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All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 1989

234 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Of these "random jottings," PW said, "Fulghum does not express uncommon thoughts here: his thoughts are those we all wish were true." The book's tone is set by the title piece in which the author sets out his banal credos, ranging from "share everything" to "hold hands and stick together."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Unitarian minister Fulghum has become something of a celebrity since a talk he gave at a primary school graduation ("Share everything. Play fair. . . . LOOK.") generated such interest that it ultimately found its way into "Dear Abby." Here is more of his philosophyalways go with dreams, imagination, hope, laughter, and loveaccompanied by random musings on dandelions, medicine cabinets, and the vices of excessive tidiness, which are quirky and often thought-provoking. Undergirded by his love for family and (loosely understood) for God, this makes refreshing reading. EC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books; December 1989 edition (October 30, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080410526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804105262
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Fulghum is the bestselling author of "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten," "It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It," "Uh-Oh," "Maybe (Maybe Not)," "From Beginning To End," "Words I Wish I Wrote," "True Love," and "What On Earth Have I Done?"

"Third Wish" is his first novel, published originally in Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian. He lives in Seattle, Washington and on the Greek island of Crete.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 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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50 of 57 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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18 of 19 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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30 of 36 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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