Picture Books for the Youngest Philosophers
Inspire big-picture curiosity.
Young children wonder naturally - some days ceaselessly - about the world around them. We’ve gathered this unique collection of picture books to help you channel that inquisitive energy into some of life’s most perplexing and universally asked questions.
Also check out our collection of Books for Your Family Philosophy Club.
Talk about the issue with a few philosophical questions every child should be asked.
What do you think it means to live a good life?
Is it better to be good or famous?
What is love? Are there different kinds of love?
What is respect? Who deserves our respect? How do we show our respect for others?
Can kindness make a difference? Is it good to be kind to everyone all the time?
Can you be kind and still stand up for yourself and others? In what way?
Visit our blog post “The Inner Work of Childhood: Tools and Tips for Your Family Philosophy Club.”
The Blue Pool of Questions by Maya Abu-Alhayyat
This award-winning fairytale features an odd man who doesn’t quite fit into the busy city. He is always asking questions, so many questions that they begin to form a giant pool in the middle of the city. The excerpt below, describing the city’s reaction to the pool of questions, is sure to spark an interesting family conversation:
Everyone complained. No one wanted to swim across, but they all had somewhere to go: to school, home, work, where they had answers to their questions. They knew everyday answers so well that they had forgotten what questions looked like, and the pool of questions frightened them.
After you read this remarkable story, add your own questions to the blue pool, along with other children all over the world.
More DGT Favorites
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
Bring a global context to your conversation, as you explore the universality of the “golden rule” in this beautiful and poignant book.
I Wonder by Annaka Harris
This is a celebration of life's mysteries, with gorgeous illustrations and a simple story that will spark conversations about curiosity and awe.
If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David Smith
Grapple with big, hard-to-imagine ideas by scaling them down with clever metaphors brought to you by the same author who created If the World Were a Village.
Here We Are: Notes for Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
This users guide for planet earth is both simple and profound, folding bits of wisdom into every page.
Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece) by Angela Farris Watkins, Ph.D.
Discover what it means to live according to your philosophical beliefs - or guiding principles - through the inspiring figure of Martin Luther King Jr. “Have courage; love your enemies; fight the problem, not the person who caused it; when innocent people are hurt, others are inspired to help; resist violence of any kind; and the universe honors love.”
Q is for Question: An ABC of Philosophy by Tiffany Poirier
Jump into big philosophical questions with this witty, rhyming introduction to the art of asking questions.
The Three Questions: Based on a Story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon J Muth
This is a long-time DGT favorite found on many of our book lists. This simple story never fails to launch an interesting conversation. The reader is invited to follow Nikolai on his quest to answer three important questions: Who is the most important one? What is the most important thing? When is the most important time? Amid all of this food for thought, your family will cheer for Nikolai as he rescues someone in need.
Whatever You Are, Be a Good One by Lisa Congdon
This gorgeous collection features inspiring quotations, from Harriet Tubman to Oscar Wilde, hand-lettered by Lisa Congor. This beautiful book is sure to inspire thoughtful conversation and contemplation with readers of every age.
Wise Guy: The Life and Philosophy of Socrates by M. D. Usher
Engaging storytelling, humorous illustrations, and thoughtful historical asides introduce young readers to Socrates. Children will be astonished to encounter that most confounding of observations, “All I know is that I know nothing.”
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