You Are Special (Gift Edition): A Story for Everyone (Wemmicks Collection)

by Max Lucado

Other authorsSergio Martinez (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2011



Call number




Crossway (2011), Edition: Gift Edition, Paperback, 48 pages


Punchinello's opinion of himself changes after talking to his creator.

User reviews

LibraryThing member MrsLee
To illustrate the verse, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made," a wonderful story of a puppet who finds his worth when he finds his maker.
LibraryThing member al04
You are Special is a Folktale because it is an unrealistic story that has a great moral. The story emphasizes individuality and loving who you are not based on what others think.
The setting brings many senses alove and allows the reader to feel like they are in the wooden people land. The illustration of the stars and dots help the reader to see the dreadful effect on personalities as well as identities.… (more)
LibraryThing member mdelaney03
The book begins by telling about a whole village of wooden people who mark each other with either stars or dots, depending on whether or not they are smart, pretty, or good at things. Throughout the story Punchinello, the main wooden person, is trying to figure out how to stop getting dots on him. Eventually he realizes after visiting the woodmaker how to get rid of them and just be happy with himself.… (more)
LibraryThing member adwirth
This is a story that teaches children to be themselves and not try to please other people. It has a Christian message in it telling the reader that God loves you for you and as long as you talk to him every day, you will begin to see that. Another thing I found in this book was a lesson on not judging other people and being aware of others' feelings. I think children can learn a lot of lessons from this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member servantHEART
Punchinello, the wooden doll labeled by his village community as only gray dot worthy, receives the best news from his creator--woodcarver. It does not matter what others think about you. You have to let others' opinions roll off your back like water on oil. The only opinion that counts is His. Punchinello does not realize this self-worth until he is introduced to Eli (woodcarver) by his new friend, Lucia.

Though the characters are not fully developed in the page length allotted, the theme is crystal clear. I greatly enjoyed reading this book. It came at a perfect time. I just received a rude email from a person in the community attacking me because of my job position. It reminded me of the only opinion that counts, the Lord's. The book is great at reminding us that our circumstances and looks often make us vulnerable to criticism, but we can persevere with true friends and a new set of lenses.

In the classroom, I would have the students dress their own 2D doll to look like themselves and place a golden star labeled with things they like about themselves followed by labeling a star with a kind word about each peer. This would be great to use during a community service our words and actions affect others.
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LibraryThing member jesseann81
This is a book about small wooden people called wemmicks. They were all carved by a woodworker named Eli. He carved each wemmick differently. All of the wemmicks carried a box of golden stars and gray dot stickers. They went around putting stars on the pretty people and dots on all of the ugly people with no talent. Punichello was one of the wemmicks who only had dots on him. He went to see the woodcarver and realized that it does not matter what any of the other wemmicks thought about him so his dots began to fall off.

I loved this book. It is a very cute inspirational book for young children. It teaches them not to care about what anyone thinks of them.

This will be a great book to read to the class. I will have them each draw a self portrait of exactly how they view themselves.
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LibraryThing member TimiF
In this story, a boy is picked on. His community has dots and stars. Everyone in the community would either giv people a star or a dot. The dot meant that nobody liked you. If they did like you, they would give you a star. The boy got a ton of dots. He was sad, so he went to his maker to fix him. His creater showed him that it is okay to be different.
The connection I had with this book is that it made me think of God, my creator. God will love you no matter what other people think of you. God is there for me to go to anytime I need him.
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LibraryThing member bekahhynes
This book is a fantasy because the characters in the book are wooden dolls that acted as humans would.
Wooden dolls all live in the same town and mark each other with golden stars if they look pretty, or are in good conditions, and hand out grey stickers for dolls who are worn down, or in need of repair. Punchinello always got grey dots, and was sad about that. A lady showed him where the maker lived and he visited him. The maker told him that he was important and special to him, and not to worry about the stickers, after that, Punchinello visited him everyday and the stickers would just fall off of him and not affect him.… (more)
LibraryThing member rbelknap
This is a fantasy book because the characters within it are mostly wooden dolls and they act as humans would. They judge each other and have feelings. Dolls for one are not alive and they do not have human characters such as ideas and the ability to talk.
In this story the dolls are alive and they get either gray dots or gold stars based on how they look. This story centers around one specific doll, Punchinello. Punchinello is always getting gray dots and that makes him very sad. All the dolls are made by the same person and a lady in the town Punchinello lives in shows him where the doll maker lives. Punchinello visits him and his creator tells him that he is special and perfect the way he is. Punchinello visits the maker everyday and soon all his gray dots have fallen off of him because he doesn't care what the others think of him.
Age Appropriateness: Primary, Intermediate
Media: Paintings
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LibraryThing member jcole7
This is a modern fantasy book about a wooden boy that finds it hard to fit in. All the other wooden people make fun of him because of how he looks. Soon the boy meets a friend that helps him discover that he is special in his own way and that it is okay to be different.

