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All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things Hardcover – September 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 15 Anv Sub edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345466179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345466174
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A healthy antidote to the horrors that pummel us in this dicey age.”—Baltimore Sun
 
“Within simplicity lies the sublime.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“It is interesting how much of it applies not only to individuals, grown or small, but even to nations.”—New York Daily News
 
“As universal as fresh air and invigorating as the fragrance of a Douglas fir.”—Los Angeles Times

From the Inside Flap

Fifteen years ago, Robert Fulghum published a simple credo?a credo that became the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Now, seven million copies later, Fulghum returns to the book that was embraced around the world. He has written a new preface and twenty-five essays, which add even more potency to a common, though no less relevant, piece of wisdom: that the most basic aspects of life bear its most important opportunities.

Here Fulghum engages us with musings on life, death, love, pain, joy, sorrow, and the best chicken-fried steak in the continental U.S.A. The little seed in the Styrofoam cup offers a reminder about our own mortality and the delicate nature of life . . . a spider who catches (and loses) a full-grown woman in its web one fine morning teaches us about surviving catastrophe . . . the love story of Jean-Francois Pilatre and his hot air balloon reminds us to be brave and unafraid to ?fly? . . . life lessons hidden in the laundry pile . . . magical qualities found in a box of crayons . . . hide-and-seek vs. sardines?and how these games relate to the nature of God. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten is brimming with the very stuff of life and the significance found in the smallest details.

In the years that have passed since the first publication of this book that touched so many with its simple, profound wisdom, Robert Fulghum has had some time to ponder, to reevaluate, and to reconsider. And here are those fresh thoughts on classic topics, right alongside the wonderful new essays.

Perhaps in today?s chaotic, more challenging world, these essays on life will resonate even deeper?as readers discover how universal insights can be found in ordinary events.

Customer Reviews

This is a book to read more than once just for fun.
Stacey Hornbeck
Robert Fulghum reflects on everyday life with humor and a unique way of thinking.
Jill Reynolds
At times you will laugh, and most will make you think.
Carl E

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Fulghum offers some uncommon insights on everyday occurances. This book made me laugh, cry, relate, but most of all it made me think. Mr. Fulghum casts a new light on everything from the life lessons of primary school, religious philosophies and the minor disaster of walking into a spider web on your way out the door to work. I throughly enjoyed this collection of essays on many levels. As often as it made me laugh, it also made me examine the nuiances of my own life.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Tarrani on May 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A part of this -- the part about what I learned in kindergarten -- was passed around the country until it took on a life of its own. One day it was sent home in the knapsack of a child whose mother is a literary agent..." (Robert Fulghum) Thus history was written -- serendipitous indeed. I have read the chain message, which lists these gems, many times from various Internet friends, throughout the years. Many of the phrases are clichés now because of the truth within the words.
Finding fragments of our own lives in these pages is easy. Fulghum consolidated his extensive Credo of life into a simpler format, such as: "Remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned -- the biggest word of all -- is LOOK." Look both ways... look into the heart of the matter... look at yourself... look at history... look what happened... look at what you missed....
All of the kindergarten principles are found in the first three pages, and then Fulghum reveals how he applied these ideals throughout his life. One example is his encounters with a neighbor who was a "raker and a shoveler." He picked up the leaves and shoveled away the snow, but with the attitude of you "can't let old Mother Nature get ahead of you," and considered Fulghum to be a lazy neighbor. The leaves pile up, become mulch, and make more earth. The snow melts and feeds the land. Nature has taken care of itself for a long time. I imagined someone going into the woods and everywhere else, daily gathering leaves in a constant frustrating battle, and at season's change shoveling the snow from one place to another. Of course, I would want the leaves raked up and the snow shoveled off the driveway and sidewalk, but my dad, who understood the cycle, put the greens in the garden.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ashok Karra on February 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember picking this book up in the 6th grade and never putting it down for a year. The year between my picking it up and putting down I read it, reread it, rereread it, read bits here and there, quoted from it, thought it was my Bible and then thought better...
You get the idea. I was enchanted by this book. Typically, I find people who are confronted with things like this, which can be very corny but very wise at times, are either totally absorbed or revolted. It doesn't surprise me at all that average customer reviews for this book are either one star or five stars with few ratings in between.
But you should be aware of this book's content before you make up your mind. The book consists of anecdotes told from the perspective of Robert Fulghum, who has been a salesman and a Unitarian minster among other things. His perspective can get very mushy at times, such as when he talks about how in fall Nature gives him an Oriental carpet in his backyard.
And he can be very profound - like when he sees a kid hiding from his friends in a game of "Hide and Seek" in a place where no one will ever look. He compares this "go out a winner" attitude of the kid, whose friends almost give up looking for him, to the attitude a man with cancer had when he elected not to tell anyone close to him about his terminal illness.
It's difficult for me to describe everything found in this book. Perhaps the best summary is given by the title. If you're looking for something different to read, and aren't afraid to examine a cornier - but infinitely more profound - way of looking at the world, then you must read this book.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Henry F. Haskell Jr. on June 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fulghum's outlook on life is refreshing. He finds simple pleasures in everyday life that many people are missing. The core of his book(s) revolves around treating ourselves and others with kindness, exploring everything with wonder our Surroundings, and giving each other that special kind of boost that says I know your their and I'm glad. If you're looking for deep thought and didn't find it here I challenge you to reread it. I would go so far to say that he is the Tao Tzu of out times. In a world so filled with hatred and actions designed to break others down Fulghum has written a book that can bring the kind, wonderous child in all of us out. I cannot recommend it more.
finally, Yes I always buy lemonaid from kids on the street corner even if I have to circle the block. It's worth the smiles :)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Graham on March 31, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a pleasure to read, enjoyable both for its thoughtful musings about the world we live in and the author's humor. His idiosyncracies (such as his practice of not raking leaves or otherwise disturbing the yard with work) are things I either practice myself or else wish I did. His good sense shines through in the leaves of the book and his often wise observations are not esoteric platitudes but down to earth comments about plain good living. (I have sometimes seen this book stocked in the religious sections of bookstores, but this seems inapt, given that the author doesn't demonstrate much religious leanings in his writings.) The chapters are short and easygoing, allowing this book to be read in one or one hundred sittings.
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