Gemma Elwin Harris (ed) - Big Questions from Little People (4 stars)

A fun, factual compilation where kids' questions are answered by experts such as David Attenborough

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Gemma Elwin Harris (ed) - Big Questions from Little People

As anyone who has ever read an academic textbook knows, finding the simplest, most straightforward explanation isn’t always at the top of the writer’s agenda. Yet who amongst us doesn’t appreciate an easily digestible answer to a complicated question?

There is no shortage of tricky subject matters in Big Questions from Little People, but every page is filled with clear, concise writing, delivered in a warm, friendly manner. Why? Because it’s directed at children. Happily, teenagers and adults can also benefit from this accessible Q&A, which delves into the corners of life where most of us have never ventured.

The book’s compiler, Gemma Elwin Harris, was walking home from nursery with her two-year-old son when the idea came to her. He looked up at the sky and asked his mother what the moon was. A simple question requiring a simple answer, but Harris knew this was just the start, and that more fiendish enquiries lay in wait.

So she set about gathering over 100 of the hugely valid questions children ask on a daily basis. ‘Why can’t we live forever?’, ‘Why do we go to the toilet?’, ‘What’s inside the world?’ and ‘Why can’t I tickle myself?’ are just some of the gems she procured from primary school children across the UK.

But it is what Harris did next that makes this book so special. She solicited answers not only from specialists in their field, but well-known names who add an extra layer of interest, wit and kudos to a set of responses that neither dumb down nor patronise.

Jacqueline Wilson, Miranda Hart, Derren Brown, David Attenborough and many more contribute to this book’s success, the profits of which go to the NSPCC. The only question left for you to answer, is where you’re going to buy it.

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