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The Most Important Gift of All [Paperback]

David Conway , Karin Littlewood
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Gullane Children's Books (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862336415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862336414
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 23.9 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 898,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Conway is a children's picture book author who has written for Hodder, Random House, Frances Lincoln and Gullane Children's Books. He has been awarded The Peter Pan Silver Star by the Swedish wing of the IBBY and the Parents' Choice Gold Award in the US for Lila and the Secret of Rain. His first picture book The Most Important Gift of All illustrated by Karin Littlewood, was nominated for The Kate Greenaway Medal in 2006. More recently Bedtime Hullabaloo! illustrated by Charles Fuge has also been nominated for the 2011 prize.

The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster was chosen as one of the children's books of the year 2008 by Nicolette Jones of The Sunday Times and was shortlisted for the 2009 Sheffield Children's Book Award. Shine Moon Shine was chosen as one of the top ten picture books of 2008 by The Bookbag.

David's picture books are published in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Spain (Catalan and Spanish) Columbia, Korea the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa and Japan. As well as writing David is a stay-at-home father and brings up his two children Bess and Jude and a cat called Bobby. David's wife works in academic publishing.

Product Description


Ama has a new baby brother! And when she asks Grandma Sisi what gift she can give him, Grandma tells her simply to give him the gift of love. But where can Ama find this precious gift? She sets off to find out, but in the end, the gift of love comes to her instead!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book! 29 Mar 2006
By A Customer
When the people of Ama's village give gifts to celebrate the birth of Azziz his older sister Ama also wants to give a gift. "Give him love," says Grandma Sisi "that is the most important gift of all." Ama sets off into the valley to search for this gift and what she learns and discovers by journey's end will always stay with her.

A lovely rites of passage story told in a picture book about a young girl's search to find the most important gift of all accompanied by Karin Littlewood wonderful illustrations. Very highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story 18 May 2006
This is a beautifully written and illustrated story that accentuates an array of emotions felt by a child who experiences the birth of a baby in the family. This story takes us on a journey through an African village as a little girl, Ama, searches for love - to give love as a gift to her new brother. On her quest to find this special gift, she encounters a weaverbird and a giraffe, but it is the wise ancient lion who assists her in her quest. Ama loses her way in the valley and this could symbolise Ama's feelings about the new arrival.
The splendour of this journey lies in the girl's wonderful discovery of 'love'; she knows she has found the gift of love as she is embraced in the arms of her father, who weeps with joy to find his beloved child; a child who now is no longer lost. As Ama joins her family and her new baby brother, the gift of love surrounds the family, and permeates through the village as love is expressed through songs, dance and celebrations.
The author skilfully captures emotions and the reader is urged to join Ama in her search for the most important gift of all.
This story will appeal to children and adults of all ages as it sensitively acknowledges a child's understanding and acceptance of a new arrival in the family. Along with this, the narrative resonates beautifully with the illustrations which together bring the story alive.
Highly recommended for any age group- heart-warmingly superb!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for all ages! 6 July 2006
This book offers the rare combination of beautiful illustrations and an equally beautiful story. A great gift for older siblings as new brothers and sisters arrive, this charming story of love and family appeals to a wide range of ages. It's wonderful to read to your children, help them read themselves and to read on your own from time to time!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all ages! 6 July 2006
By J. Folan - Published on
This book offers a rare combination of beautiful illustrations and an equally beautiful story. A wonderful gift for older siblings as baby brothers and sisters arrive, I've found that this charming story about love and family appeals to a wide age range. It's a great book to read to your kids, help them read themselves and to read on your own from time to time!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great depiction of sibling love; cultural context muddled 28 Sep 2007
By pleureur. - Published on
The mood of familial love of this book is excellent, as it revolves around a girl whose young sibling is being born, and who wanders about wondering what gift to give the baby. The illustrations are beautiful. But I fear that, while positive, it plays into many stereotypes that Americans have about Africa, such as having the girl living in an ultra-rural area where she communes with lions and giraffes for gift advice.

"In a village that was perched on the edge of a great valley in Africa..." is where this girl lives. I guess her country has no name, or at least none that we the reader would ever have heard of. The celebratory dinner when the baby is born? Chapatis and mandazis, which would never be served together, as they are both breads, and wouldn't constitute a feast if served without accompaniment (meat, beans or vegetables would be nice).

In short, it would be a more compelling multicultural book if it had a bit more accuracy in its representation.
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story, but not for toddlers/preschoolers 23 Aug 2008
By Karen G. - Published on
I bought this book when I was pregnant with my second child. I was looking for books that would prepare my oldest for a sibling. I also want to expose my children to other cultures, and thought this story would do so.

The watercolor illustrations are beautiful and dreamy. The main character is very excited for the birth of her little brother, and was not jealous when he was born, which conveyed a great message.

The concept, however, that love is the most important gift, seemed a little too abstract for my kids. The book is recommended for K-3rd grade, but I think that the higher level thinking skills required to fully grasp the author's intent are more suitable for 2nd-3rd grade, and not younger. While my girls enjoy looking at the pictures, they become distracted and bored when I try to read the text to them.
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