Nicholas hasn’t yet hit the ‘why’ stage, although he does ask lots and lots of questions. I actually love his curiosity and I figure it’s good practice for when he starts asking tougher questions.
A little more than a year ago I reviewed the wonderful ‘Big Questions from Little People’ book which not only provided the answers to lots of real (and tough) questions from primary school children, but also raised money for the NSPCC. To date it’s raised more than £100,000 for the charity. It’s now available in paperback called Why Can’t I Tickle Myself?
Gemma Elwin Harris had so many questions left over after compiling Big Questions that she couldn’t resist finding answers to those as well and so there is now another book to help parents out.
‘Does My Goldfish Know Who I Am?’ has more than 300 questions from the amazing and inquisitive minds of primary school children with answers from a wide range of experts. There’s Sir Richard Attenborough answering ‘Will monkeys ever turn into men?’, Bear Grylls responding to ‘Why can’t we drink wee?’, Miranda Hart explaining ‘Why is it funny when someone farts?’, Noam Chomsky replying to ‘Is new technology always good?’, and Annabel Karmel answering ‘Could I survive on just bananas?’, and Alexander Armstrong gives a brilliant answer for ‘Should we always be nice to mean people?’.
The range of questions is just as broad as in the first book, including the philosophical ‘What are humans for?’ and ‘Why do we have feelings?’, the scientific ‘Why do my fingers go wrinkly in the bath?’ and ‘Why do onions make us cry?’, the creative ‘How long would it take a tortoise to run round a football pitch?’, and ‘Why can’t I keep a penguin in my bath, and the more bizarre ‘How do people squirt milk out of their eyes?’ (answered by a champion milk squirter!).
Overall the answers are easy to understand and explained in a way I think children would be satisfied with, although I’m not sure the one-sentence answer to ‘What is the whole point of science?’ given by the nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Gurdon would satisfy an inquisitive child.
The team behind ‘Does My Goldfish…’ have also put together some super infographics such as this one (look out for others on my Facebook page):
Whereas ‘Big Questions…’ has a section of joke answers at the back by famous comedians, ‘Does My Goldfish…’ has eight short multiple-choice quizzes. All the quiz questions come from children and each answer comes with a short explanation. I can imagine this would be great for families with primary-aged children.
My only (slight) disappointment with ‘Does My Goldfish…’ is that it doesn’t have the same contents page as ‘Big Questions…’ where every question and it’s answering expert is listed, so perfect for quickly looking for a specific question or topic.
With Christmas around the corner, ‘Does my Goldfish…’ would make a great and different present for new parents, a lovely book for a child or just to support a fabulous charity who do invaluable work protecting and supporting vulnerable children across the UK and the Channel Islands. Why not buy both of the books? 🙂
Published by Faber, ‘Does My Goldfish Know Who I Am?’, is available now from all good bookshops, and online from Waterstones and Amazon.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy to review; my opinions are my own. I made a donation to the NSPCC.