Friday, September 30, 2016

Picture Books About Curiosity

Most of the marvels of our world would not exist if someone had not asked a question, or two, or five. Since long before Sir Isaac Newton asked, “Why did the apple fall from the tree?”, we have been solving problems by asking questions.

Creativity, as demonstrated by the determined investigator, Ada Twist from Wednesday’s featured picture book, Ada Twist, Scientist, can be nurtured by a steady stream of curiosity. Picture books are often told in one thousand or fewer words, necessitating the refining of ideas into a simple, often poetic form. The following five picture books were released prior to 2016, but communicate the power of curiosity in unique ways. Look for them online or in your local library in order to encourage the spirit of inquiry in your children or students.









Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister (2011, NorthSouth, ISBN 0735840008)

Explores the mysteries of the natural world by asking questions framed as couplets.

 









Why? By Richard Torrey (2010, HarperCollins, ISBN 0061561703)

Jack is a red-headed little boy who always wants to know why. Why are there holes in the crackers? Why does good-for-you food taste bad?

 








The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (2010, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399254528)

This book’s main message is about grief, but illustrates how important it is to have a heart full of wonder and curiosity.

 








Flashlight by Lizi Boyd (2014, Chronicle Books, ISBN 1452118949)

A pictures-only story about a young boy’s voyage of discovery through the darkness. Armed with a flashlight and, of course, curiosity, the boy shines a light on all manner of night-time mysteries.

 









Stella, Star of the Sea by Mary-Louise Gay (2004, Groundwood Books, ISBN 0888995725)

Little Sam has a lot of questions about the sea and his sister, Stella, has answers. Her answers use a bit of literary license, but the feeling of wonder about the secrets of the sea shines through.

I’m always waiting to discover wondrous new (or old) picture books. If you know of any with a similar theme that I have missed, please leave a message in the comments.