Every kid has questions. They are also the inventors of VERY interesting answers. In A Book of Questions, Jane G. Meyer leads kids through a pint-sized Socratic exercise in questioning the nature of the universe. Paired with Lucia Salemi’s whimsical illustrations, these questions are sure to get kids thinking, and coming up with new questions of their own.
Story Behind the Story
So... my big kids attended a small Classical school starting from very young. They learned Latin, and acted in second-grade versions of The Epic of Gilgamesh. When they were in third or fourth grade their education shifted to a round table where they'd sit all morning, eating chips and salsa, having cooking adventures, acting out poems, and in between all this they'd talk with their instructor about the meaning of life. He challenged them intellectually far beyond any other teacher ever had, or would do later... He used the socratic method (mostly) of open-ended dialogue, and piled question on top of question, and made them write tomes about these questions and their interesting answers when they were just tiny tots. My big kids and their peers, because of this dynamic method of always digging intellectually deeper, turned out to be pretty good thinkers...
My hope in writing this small, quirkly little story is to inform parents of a different type of dialogue. The kind that leads you not to a yes, or a no, but leads to creative interplay, to unexpected dialogues, and to intellectual probing... There is no book of answers, just questions, which I hope in turn spurs more questions and more discovery, for you and your little ones...
"I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."
"Children are the most reasonable people I know. Their days are spent trying to make sense of the world, searching for meaning, figuring things out."
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”
-- Rainer Maria Rilke