Little Bird by Germano Zullo, published this year, has few words and many colorful, vibrant illustrations. It tells the story of a truck driver who, coming to the edge of a cliff and unable to go any further, opens the truck's back door and out fly a flock of birds. As the man watches them fly off, the text tells us, "One could almost believe that one day is just like another." But then the man observes that left in the truck is one little bird. Tiny, the text notes.
"Most of the time we don't notice these things.
Because little things are not made to be noticed."
The man and the little bird spend the day together. Eventually all the other birds return as well.
"When we take the time to look for them . . .
the small things appear."
By the end of the book the man is flying, carried by the birds.
"There are no greater treasures than the little things.
One is enough to enrich the moment.
Just one is enough to change the world."
What does it mean for something to be little? Is anything ever truly insignificant? Are our realities made up of only the things we notice? How does the way we see affect what there is to be seen?
Welcome to Wondering Aloud -- a blog about introducing philosophy to pre-college students. I'm the director of the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington in Seattle, and I started this blog to create another way to communicate about doing philosophy with young people.
The blog includes posts about some of my philosophy classes with pre-college students, thoughts about doing philosophy with young people, and ideas for how to introduce philosophy in K-12 classrooms and with your own children! Also check out our website, http://www.philosophyforchildren.org/, for more resources and ideas.
My hope is that this blog will help further the online community of those interested in pre-college philosophy, and will illustrate the vitality and joy of talking about philosophy with young people.
Jana -- September 2008