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The Philosophers' Club
     

The Philosophers' Club

by Christopher Phillips, Kim Doner (Illustrator)
 
What is silence? What is wisdom? How do you know you're here? Socratic dialogue—for kids? At least the answer to this last question is an easy, resounding Yes! The rest you'll have to think about and discuss with your friends, which is just what philosopher Christopher Phillips is hoping for. He has long been leading thinkers of all ages on a thoughtful and

Overview

What is silence? What is wisdom? How do you know you're here? Socratic dialogue—for kids? At least the answer to this last question is an easy, resounding Yes! The rest you'll have to think about and discuss with your friends, which is just what philosopher Christopher Phillips is hoping for. He has long been leading thinkers of all ages on a thoughtful and thought-filled quest for knowledge, and this picturebook models for young children that mulling over some of life's big questions can be done anytime, anywhere. A finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award in the design/illustration category. • A novel teacher resource.• Educators, please visit our Resources section, above, for teaching guides and curricula. 

Editorial Reviews

This book can stimulate children to ask questions and become more tolerant and thoughtful critical thinkers. One of the big issues in education today is why children often do not seem to think for themselves. This book models Socratic dialogues for children. "This way of questioning can be done anytime, anywhere, and can easily become a way of life." When adults engage in Socratic dialogues with children, communication can be on an equal level, each gaining insights from the other. Appealing illustrations and intriguing questions make this an unusual and thoughtful introduction to the Socratic method. It would make an excellent gift. 2001, Tricycle Press, $14.95. Ages 8 to 10. Reviewer: C. Henebry SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
Blue endpapers with the word questions floating here and there like a screensaver frame a text composed of ten big questions, each prompting a multitude of follow-up questions. A foreword directed at adults presents the rationale for the book—that encouraging Socratic dialogues in children will "develop and hone critical and creative thinking skills." Questions include old enigmas ("Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" "Is this glass half empty or half full?"), moral considerations ("What is violence?" "What is the difference between the truth and a lie?"), and age-old musings ("Why are we here?"). Although most of these queries hold appeal for all ages, from the young to the very old, the illustrations picture children in upper elementary grades, thereby restricting this book's audience. The illustrations, though ethnically inclusive, lack life and narrative; there is nothing in them to sustain attention. Likewise, the text feels driven by the author's agenda. A better choice is Michèle Lemieux's Stormy Night, which asks many of the same questions but captures the awe and wonder involved in pondering human existence. 2001, Tricycle Press, $14.95. Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Susan Stan
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-This book is based on the premise that Socratic dialogues with and among children will result in an enhanced ability for them to think for themselves. The author gives examples of questions to ponder, such as "What is silence?" "Are the mind and the brain the same thing?" and the ever-popular "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" While it is certainly true that students need to develop the ability to think clearly and make good decisions, this book isn't likely to further the process. The inquiries and dialogues, which change quickly from one page to the next, may confuse some readers about what topic is being addressed. The colorful illustrations suggest that this book is meant for elementary children, but the points are likely to be missed by young, concrete thinkers.-Lynn Dye, Keheley Elementary School, Marietta, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582460390
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Pages:
44
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

As a child, KIM DONER aspired to be a Ballerina-Veterinarian-Artist-- dancing at night, saving animals by day, and summering in Africa to draw wild animals from a treehouse. Today, she has made those dreams a reality-sharing her love of the arts through her award-winning children's books, rehabilitating wildlife, and planning a return to Africa with her husband. Kim lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Called a "modern-day Socrates" CHRISTOPHER PHILLIPS travels the U.S., facilitating hundreds of Socrates Cafés where ordinary people gather to ask questions—and questions about questions. He is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Society for Philosophical Inquiry, and the author of one book for grown-ups, Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy.

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