babies l Picture Books l Chapter Books l Nonfiction/Poetry

My Bookd

images-5Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

Have You Seen My Duckling?, by Nancy Tafuri

Pippo (series), by Helen Oxenbury

Spot (series), by Eric Hill

Ten, Nine, Eight, by Molly Bang

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle


images-31Alfie (series), by Shirley Hughes

Arthur (series), by Marc Brown

Babar (series), by Jean De Brunhoff

Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban

A Chair for My Mother, by Vera Williams

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Lois Ehlert

images-12Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes

Doctor DeSoto, by William Steig

Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant

Frog and Toad (series), by Arnold Lobel

Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

A Hole Is to Dig, by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss

images-7If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

Jumanji, by Chris Van Allsburg

Lon Po Po, by Ed Young

Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans

Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey

Martha Speaks, by Susan Meddaugh

images-10Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton

Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag

Miss Nelson is Missing!, by Harry Allard and James Marshall

Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, by John Burningham

Olivia, by Ian Falconer

The Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall

Peter Rabbit (The Tales of), by Beatrix Potter

images-11The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Eleanor Coerr

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi

The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

The Story of Holly and Ivy, by Rumer Godden

The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, illustrated by William Nicholson

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Varda Aardema, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

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