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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
Q: How do you get smart people to say beautiful things?
A: Make them explain themselves to children.

For example:

How do you fall in love?

You don't fall in love like you fall in a hole. You fall like falling through space. It's like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else's planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear. It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signaled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump. Away you go, falling into someone else's orbit and after a while you might decide to pull your two planets together and call it home. And you can bring your dog. And you can bring friends to visit. And read your favorite stories to each other. And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don't want to be without. That's it.

PS You have to be brave.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
I bought this as a birthday gift for my 8 year old after reading an article about the author and the idea behind the creation of this book. It was an instant hit, she didnt put it down for a few weeks then it disappeared. I figured she was tired of it and had moved on to another book or activity. A week or so later I attended a class activity at her school (2nd Grade), I was shocked and surprised when the teacher told the class that it was their weekly reading time and were going to continue reading from my daughter's book!

Apparently the teacher had heard my daughter and another child discussing one of the many questions in there and wanted the whole class to participate, so my daughter handed her the book and it has now become a weekly section of their class, the school has also ordered a few more copies for other classes.

I must say that it is the best 16 dollars I have ever spent! I will say that some of the questions will be for older kids than 8, so the material should cover ages 6 to 12 or 14.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 1, 2013
I bought this book for my 9 year old daughter and myself to read on a spring break road trip. She read while I drove and we discussed many of the questions as we drove through the Idaho desert. I was blown away by how well each person who answered a question broke it down so a child could understand it. And, I was also surprised how much I learned as we read the book, and also how much I learned about my daughter because of the conversations the questions and answers started.

Of course my daughter loved reading about why our wee is yellow, she got a great kick out of that, but what really got her excited were the questions about where we come from and what we are made of, she's very pleased to know we are all stardust!

I really liked that the experts who answered the agenda didn't have an agenda or an axe to grind. They were simply focused on giving the most scientifically or philosophically correct answer they could without adding their prejudice or personal opinions.

I strongly recommend this book for every parent who wants to deepen their relationship with their child while stretching the bounds of the child's (and often the parent's) intellect.

This is a must have book for every parent and grandparent!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
The very best thing about this book is the questions that the kids came up with and the realization that even over-educated adults couldn't hope to answer a fraction of them. The second best thing is the answers provided by mostly British public intellectuals and celebrities, few of whom most Americans would recognize, but all of which have been crafted by the editor into what she calls "simple answers from great minds". Nothing is harder in practice than making things simple, but Elwin Harris has pulled it off brilliantly. An adult will find scores of fascinating facts that never quite got into their formal schooling. You do not have to be a child or have a young child at home to love this little book. If you are a parent of curious children it is a must buy
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 23, 2013
"Big Questions from Little People" by Gemma Elwin Harris is a book for all those parents (and actually all have been in that situation) who have many times met with questions of their children that sounded so simple and easy to answer, and yet you didn't know or didn't know how to formulate the answer.
And, of course, for these children as well, to get deserved response nevertheless.

Some of these questions are classic ones like "Why is the sky blue?" or "Why is space so full of sparks?", some seem easy, although difficult to formulate short answer like "Why do have to go the bathroom?" or "Why are the grown-ups in charge?", while some are really tough ones to answer like "Why do wars happen?".

Gemma Elwin Harris has collected thousands of questions from preschool and school children in UK and afterwards sought help from hundreds from experts to answer them in simple language kids can understand.

Due to that, "Big Questions from Little People" is entertaining and fun book to read, full of small simple wisdom, book that you want kids to read which therefore can be recommended for your kids or as nice book gift for someone else's children.

So the next time you overhear that a child asked her/his parents one of these questions, you can offer help or just be happy that thanks to your child you've learned a lot of things that (only) seemed simple to answer...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I highly recommend this book. I love, love, love it, and so does my daughter (age 6). We started reading it together a month or so ago and enjoy picking topics to learn about together (you don't have to read the chapters in order). Sometimes, she likes to reread the chapters she's already read. We usually read fiction at night but this is great for a break in between. It's also a good book to keep in the car, as the chapters are short and interesting. You can reread it again and again and not get bored.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2013
An exceptional book. Highly recommend is for ages 6 and up. Both my husband and I learned a lot while reading to our daughter. Great tool for the family trying to raise children who think critically and artfully.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2013
I bought this book for myself because the questions intrigued me. I also bought a copy for a longtime friend who likes to read. We can jump around the questions together and discuss answers for ourselves without a lot of lengthy or complicated coordination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2013
This is nice in that it has lots of questions answered. My only complaint is that it doesnt cater too well for the very little kids. My little one is 5 years old, so I would suggest getting this book for a child older than that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2014
The format isn't lively enough for kids, and dry for adults. The questions are ok, and the experts answering write well, but too much endless print, could use more graphics. Kind of boring, sorry.
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