Annaka Harris has written a picture book, I Wonder, that expresses the feelings of wonder and mystery that many children have when thinking about the world. Eva, walking with her mother, asks questions like: Where does gravity come from? How many grains of sand are in the world? What was here before the beginning of everything?
Eva’s mother, rather than responding with answers, responds with questions or by saying things like, “I don’t know,” or “I wonder about that too.” She tells Eva that “It’s okay to say, I don’t know. When we don’t know something, we get to wonder about it.”
The illustrations are lovely and the story can inspire conversations about all of the things children wonder about. I asked a group of third grade students this fall what they wondered about. Here are some of their responses:
What will my life be in the future?
How is money made?
Why am I tired?
What happens when you die?
Is magic real?
Why do we have to pay for things?
Why do people die?
Will the world be more dangerous when I’m older?
How is freedom created?
Why do I have buck teeth?
How is television made?
Why can’t there be peace throughout the world?