I love this book. I've read 'You are Special' several times. Max Lucado is one of my favorite author. I use this book often in my Sunday school lesson and my students love it too.

In the classroom: As I Christian, when i began teaching, i know i will find it hard to not speak of my Lord as often as I do. I think with this book, I will be able to teach my students an underlying moral without having to say the word Christ. Also, a confience and self-motivation lesson can be taught and wood crafting trade can be introduced as a craft.
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LibraryThing member ptroche
You Are Special is a great book! Its about a little wooden boy named Punchinello. In his village, the Wemmicks give out stars to pretty, non-damaged Wemmicks and they give out dots to ugly, damaged Wemmicks. And Punchinello is covered in grey dots. Until someone talks to him and tells him to go see his creator, Eli. Eli tells him he is special, and all he has to do is take all his dots off and prove he is.

I really loved this story, its one of those stories that made me realize how sometimes people get treated a certain way just for what they look like and not for what they are. I know, I was once treated that way in Elementary school for having bucked teeth and I hated getting made fun of. I was so happy when I finally got my braces but then, I was called railroad tracks. I really took this story kind of personal because I understand Punchinello.

I would use this story to remind students/kids they are special no matter what anyone says. And that looks are just that, looks. Its the inside that counts. I would probably want to use this in a lesson during Valentine days or just make a lesson just for this book.
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LibraryThing member berethalindsey
What if people can give golden star stickers to thoses that have
a talent, or people who look better than others.
What if people are given a gray dot for being less than great or when they make a mistake? Furthermore, what if you had to wear them around, and the stars or gray dots determine your self-esteem?

The story is about a wooden race of puppets that gave golden stars
or gray dots all day. One puppet, Punchinello( not to be confused with the other wooden puppet that has a P- name)had gotten tired of getting gray dots, He tried hard to get a star. He messed up while trying. Yes, he was given yet another gray dot!

He met a special puppet,Wimmick, she had no stars and gray dots. He admired her uniqueness. Pinchinello seeked the reason why the stcikers will not stick. He went on a journey. At the end of it he finds self- acceptance.

The story ends with an important message: Do not let other people decide your self-worth, and the creater loves all people regardless what society says is attractive or not.

Classroom Extensions
1. The teacher have all the students draw a portrait of themsevles and discuss how people are different physically,but they still just as special as the next.

