Why?

Overview

Like any almost-six-year-old, Jack is full of questions.

Why does all the good-for-you food taste bad?

Why can't he have a tail?

Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it?

From bedtimes to ball games, Jack ...

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Overview

Like any almost-six-year-old, Jack is full of questions.

Why does all the good-for-you food taste bad?

Why can't he have a tail?

Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it?

From bedtimes to ball games, Jack has a question for everything.

Why?

Why?

Why?

Richard Torrey's funny, sweet companion to almost is a celebration of every child's favorite question.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Torrey's affecting portrait of a small boy is made up almost entirely of questions, all of which begin with “Why?” Torrey (Almost) paints Jack's world with gentle colors and softly brushed forms: his suburban house with its yellow siding, his small white dog, and the posters on his basketball-playing older brother's wall. “Why can't I come in?” Jack asks as his older brother puts his shoulder against his bedroom door to keep him out. “Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it?” he asks at the barber's; his brother rolls his eyes. But Jack isn't just cute or just annoying; he's doing his best to understand the world, and Torrey's sensitivity brings Jack's feelings home to readers. Discovering the family goldfish belly up, he embraces his mother in tears: “Why?” And when his brother attempts to console him, Jack asks acutely, “Why do you care?” But he's soon back to form, asking why he has to take a bath and go to bed. It's a perceptive double portrait of an irritating little brother—and the irritating problem of being a little brother. Ages 4-8. (May)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Jack, a five-going-on-six-year-old, is just too curious. His favorite work is "why" and Jack asks it about a hundred times a day. Some of Jack's questions are pesky little brother questions ("Why can't I play with you?). Some questions are humor-provoking common-sense questions ("Why does everything that's good for you taste bad?"). A few questions are serious, nature-of-the-universe questions such as a plaintive, one-word, "Why?" when a beloved pet dies. Some of the questions will intrigue young listeners to ask "why" questions of their own, so this is an excellent way to provoke discussion with young ones. Jack is a freckle-cheeked boy with unruly red hair and his family, shown in colorful detail, is very Middle America. Jack's older brother, the Beezus to Jack's Ramona, is, by turns, loving and supportive and impatient with Jack. Read this book to your own little ones and see what unanswerable questions are swirling in their active imaginations. One question is sure to be "Why can't we read Why? again?" Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Jack, the almost-six-year-old featured in Almost (HarperCollins, 2009), asks the timeless question again and again: "Why do they put holes in the crackers? Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it? Why are there so many numbers?" The sweet, colorful pictures show a good-natured boy with a wide, cartoony face. Torrey expertly uses perspectives, shapes, details, facial expressions, and postures to extract the maximum impact from each page. Readers will laugh aloud at bonuses like the Quacker Oats container, showing a duck in a Quaker-style hat, as Jack asks, "Why does all the good-for-you food taste bad?" But there are also more personal inquiries. "Why do I have to take a bath?" he demands, as his mother wrestles his shirt off. "Why can't we read just one more book?" he begs his father, who is fast asleep, surrounded by an absurdly large pile of "Ducky Dave" books. He desperately asks his brother, "Why can't I come in?" and "Why can't I play with you?" Why? gently and humorously explores a child's daily encounters with this world of wonders, and even suggests a loving answer to the endless question.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
In this companion to Almost (2009), young Jack has shifted his attention from growing up to the equally existential Why? And he is just as sweet as in the earlier volume, with his great moony head and little dot eyes, all in the soft, powdery colors of 1950s twin-set sweaters. Torrey allows Jack a whole range of curiosity: His questions are funny ("Why do feet stink?"), whimsical ("Why do they put these holes in the crackers?") and touched by pathos: Why, he wants to know as the tears start leaking, did his fish die? The author gives Jack an older brother who doesn't exactly thwart Jack's quest for meaning but doesn't give it any satisfaction either. Unfortunately the same can be said for the book-so many questions, so few answers. Well, one answer: "That's why," which closes the book after Jack, slipping into sleep, poses his last query, "Why do I have to go to sleep if I'm not tired?" It's a resolution as unsatisfying as "because." Readers will have been there before; what they'll really want to know is, "Why can't I have a tail?" (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061561702
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 604,998
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Torrey is the author and illustrator of a number of well-loved children's books, including Almost, Why?, and the popular Beans Baker series. Mr. Torrey lives in Shoreham, New York.

Richard Torrey is the author and illustrator of a number of well-loved children's books, including Almost, Why?, and the popular Beans Baker series. Mr. Torrey lives in Shoreham, New York.

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