One of The Observer’s Best Children’s Books of 2018
Children are, in many ways, born philosophers. Without prompting, they ask some of the largest questions: about time, mortality, happiness and the meaning of it all.
Yet sadly, too often, this inborn curiosity is not developed and, as they grow up, the questions fall away.
Big Ideas for Curious Minds is designed to harness children’s spontaneous philosophical instinct and to develop it through introductions to some of the most vibrant and essential philosophical ideas from history. The book takes us to meet leading figures of philosophy from around the world and from all eras – and shows us how their ideas continue to matter.
- Hypatia of Alexandria
Suggested for curious minds aged 9+.
“This is an absolute must have for ALL children. It is absolutely fantastic and helps children understand a number of their daily struggles. In fact I take that previous comment back, this is an absolute must for EVERYONE. I have had read it from cover to cover, and as a 40 year old woman I have honestly learnt something new.” Freddies Mummy UK
“This is a beautifully produced book published by the School of Life (founded by well known philosopher Alain de Botton). It is a very accessible starting point for exploring philosophy and how philosophical ideas can be applied to everyday life, in fact it is very explicit about this.” Ewingel
“I can’t stop reading and talking about this book with others. It is easy to follow and great for an introduction to philosophy for kids. Well written, great illustrations, ideas and clever how it relates the philosophers’ ideas to the lives and issues that children have. 5 stars!” Thomas Leesa
“The book itself is genius with an introduction to leading figures of philosophy from around the world from all eras. Alongside that there are chapters teaching our children crucial lessons about life, about love, and about loss. Topics such as ‘Why you feel lonely’, ‘Politeness matters’, ‘People are unhappy not mean’, and ‘The mind-body problem’ offer invaluable insights into philosophy in a way that our children can really get on board with. When the book arrived and I had a quick glance through it, my immediate reaction was that it was far too old for my children. And yet when I took the time to start reading, and to admire the beautiful illustrations, I found myself still sat there, an hour later, realising that this was exactly the kind of book I want each of my children to read as they grow.” Five Little Doves
“The focus of these chapters are incredibly meaningful, some of my favourites include ‘People are unhappy, not mean’, ‘Learn to say what s on your mind’, ‘Good things are (unexpectedly) hard’ and ‘Politeness matters’. The book has been written by the fantastic School of Life and it is suggested for curious minds aged 9+. I think most adults would also find these ideas incredibly helpful to reflect on; who doesn’t need reminding that when someone is angry, maybe it’s not you who is responsible?” Louise Treherne, Role Models
“Although Big Ideas for Curious Minds is aimed at children I have got a lot from it too and I wish I had read it myself as a child… This book has taught me, and LP, new ways of thinking and new ways of being.” What the Redhead Said