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Father Knows Less: One Dad's Quest to Answer His Son's Most Baffling Questions Paperback – May 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Now these questions aren't all your typical questions we adults might ask each other; - it's definately the stuff of a childs mind. For example, one question is Why is the road always wet in car commercials (I never would have thought of that myself)? Wendell went to the experts for this and found out that because the car is the star of the commercial, you have to make it look as good as possible and on a dry road (which is a flat grey color) the car won't appear as good as a wet road which appears black. All the colors of the cars pop. Wendell makes sure that the answers are simple enough for kids to understand and learn from.
Working in pharmacy, I really love the question about why doctors have messy handwritting. That's hillarious. (answer; because doctors are impatient, and would rather spend their time with the patient helping them, then writting scripts).
This is such an enjoyable book for almost anyone (although it's definately geared for kids). There are so many things you would never have thought to ask in here, but after reading this, I found that I don't think I could have answered even half of these questions correctly at all. A very fun read.
A book like this runs the risk of preciousness (awwww, look at those cute things kids ask) and I can't say that the author avoided it. I do appreciate, however, that he didn't talk down to the kids, and went straight to the Experts. The author didn't shirk on experts, either, but lined up an impressive array of academics and policymakers who, in turn, didn't talk down either.
The main weakness of the book was the personal essays used to link each chapter to one another. While I appreciated the author trying to create a narrative link, I found them rather dull and self indulgent. The exception was the epilogue, which provided some necessary thoughtfulness and gravity.
All in all, this was a somewhat weightier "bathroom book". Easy, accessible snippets to be picked up and put down and not thought about in between reads.
The book has an unusual format with author Wendell Jamieson mixing stories about his son, Dean, with attempts to answer the odd and offbeat questions of children. Jamieson collected questions from kids -- such as "When you have brain freeze, does you brain actually freeze?" or "Why is there war?" -- and got experts to answer them.
There's a bit of a hit and miss quality to the questions -- some are interesting and enlightening, some less so.
Jamieson's descriptions of raising his son will resonate with many parents. The anxiety that the author and his wife feel over Dean's early speech problems -- and their joy when he worked through the difficulties --- is the kind of thing that moms and dads will understand.
I also give the author points for honesty for describing how he lost his cool in an argument with his wife and broke the lock off their door.
The answers are what makes this book interesting. Some answers showed great imagination. When a father was asked why the tooth fairy didn't show up with some money on Christmas Eve, he answered that it was because Santa ran over the tooth fairy. The answer was not very satisfying to the child, but it showed a father with a sense of humor, and I am sure it became a treasured memory.
There are other imaginative answers; others are factual or thoughtful.
Why did the Beatles split up. The obvious answer to many of us is Yoko Ono. Jamieson sent a query to John Lennon's widow. He wasn't expecting an answer, but one came. She said it was because the Beatles grew up.
I love learning and I learned lots from this book. The whip was probably the first man made object to travel at the speed of sound, 760 miles an hour. The book includes information about trains and dinosaurs even what happens if an airplane flies into a volcano. Most answers come from experts. Jamieson's mother, a gold smith, even answered a question about happens to the shavings when gold objects are created.
You don't have to be a parent or a teacher or a child to enjoy this book which includes interesting essays from the author between each set of questions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think that some of the factual things in the book were good...There were some things I didn't like being put into a book that I thought was directed towards kids..Published 23 months ago by J.L.M. Inman
It was a nice easy read. Interesting, and it brought back some memories of my childhood. A nice casual stroll for the mind.Published on February 8, 2013 by Gary E. Reynolds
I got this as a Father's Day gift for my husband. He seemed to get a kick out of it.Published on July 11, 2011 by AmwBogan1
Bright father's equally bright son peppers him with questions from the age of three. Father, passing on the opportunity to make up goofy answers, gets serious, real answers from... Read morePublished on February 10, 2009 by Walter J. Jamieson Jr.
Father Knows Less is a funny exploration of child questions, made especially enjoyable by the serious expert answers. Read morePublished on January 29, 2009 by Len
This is a great book to read with your kids, even if they have not yet started to ask all kinds of questions. Read morePublished on June 29, 2008 by Gaston Olvera
This book is a very pleasant read. As a new father, I am pretty sure my kids will ask similar "tough" questions in the near future. And thus the book is important. Read morePublished on February 14, 2008 by L. Huang