The Most Important Thing

The Most Important Thing
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Angus Yuen-Killick
Publisher Name
Red Comet Press
Age Range
Release Date
March 15, 2022
An important message of unity delivered in the form of an engaging timeless fable. Told with charming humor and large fold-out pages, The Most Important Thing introduces the concept of accepting differences to the youngest of readers.

The animals of the forest have assembled to discuss what is the most important thing: is it to have a trunk like an elephant, quills like a porcupine, or a long neck like a giraffe? Naturally, every animal is convinced that its particular trait is the most important one and that everyone should have it. But when the large gatefold pages open they show all the animals with the quills of a porcupine, the long neck of a giraffe, or the trunk of the elephant, and everyone sees that it cannot possibly be right. At last, the wise owl speaks up and helps them understand that the true value lies precisely in their collective 'diversity’. It is that which makes them all unique and essential to harmonious life in the forest.
The Most Important Thing received a UNESCO honorable mention for peace and collaboration.

This book is printed on heavy paper stock with rounded corners for durability.   

Editor review

1 review
picture book about what makes us unique
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is a story about what makes us special. The animals have all gathered together, and they are considering what is the most important feature. First, the rabbit says that the most important thing is to have long ears. All the animals imagine that they have large ears too. Next, the hedgehog says that it is most important to have quills, and the animals imagine that they have quills too. The discussion continues until owl suggests that maybe all of these are important - but on different animals that make them all unique and important.

What I loved: This is a story about the problem with comparing and the utility of appreciating all the things that make us different. Children will giggle as the animals are shown under flaps with what was suggested to be most important thing, such as with long necks or webbed feet. The repetitive nature of the story will work best for young readers, such as toddlers and preschoolers. The flap idea was pretty cool with reveals of the animals underneath. The font itself is large, clear, and easy to read throughout the book.

What left me wanting more: The images are really simple, which may work as pages turn quickly. While the pages are a bit thicker than typical, they are still fairly soft, and some of the flaps ripped the first time we read through it, perhaps because of the large size and tough little hands. The journey and conclusion was stated outright to give the theme and a more subtle approach may have worked better.

Final verdict: Overall, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is a silly picture book about appreciating the things that make us different.
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