Monday, August 1, 2022

Today's read... You Wonder All The Time by Deborah Farmer Kris

 Today's read (and main post for the day) comes from a four-book set. Believe it or not, I have read the first one! Since I enjoyed it, I was happy to take a peek at this one, too. It surrounds the constant, non-stop questions kids, ages 3 to 5, tend to ask as they learn more about the world around them. 

As a parent to another: I'd say that this phase stops...which it does, for the most part...but there are kids, whose curiosity never ends and, trust me, when they get older, the questions hit completely new levels. (Shape of the universe, the true-philosophical meaning of 'difficult', or origins/evolution of mitochondria, anyone?) So, I do find myself longing for these simpler days, since...whew! It can (and definitely does) get over the head!

Anyway... today's read just came out a week or so ago, so it's hot off the press, which means that you can get your hands on it now, too.

by Deborah Farmer Kris 
Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
Free Spirit Publishing
Picture Book 
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

This affirming book celebrates curiosity and the thought-provoking questions children ask.

“Where do colors go at night, and why do shadows creep?” You Wonder All the Time celebrates curiosity and the thought-provoking questions children ask and supports them as they continue to learn. “Will you stay curious as you grow? It’s a brilliant part of you!”
Asking questions is an important part of learning that helps children grow and understand the world. Inspired by and containing questions from real kids, You Wonder All the Time explores and affirms all the questions children ask. The book features a series of engaging, playful, and curious what, when, where, why, and how questions from the child to the adult. “What if we rode a T-Rex and shook the forest floor?”
Its charming rhyme and heartwarming message that children’s many questions are welcomed and their wondering is loved make the book perfect for storytime, home, and the preschool classroom.

All the Time Series
Written from the perspective of an adult speaking to a child, these rhyming books help young children know that they are deserving of love through life's ups and downs and show them all the ways they’re supported as they continue to grow and learn



The rapid fire of questions and curiosity usually sparks irritation, but here, it shares the joy of discovery and hits like a warm embrace.

Parents and caretakers of readers in this intended age group know the constant word 'why' all to well, but instead of growing frustrated, these pages celebrate the search for understanding. Every page holds, at least, two questions coming from a child as it goes through various experiences during the day. Some are whimsical, while others are pretty straight forward. Each of them shows an interest to learn more about the world around the child. After each set of questions, the phrase 'You wonder all the time' hits before turning the page to the next inquiry.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, fill the entire page and add quite a bit of detail. The concentration and curiosity of the child is obvious as it goes through very familiar activities. The parents are always there and radiate an open and caring atmosphere full of snuggles and hugs. Security, warmth and acceptance shine from every scene to make this a feel-good read.

Questions meet a poetic rhythm and flow as questions carry all the way through. Some are very down-to-earth (such as why do I shiver), while others take a sillier direction (such as if we rode a T.Rex, would the forest floor shake). There's something for every reader/listener to identify with, and this does make it a great read aloud for even group settings. With the repeated phrase at the end of each 2-page spread, the main theme stays clear, while also offering something listeners can join in on each time. 

This book is part of a 4-book set, the first of which I did have a chance to read already, Love You All the Time. I did like that one quite a bit more and found this one a little less smooth. While parents/caretakers will appreciate and identify with the constant questions, I'm not so sure it will connect with listeners completely. Since it's only questions, listeners will be wondering about the answers (and some may feel overwhelmed or side-tracked, since they will be wondering about the answers long before the next question hits). It does open up to discussions, which is always a positive, but parents should be ready to answer a ton more questions when the listener does get involved and realize that reaching the end may not happen. Which, again, isn't a bad thing.

The last pages contain several tips, hints and notes for guardians/caretakers on how to view such questions from children in every day life and embrace them. The entire atmosphere of this read is positive and does encourage listeners to continue to explore the world around them.

And here she is...

Deborah Farmer Kris is a child development expert and parent educator. She serves as a columnist and consultant for PBS KIDS, and she writes for NPR’s MindShift and other national publications. Over the course of her career, Deborah has taught almost every grade K–12, served as a school administrator, directed leadership institutes, and presented to hundreds of parents and educators around the United States. Deborah and her husband live in Massachusetts with their two kids—who love to test every theory she’s ever had about child development. Mostly, she loves sharing nuggets of practical wisdom that can help kids and families thrive.

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