Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Questions by DK Publishing

Geared towards 10-14 years-olds, Big Questions tackles the questions kids might have about life and the world around them.

This book is awesome! I really enjoyed reading it. It wasn't quite what I expected, though. I knew it was going to be tackling some big questions that kids have, but I was thinking more along the lines of "Why do elephants have wrinkled knees?", "Why does the sky change colour?", "Why are my eyes blue?", "How are girls and boys different?". Stuff, like that. However, this book asks even bigger questions and is much more philosophical and analytical than I thought it was going to be.

Questions include:
- What is reality?
- What is beauty?
- What is love?
- What is art/music?
- How do colors make you feel?
- What is imagination?
- Is there a god?
- Does where I'm born make me who I am?
- Can you step in the same river twice?
and many, many more!

Each question (or series of related questions) and answer is written in easy to understand language and is presented on a two-page spread, which makes it easy and fun to read. I loved that the book contains some questions that I hadn't even thought of. Maybe kids are more sophisticated than I was when I was younger; I was amazed at some of the questions that are asked and answered.

I found one question, "So, who wears the pants?" (page 54-55), to be a little odd. The answer/content is quite good and explains the roles of men and women in different cultures. However, I'm thinking that the question is outdated. While it might have been appropriate a generation or two ago, kids today might not even know what this means. If kids did have questions about gender roles, I don't think they'd ask the question in this way.

There are many really good questions and answers in the book, but one of my favourites was the question "Where do phobias come from?" (page 78-79). It was really interesting. I enjoyed learning the names of the different phobias, many of which I didn't know. For example, alektorophobia = fear of birds, chronomentrophobia = fear of time.

The illustrations in the book are quite cute and very colourful. I love all of the little characters and can imagine that many of them will find their way into kids' doodles on notebooks, desks and whatnot!

The book also contains a table of contents, glossary and index. All of these are pretty good.

Highly recommended. Even though the book is geared towards kids, it definitely got me thinking.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

Big Questions by DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2011. ISBN 9780756675790(Hardcover), 128p.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, kids books have grown up so much. This does sound like a book that a parent would enjoy reading with his or her child. Great review. Thanks.


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