Just Because by Mac Barnett embraces wondering and the repetitive phase of questioning children have. The book follows a question and answer format. A discussion at bedtime between a young girl and her father. In my first read of this book, I found myself anticipating very scientific answers and had to reread the answers the father provides. They are a stretch of the truth and filled with humor. I wonder if my second grade readers will question the answers from the father. They certainly made me smile as I reread each one to understand there was humor. I think the answers provided could result in some research for readers.
There's a two page spread with sixteen questions. I love the various question stems and the idea of having lots of questions to explore. I also wondered as I read the story how would the questioning end for the little girl. She finally asks, "Why do we fall asleep?" and the father replies with, "Because there are some things we can only see with our eyes closed." I think this book will help parents embrace the questioning phase with humor. I hope the book inspires children to keep asking questions and to question the answers given. Questioning fosters thinking and keeps us actively engaged in life. I worry questioning can be seen as a negative and hope people see it as a vehicle for deepening one's own thoughts and understandings.
Isabelle Arsenault illustrated this book and gives it the feel of a cozy bedtime situation. Each bedtime seen is done in a gray/black monotone collection on the right side of the two page spread with the question being asked in a large circle of color on the left side of the page. Then the answer is found on a two page illustration using the blend of the circle color and the gray/black monotone hue. This really enhances the text.
Thank you Candlewick Press for the copy of this beautiful new book.