Knowing is Growing: Grown-Up Values for Children | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by BookLogix
The Children’s Book Review | August 28, 2018
Written by Herschel Khan
Age Range: 5-8
Paperback: 52 pages
Publisher: Mountain Arbor Press (2018)
What to Expect:Parent-child interaction, family and personal values.
To be “grown-up” is what every child wants: grownups, it sometimes seems, have all the fun and make all the rules. Herschel Khan’s Knowing is Growing acknowledges this childish preconception charmingly, offering a volume which both fosters “grownup” thinking and knowledge, whilst also reminding children gently that with knowledge and power come responsibility.
Knowing is Growing focuses on both the knowledge of values that children need to learn to be successful grownups, as well as the responsibilities that comes with such knowledge. Chapters cover topics such as love, kindness and creativity, but also more practical advice such as saving money, staying safe, and looking ahead. Whilst such overt didacticism might seem off-putting at first, the delivery in this volume in fact manages to be refreshing by not hiding its practical motivations, and by directly involving the child reader in dialogue with adults about their role in the social contract. This approach has the potential to be empowering for both the child and the adult, acknowledging the power imbalance which is integral to childhood, but also helping the child work towards gaining independence, knowledge, and “grownup” values. This dialogic function is emphasized by spaces at the end of each section for free-style discussion between child and adult readers, and a dedicated space for children and adults to sign and date. This last feature is particularly endearing, giving the volume a parallel function as a memoir of a child’s progress through life. The illustrations, which hover between childishness and realism, further highlight the idea that growing up is a process: like life, the drawings are not perfect or even very professional, but they are colorful, engaging, and enthusiastic. This volume has fantastic potential as an educational aid for children and parents or guardians to enjoy together.
About the Author
Herschel Kahn is a proud member of the octogenarian generation. He grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota and De Paul University. He and his wife, Jody, have traveled the world, visiting over eighty countries. In 2018, they will celebrate their sixty-second wedding anniversary. They have four children, one grandson, and reside with their cat, Mr. Whiskers, in Marietta, Georgia.
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