Book Review: The Missing Piece, by Shel Silvertein


“It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it 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.”

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


Both my children and I absolutely love this book. The story is about it looking for it’s missing piece, and the things that it experiences along the way.

Shel Silverstein’s simple black and white line drawings are very expressive and illustrate the story very well.  I think that the simplicity of the illustrations helps to convey the message of the story better.  More lavish artwork would take away from what the book is really about.  My daughter’s drawings look similar to these illustrations and I think that it helps her relate to the story and the message well.  

The thing I loved the most about this book is the way Silverstein manages to convey a message without sounding preachy.  As it rolls along looking for it’s missing piece, it can experience so many different adventures and joys.  But it keeps pining after it’s missing piece.  Once it finds it’s missing piece, it can roll very fast and it has a rush of excitement…until it realizes that it can no longer experience all those things that it loved.  

The Missing Piece encourages us to look inward and discover what is truly important.  I love the message that we all have a missing piece.  We are all looking for something or wishing we had something that we didn’t.  True happiness comes when we learn to accept ourselves the way we are, and find joy in the everyday adventures.

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  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    October 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I've only ever known of the author's Where the Sidewalk Ends book. I don't know if it's because it's the most common one around or if it's because it's the only one I have. I have never really given Silverstein's books a chance though. This book sounds really sweet. I already have Falling Up in my possession so I might try it out. Have you read Where the Sidewalk Ends?
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    No I haven't read that one yet. The only other Shel Silverstein book I've read is The Giving Tree. I thought that one was sad. I plan on reading more of his work though, he has an interesting style and I love his simple illustrations.

  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    October 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I know right!? It's a little too sad to be a picture book or a book for young readers.
    The simple illustrations are probably best for kids but I've got to say the brightly colored ones are great too.
    I had psych class the other day and apparently babies prefer black and white colors. I forget why.

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