Books that Allow Children to Ask Questions

Picture books that allow children to ask questions and explore a variety of answers are a great tool to encourage thinking. Recent research suggests that babies have logical reasoning before the age of one. Babies are capable of making capable of deductive problem solving.

Considering the importance of continuing to developing thinking skills and using different thinking tools, it is remarkable how little effort that is actually devoted towards encouraging children to enjoy thinking and to explore different approaches to thinking. Children are curious, thinking, creative human beings and our joy for think diving into the known or unknown are powerful tool to help them develop a passion for thinking and for explore their own questions.

“Everybody knows that babies learn rapidly, like little sponges that soak in incredible amounts of knowledge,” says Stella Lourenco, the Emory University psychologist who led the study. ”

This finding tells us about how humans learn. If you can reason deductively, you can make generalizations without having to experience the world directly. This ability could be a crucial tool for making sense of the social relationships around us, and perhaps complex non-social interactions.”


I Am Henry Finch written by Alexis Deacon and illustrated by Viviane Schwarz is a picture book  about being brave, about being independent, about feeling secure enough to not follow the crowd. The underlying message in this book is based upon Descartes’s philosophical statement “Je pense donc je suis” or to put it another way “Cogito Ergo Sum”?

Follow Henry the finch’s journey where he discovers that his thoughts are his own. Thinking is something that allows him to become someone he never previously imagined. But thinking is not as easy and straightforward as you might think, and Henry finds himself in the gut of a monster. But by changing the thinking Henry not only influences finch history, he also becomes a role model who inspires other finches to imagine a life beyond the nest.

Love the way Viviane, the illustrator uses simplistic yet intriguing red fingerprints to create the finches. The bodies or every finch is unique. The Beast’s glue green body stands out among all the red finches. But the Beast is huge and the birds are tiny. . .This book is the perfect introduction to thinking and the light-hearted manner makes it perfect for young children. Yet the books underlying message and intriguing topic makes it also suitable for older readers to help us reflect upon our own thoughts and dreams.

The Day No One Was Angry  by Toon Tellegen explores through  a collection of short animal stories the many different ways we can respond to life. We see different animals in various states of anger, some animals try to understand their anger, while other just allow the feelings overwhelm them.

The bright and colourful illustrations by Marc Boutavant provide the perfect backdrop to these stories that are exploring some of the tougher sides of life. This is a book that opes up the possibilities to talk about feelings and relationships in clever and fruitful ways. Regardless of how illogical our decisions might be maybe it is important to allow us to make our own decisions.

One day a lobster with a suitcase knocks on a mouse’s door.

“I’m the lobster,” he said. “Can I interest you in some anger?”
“Anger?” asked the mouse, who knew the lobster well.
“Yes,” said the lobster crustily. “Anger. You want to get angry now and then, don’t you?”
“Yes,” said the mouse, “but if I want to get angry, I do — just like that. It happens all by itself.”
“But is it always the right kind of anger?” asked the lobster, looking keenly at the mouse.
The mouse hesitated.
“As I thought,” said the lobster. “Not the right kind.” He opened his suitcase. “I’ll show you what I have.”

Another  story beautifully explores stubbornness and also respect. A hippopotamus and a rhinoceros refuse to let each other pass in an empty forest. Rather than step aside, they wait and wait and while they wait they share a pot of grass. At the end of the day, they return along their unobstructed ways.


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