The Kids’ Book Of Questions, by Gregory Stock, Ph.D
At least it can be said that this book of questions is far better than the equivalent for adults. That is not to say that it is a wonderful book, because the author still has a way of thinking that he is far more deep than he is and the questions that are asked are sometimes repetitive and not as clever as the author is aiming for. But all things considered, I think that a family could appreciate the questions that are asked. And as is often the case, I think that this book is worth reading for those who are not children themselves. Whatever is marketed to children is in general worth reading or seeing by older people simply because it reveals the sorts of things that people think of as being suitable and what sort of agendas that the writers have. In this particular case there are certain issues that appear over and over again about pleasing parents and dealing with bullying and teasing and the like, as well as questions of courage and honesty. These themes are repeated over and over again, sometimes seeming like repeats, throughout the book, and it is clear that the author wants the reader to think of oneself as being brave and courageous in standing up against crowds.
As is frequently the case in a book like this, the book reveals far more about the author and about his thinking process than about children. The author’s interest in ethical dilemmas is quite evident, and so is the author’s evident desire to create space for awkward conversation in the guise of honesty. As such, this is a book that I preferred to read, so that I could think about what the author was trying to accomplish, rather than to deal with the questions in terms of how I would answer them or how someone else would answer them, because it seemed obvious that this book is sort of like one of those games whose design it is to cause drama in the lives of the people playing it and to wrong-foot and make someone feel uncomfortable because of what is being asked. I didn’t find this book to be very charitable, and I was intrigued by how the author seemed to assume that the readers were not necessarily going to be the most ethical of people, which is all the more striking because for this work to have its intended result of creating problems for people, the people answering the questions need to be uncomfortably honest.