I first came across this book years ago while I was scanning through the aisles of the then newly-opened PowerBooks store in Greenbelt Makati.
I had not read a single children's book for quite some time as my interest in them had waned already, so it was quite a surprise for me to find myself actually reading one whose cover and title caught my attention. By the third page, I was taken, much to my disbelief.
"It was a missing piece. And it was not happy."
Each page had only one to a few sentences and a simple hand-drawn image that could have been penned by a 3-year old. Hell, even the sentences could have been thought up by a six year old kid. It was not the images nor the individual sentences that impressed me but rather the message behind the sentences and imagery, which I would describe a nothing short of profound, truthful, and accurate. So profound, in fact, that to this day, I still recommend adults to read the book.
How impactful was the book? I was so caught up in reading it that I could not put it down, despite the fact that I was standing on a sign that read "No Private Reading". I only paused at times to wipe the tears off my face! Even before I was done reading the book, I was already a mess. A grown man crying in a public bookstore because of a childrens' book. lol
The fact that the entire book had a black and white theme on every page-- something that few would dare expect to appeal to young readers; the fact that each page contained no more than one word to one sentence; and that the images were extremely simple, made for a brilliantly thought-of piece. Whereas TV had its "Sesame Street"; books have Shel Silverstein's masterpieces. "The Missing Piece" is one brilliant work of art.
And if you think you will end up not buying the book just because a free video is available online, I still think that owning a physical copy is still worth every penny. Watch the video and find out why.