“I Wonder offers crucial lessons in emotional intelligence, starting with being secure in the face of uncertainty. Annaka Harris has woven a beautiful tapestry of art, storytelling, and profound wisdom. Any young child – and parent – will benefit from sharing this wondrous book together.”
–Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 bestseller Emotional Intelligence
“What an enchanting children’s book – beautiful to look at, charming to read, and with a theme that wonderers of all ages should appreciate.”
–Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works
“I Wonder captures the beauty of life and the mystery of our world, sweeping child and adult into a powerful journey of discovery. This is a book for children of all ages that will nurture a lifelong love of learning. Magnificent!”
– Daniel Siegel, author of Mindsight and The Whole-Brain Child
I Wonder is a picture book for children ages 1 and up. The story is about a little girl who takes a walk with her mother and encounters a range of mysteries – from gravity, to life cycles, to the vastness of the universe. She learns to talk about how it feels to not know something, and she learns that it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” In the process, she discovers that there are some things even adults don’t know – mysteries for everyone in the world to wonder about together!
John Rowe creates original art and oil paintings for both illustration and fine art clients. His illustration clients include the United Nations, Disney, Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Buena Vista Pictures. His projects have encompassed movie posters, book covers, advertisements, murals and fine art paintings for clients and collectors.
The Author’s Note
Before my daughter turned two, she began ignoring questions she couldn’t answer. Then she moved on to giving answers which she knew to be false. I realized that she had grown accustomed to being celebrated every time she answered a question correctly and was, naturally, less interested in exchanges that didn’t produce this response. But I also realized something even more important: I hadn’t taught her to say “I don’t know” let alone celebrated her ability to do so. In all social and emotional learning, children need our help identifying the many new feelings they experience: “Oh, that batman costume scared you,” or “I know, you feel sad when mommy leaves.” So I went looking for a children’s book that would help us talk about the experience of not knowing, but I couldn’t find one.
We live in a society where people are uncomfortable with not knowing. Children aren’t taught to say “I don’t know,” and honesty in this form is rarely modeled for them. They too often see adults avoiding questions and fabricating answers, out of either embarrassment or fear, and this comes at a price. When children are embarrassed or afraid of not knowing, they are preoccupied with escaping their discomfort, rather than being motivated to learn. This robs them of the joy of curiosity.
I believe that one of the most important gifts we can give our children is the confidence to say “I don’t know.” Identifying and expressing the feeling of not knowing is the first step in learning. It’s the foundation from which we begin our investigation of the world: asking questions, taking the necessary time to understand the answers, and searching for new answers when the ones we have in hand don’t seem to work. The feeling of not knowing is also the source of wonder and awe. I Wonder is a book that celebrates the feelings of awe and curiosity in children, as the foundation for all learning.