The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett is that it is not like his other books. The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown is that she was an author. The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown is that Barnett and Sarah Jacoby have created a book that you must experience. It cannot be told/written about. This book is 42 pages long. As many pages as years Brown lived. It will bring strong emotions to the forefront. It will tell you about Brown’s life in a logical manner but will take several side trips along the way. This book is illogical in its logic.
As said, this book cannot be written about without telling every detail about the book. Or at least it is difficult. There are many different pieces that make this puzzle a whole book. While reading, I was sitting in my chair and seeing facts about her go across the page: she liked dogs. Loved a woman and a man. Was a writer and a person. And I still came away not knowing anything about her. What I can say is this book is not a biography, though people are saying it is a biography. It has facts, but does not take you from point A to point B. If I must label it, I would say it is one long, unique poem. It is written as any book, but due to language and the feelings this is a poem.
The story starts before the actual theme of the story starts. It talks about how good books are not always for everyone. And that they are not always about things that some people “think books should be about” and especially not books “for children.” Dare I say this book is a book of philosophy? Dare I say that it is a straight forward story about things, people, places, a person, events and so much more, but you will wonder about everything due to the twists, turns and sidebars taken. This book is probably more about the philosophy of Brown (and perhaps even Barnett on some level).
Three hundred words in and have not mentioned Sarah Jacoby’s art. These pages are frameable. They have muted, fantastically, mystical colors, that are also bright and bold. They are as real as the text on the page, yet you might feel they are slightly magical. They have an Impressionistic feel. Like the text (and part of the publisher review) they “art artfully play with form” as the text plays with the language and the form of words. You will see characters of Brown’s books come to life in the illustrations, many times reading her books they might be part of.
This book makes me want to read Brown. Especially her The Important Book as I think perhaps Barnett and Jacoby have taken liberties an used that format here. But since I have not read it, this is my next journey into the world and work of Margaret Wise Brown