Now here’s a wondrous book to behold. A combination of philosophical conundrums and thoughtful artwork, My Little Book of Big Questions by Britta Teckentrup is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s aimed at wide-eyed and curious little readers, those fizzing with wonder at life and the universe. ‘Why can’t I fly?,’ ‘Do twins want to stay together forever?’, a plethora of thorny questions designed to prompt contemplation, debate, and engrossing parent-child reading time.
The first thing to note is that there are no answers. Pontification is not Britta Teckentrup’s style and and we don’t know her views on dreams versus reality, or the ultimate meaning of life, but she skilfully opens up the conversation, introducing us to some abstract and not so abstract ideas.
This beautifully produced hardback book is composed of over 80 philosophical teasers. Grouped thematically, and covering identity, relationships, and concepts of past and future, the readers are invited to consider such challenging questions as ‘What will become of me?’ Other examples range from the straightforward ‘Do animals think?’ to ‘Is the world inside or outside of me?’
Now there’s a question to get your kids brains a-whirring.
The spare text is accompanied by some extremely lovely artwork. Britta Teckentrup is an award-winning illustrator and author, whose work has been published around the world. Working with digital collage, she uses handmade printing techniques to create ‘crumbly’ textured illustrations, their soft tones setting the mood for each corresponding question.
Many of the book’s characters are depicted from behind. We, the readers, are standing at their shoulders as they gaze out into the world, pondering the mysteries of this life. My Little Book of Big Questions takes top place on my Young Readers gift list. Meaningful, engaging, and with the highest production values, it’s a very special book indeed.
My Little Book of Big Questions by Britta Teckentrup is published by Prestel, 192 pages.