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by Marcus Pfister & illustrated by Marcus Pfister & adapted by Marcus Pfister & Susan Pearson

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7358-4000-3
Publisher: NorthSouth

In a departure from his usual sparkly fare, Pfister’s latest is a sweetly simple look at some very deep questions, allowing children the opportunity to delve into some of life’s mysteries. The questions, each presented as a rhyming couplet, could have been just as easily formulated by a child as by the author—they feel like the charming queries children seem to make when adults least expect them. “How do seeds know when to grow, / to reach up from the earth below?” “Does a whale make up a song / so other whales will sing along?” Although readers will find no answers here, most have scientific explanations, but others certainly hint toward the divine. And while the text is well written (translated from German), it is the beautiful artwork that will draw readers back for more. Luminous colors and amazing textures stand out against the stark, white backgrounds. While new to Pfister, the technique suits the tone of the text to a T. Each element was cut from thick cardboard, then painted with acrylics and stamped onto paper to complete the individual scenes. The result echoes the mix of simplicity and complexity inherent in each question. In a world that so often emphasizes answers and solid facts, it is refreshing to see a text that encourages questioning, whether realistic or imaginative flights of fancy. (Picture book. 3-7)