Questions, Questions

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Overview

Marcus Pfister’s best-selling Questions, Questions—simplified and now on sturdy board book pages—opens children’s eyes to the wondrous mysteries all around them.
 
How many shells are on the shore? Millions? Billions? Even more?

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Overview

Marcus Pfister’s best-selling Questions, Questions—simplified and now on sturdy board book pages—opens children’s eyes to the wondrous mysteries all around them.
 
How many shells are on the shore? Millions? Billions? Even more?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In an age when infinite answers are available in an instant, maybe the questions we ask are what matter most. "here's so much that I want to know," writes Pfister, and in 13 short couplets he shows readers how questioning is a genuinely creative act—a way of being fully engaged in the world. His verses are by turns fanciful ("Do apple seeds dream happily/ of growing up to be a tree?"), scientifically minded ("What turns the leaves from green to brown/ and sends them floating gently down?"), and even faith-based ("Who teaches butterflies to fly,/ splashing their colors through the sky?"). In a departure from his Rainbow Fish series, Pfister has created images as pithy as they are poignant, boldly graphic and dramatically cropped against white backgrounds. A blue-headed songbird is reminiscent of Asian watercolor; a storm cloud looks like it's been fashioned from salt dough; falling leaves seem cut from pieces of thickly tufted carpet. Although each was created using the same painted paper method (explained on the final page), the results are as varied as the questions. Ages 3–up. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Booklist Reviews Bertie At Bedtime:

Bertie and his father may be hippos, but this story of getting a child fed and ready for bed is universal and
familiar. At first, young Bertie doesn't want to eat supper because he is busy playing. Dad says he will
play with Bertie after supper and toothbrushing, and he keeps his promise—chasing Bertie, giving him a
fun bath, and playing hide-and-seek. After three books (including classics such as Good Night, Hippo) and
a quick succession of bedtime dances, at least one hippo is ready for bed: Dad. Pfister's hippos are an
irresistible pair, full of sweetness and life. Although Pfister uses a single floral pattern for wallpaper,
flooring, furniture, and clothes, he keeps the art from becoming boring by running the pattern through
vivid and appealing shades of purple, blue, green, pink, and orange. The book's last spread is a charmer: as
Dad lies curled up on a bundle of blankets and pillows, Bertie cuddles up close. "Good night, Daddy," he
says. "Tomorrow we can play some more."

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Pfister's thirteen provocative questions in rhymed couplets are really just a background for the double-page abstract illustrations created with a distinctive acrylic stamping technique. The questions range from, "How do seeds know how to grow, to reach up from the earth below?" and "Who paints the colors on the flowers that lift their heads to sun and showers?" to "Do apple seeds dream happily of growing up to be a tree?" and "When geese fly south, how do they know it's time to leave and where to go?" He ends the questions with, "Birds and flowers, sea and air—questions, questions everywhere!" The textures, produced by the wet paint pressing and detailed in Pfister's final note, have small silver accents that seem inlaid into the large, intensely colored shapes, adding attention-grabbing details. Although the pictures relate to the questions, they in no way pretend to provide answers. Rather, they create commanding visual images that supply accessible emotional content. They also could lead to discussions as readers attempt to discover answers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—First published in Switzerland and inspired by a Lucio Dalla song, this book contains 13 rhyming couplets that pose big questions about our natural world. Many of the questions are fanciful: "Do apple seeds dream happily/of growing up to be a tree?" but some may inspire a little research: "What turns the leaves from green to brown/and sends them floating gently down?" Images transferred to the paper from cardboard cutouts loaded with acrylic paint are rich with color, texture, and visual interest. An artist's note describes the technique. A number of the couplets feel overly sentimental, but with guidance young children could enjoy thinking about them or may come up with questions of their own to ask.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

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)

Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735841703
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.14 (w) x 5.43 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcus Pfister has written and illustrated many books for North-South, including the popular Penguin Pete and Hopper series. His books The Rainbow Fish, Rainbow Fish to the Rescue!, and Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale have become international best-sellers.

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