The Most Important Thing

The Most Important Thing

Antonella Abbatiello


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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.   



Antonella Abbatiello:
Antonella Abbatiello is an Italian illustrator and graduate of the Rome Academy of Fine Arts. She has illustrated more than ninety children’s books, many of which she has written and illustrated herself. Her work has been published widely in Italy. and her books have been translated and published in more than 20 other countries. She has collaborated on a number of animated films, including three by children’s author/illustrator Leo Lionni. Born in Florence, Italy, she now lives and works in Rome. Visit her at