2. The teacher have the class write three things they think is special
about them that is NOT academic or athletic related talents.
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LibraryThing member crdutton
This was such a good read. Kids related very well to the wemmicks and loved the story. They were eager to share how they felt about the story. They wanted to re read the story and look at the illustrations again. I loved it.
LibraryThing member bookstorebill
You don't need to be a child to enjoy & appreciate the message between the covers. That no matter what others think of you, God loves and cherishes you just the way you are
LibraryThing member kmsmith13
This story teaches children that they are all special. This would be a great first day of school story. It is about a little wooden boy who is a Wemmich. In the town where all of the Wemmich's live they give each other stickers and dots to determine who is the best. One little wooden boy never gets any stars and is sad. One day he realizes that he is special even though others might not give him stars. He shares his findings with the rest of the town and they all realize that it doesn't matter about stickers and dots but about whats inside.… (more)
LibraryThing member ltipton
This is a tale of a town that consisted of all wooden people known as Wemmicks and everyday these Wemmicks did the same thing they would pass out stickers. There were star stickers if you were considered pretty or talented and others who could do little or had chipped paint were given grey dot stickers. There was a Wemmick by the name of Punchinello who only had gray dots and became very weary over this to the point he never left his home much. On day he met a Wemmick names Lucia and she was like no other because she had no stickers at all. Lucia explained that she had no stickers because she spent every day with Eli the woodcarver that created the Wemmicks and encouraged Punchinello to do the same. After Punchinello finally visited Eli, his creator, he learned that once he believed that he was special in the eyes of his maker and that it did not matter what the others thought of him he two would become sticker free.

I love this story and have shared with my classroom as well as sunday school classes. My boys love this story and I love to hear them relate this story with the role God plays in our lives.

One classroom extension would be to use this book in the thematic unit Feeling. I would ask the class to share how it makes them feel when others don't accept them. Another classroom extension would be to pass out stickers with positive sayings on them and have each student choose another classmate to share a sticker with and ask them to share how it made them feel to recieve the sticker.
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LibraryThing member jkauk
Wemmick is a small puppet village where the puppets put dots on each other to tell if someone is pretty or ugly. However, not everyone receives stickers. If you are pretty and talented you receive star stickers, if you are ugly you receive only dots. Punchinello is a young puppet who does not have very smooth wood and was considered rough. Punchinello wanted to be pretty so he could get star stickers until he meets a girl who has no stickers at all. Punchinello wants to how and why she has no stickers and she tells him to go and visit their creator. Punchinello goes and visits the creator and is told she has no stickers because she does not care what the others think, it only matters what is on the inside. Punchinello leaves the creator and stickers begin to fall off.

I really could relate to this story because my parents always tell me that what’s on the inside is most important.

One way to use this book in class is to explain and open a discussion with the students that it does not matter what kind of clothes you wear on the outside but how you are on the inside is what matter most. The teacher could bring attention to the characteristics of sharing, caring, loving, and simply being nice are things that matter most on the inside. Another way to use this book is to tell the children that everyone is different on the outside and that each of them is special in their own ways. Then have the children write down ways in which they are special.
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LibraryThing member jnicklas
Wooden creation that was made that thought what others thought of him mattered most, but learned that it really does not matter at all
LibraryThing member blessdb_ond
This is a story about small wooden people called Wemmicks who would go around and give gold stars to everyone who was pretty or talented but they would give ugly gray dots to the Wemmicks who did not do a lot or who had chipped paint. One Wemmick, Punchinello began to believe that he was no good because he had a lot of gray dots so he went to see the woodcarver, Eli. Eli taught Punchinello that it did not matter what others thought about him it only mattered what his creator thought. This is a great story for all children to hear.… (more)
LibraryThing member msequeira06
Genre: Fantasy because the toy puppets (the Wemmicks) are fantasy and do not exist, as well as the fact that toys cannot have feelings or other living qualities. Media: oils
LibraryThing member AlexPearson
A very heartwarming and cute tale. This story teaches children a very important lesson about identity, but it teaches it to their level. At the same time, it is very relevant and meaningful to many adult readers.
LibraryThing member Venisa
Genre: Fantasy

Review: This book is one of my all time favorites. My mom use to read it to me all the time when I was little. It is a fantasy book because the main characters, the Wemmicks, are not real people and can not be because they are made out of wood. Therefore, since they resemble dolls that talk, it is a fantasy story.

Media: watercolor, colored pencils
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LibraryThing member Karizev
"Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes."

