Great Questions from Little Minds
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch,” Carl Sagan famously observed in Cosmos, “you must first invent the universe.” The questions children ask are often so simple, so basic, that they turn unwittingly yet profoundly philosophical so as to require “apple-pie-from-scratch” type of answers.
Making food from Scratch
My daughter, aged 2.5 posed one such question to me. How do you make Grape Juice? Though it may sound innocent enough, my attempt to satisfy her with Concentrated juice resulted in a fit for the ages. She was on the floor, screaming with uncontrollable outrage as only a 2 year old can. So we went to the store to buy grapes to make grape juice. When I chose the green grapes (seedless of course) she again went into an outrage. However, since we were in a public place, I quickly redirected her attention and put the fear of spoiling her behind me. “POORPOOL GRAPES” she said over and over and was ecstatically gleeful when we found big juicy purple grapes. In fact, the entire grocery store was aware of our find and just how wonderful these PoorPul Grapes were.
I had no idea how to make grape juice. For me, the mother of three and working mom, the simpler the better. However, she had an insatiable curiosity about how it could be that Poorpul Grapes could become liquid that she could drink. So being a good mother, I obliged. We squeezed, we strained, we sweetened, we stored and we savored. It was delicious and she stayed focused on the complete task.
Today she is an inventive and creative cook. Plus she is almost obsessive about getting her food from the source as opposed to from the can like her mom 🙂
I remember this experience as one of the most dramatic requirements from my little curious ones but there were many more. I am sure you have the same experiences and this book helps to explore Questions from little people and helps us navigate the world.
Big Questions from Little People & Simple Answers from Great Minds (public library) — a compendium of fascinating explanations of deceptively simple everyday phenomena, featuring such modern-day icons as Mary Roach, Noam Chomsky, Philip Pullman, Richard Dawkins, and many more, with a good chunk of the proceeds being donated to Save the Children, and also one of the best science books of 2012.