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The Pondering Preschooler

By Kristi Groth and Wanda Jarchow
www.ponderingpreschooler.com

15 North Estey Street
Luverne, MN 56156
507-283-9664

Why aren't you dressed yet? What did you do to your sister? How did you get peanut butter there? I ask my preschooler many questions every day, but few of them are designed to help me get to know my child on a more intimate level. My daughter delights me and exasperates me and always leaves me wondering what is going on in that amazing brain of hers. But as we rush and meet deadlines and exist side-by-side, I often miss the opportunities to find out about this beautiful creature that is my daughter.

The Pondering Preschooler is a book created to help parents start amazing conversations with their children and discover the wonderful thoughts they think. It is a small book, small enough to fit in my purse, but it is full of fun and interesting questions. Some are silly: "If you could get rid of one smell on earth, what would it be?" Some are thoughtful: "What can you do to be a good friend?" Some are practical: "If you were playing outside and the ball rolled across the street, what would you do?" All of them are engaging. I've loved every conversation that has developed from these questions.

I pick out a question and savor it until the right moment when we can stop and explore: driving in the car, sitting in the grass, tucking into bed at night, etc. And I don't save them just for my preschooler! My son is almost fourteen years old--almost a man. His thoughts are his own now, and he is struggling with finding the balance of communicating as a man and communicating with his mama. Granted, not all of the questions are fitting for a teenage son. I don't ask him if he can find something shaped like a triangle in our house. But when I ask him what he would do if he could be invisible for one hour, the conversation takes flight and I relish it.

There is room in the book to write answers after each question, making this a treasured keepsake to share with children when they are older. While I loved this book as a mom, I know that grandparents could really enjoy it as well. It would even make great conversation starters for teachers. If you know a child who is reluctant to talk or an adult who feels awkward talking to children, this book could make a perfect gift. I'm amazed that something so simple can be so helpful. This is definitely $5 well spent.



Product review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May 2011


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