Students are going to write down 3 things about what they think is special about themselves, and than discuss that in front of the class.
LibraryThing member MistyRobinson
Summary: A small down is filled with wooden dolls, all made by the same toy maker. Some look alike. Others don't. The dolls spend their days going around town giving each other stickers by sticking them on each other. Star stickers mean good things and dot stickers mean bad things. The dolls with smooth wood and nice paint will be given star stickers. Dolls with rough wood and chipped paint are given dots. Dolls who have special talents or can do good things are given stars. Dolls that can not do anything special, or try to and fail, are given dots. One particular doll by the name of Puchinello is only given dots. He begins to feel sad and depressed per he starts to believe the things others think of him due to all the dots he receives. He starts to dread leaving his home. One day he meets another doll who has no stickers. He asks her how is this possible? She states that she visits their creator every day. She encourages him to do the same. At first he is too scared to do so. Finally he finds enough courage to go. The doll maker is very happy to see Puchinello and tells him he had been hoping he would come visit. He tells the doll that the stickers only stick to him because he believes in the stickers and what is said about him. He further explains that if he starts to trust in his creator the stickers will no longer stick. The doll maker tells Puchinello he is special.

Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this book! It has a wonderful message and is well written. We all need to be reminded sometimes that we are special for who we are and what others think does not matter.

Classroom Extension: We can talk about how bullying hurts others and why its not okay to do. Then we can talk about how we are all special in our own ways. I have seen a chart from my daughters school where they attach pictures and or drawings onto this big chart that is all about that particular student. It has areas on it to talk about why we are special, what our favorite colors are, favorite books, and so forth. It also talks about our families, how old we are and general about me questions. Using these charts each child can do self evaluations on what makes them special.
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LibraryThing member ElissaBroadaway
Summary: The Wemmicks are a wooden people made by the woodworker, Eli.They live in a little village where they wander around all day and put stickers on each other. Gold stars mean a Wemmick is great and wonderful, and gray dots mean they're not so great, or wonderful.Punchinello is a Wemmick who receives nothing but gray dots. He feels sad all the time because of this. Then one day, he meets a Wemmick who has no stickers at all! Stickers just don't stick to her. She says this is because she visits Eli every day, and because he thinks she is special, she doesn't care what other Wemmicks think about her. Intrigued and hopeful, Punchinello goes to see Eli, too. When he hears that Eli believes he's special, his stickers begin to come off, too!

Personal Reaction: I love this book. It might be a children's book, but even now, at twenty years old, I relate to this story. Like Punchinello, I've received my share of "gray dots," with a few "gold stars." But I was never happy because I cared too much about what others thought about me. This book moved me when I was was younger, and it still does today.

Classroom Extensions:
Trying to put this book to use in a non-Christian school could be challenging, as it is a metaphor for how we should only care about what God thinks of us. But I'm going to try. This is more of a personal lesson than an academic lesson, though.

1. This might be a children's book, but using it in an older elementary classroom could also work. Something I've seen done and would want to try is have students write down, on a sheet of paper, everything negative anyone has ever said to them. Whether it's been being called names, being bullied, or picked on, etc.. Once they're done, ask them to think about how many "gray dots," they each have. And then, ball up the piece of paper and throw it away. Tell them this: No one has the right to make anyone think less of themselves. It is difficult, and we may struggle greatly with it, but we should forget what others have said about us. We can love ourselves despite what others think, because they are not us and they know nothing about us.

2. Have each person draw a name from a bowl, but don't let anyone else see the name. Once everyone has drawn a name, have the students write reasons why the person, whose name they've drawn, is special. Once they're done, they should fold the paper in half, write the person's name on the paper, and put it in a bigger bowl.Each student then draws a paper and delivers the paper to the person who's name is on it. Let each student read what they say and put the paper aside. Remind them that these papers are far better than the last, but even the compliments we receive from others are still not as important as the love and respect we should have for ourselves.
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Original publication date


Physical description

48 p.; 4.75 x 0.25 inches


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