About the Big Questions books

“In the spirit of Schott’s Miscellany, The Magic of Reality, and The Dangerous Book for Boys comes Big Questions from Little People — a smart, illuminating, essential, and utterly delightful handbook for perplexed parents and their curious children.”

UK & US book covers, Book 1

Many of the questions children ask in the course of growing up can stump even the best educated adult: Why can’t I tickle myself? Are we all related? Who named all the cities? Do aliens exist? Why can’t we live forever? What makes me me? Is it okay to eat a worm? Who invented chocolate? If the universe started from nothing, how did it become something? How do you fall in love? Why is the Sun so hot? Who is God? How do chefs get ideas for recipes? Why are some people mean?

Big Questions from Little People (2010) and its follow-up Does My Goldfish Know Who I Am? were compiled from schoolchildren’s questions, answered by top experts including Sir David Attenborough, Heston Blumenthal, Dr Richard Dawkins, Kate Humble, Philip Pullman, Professor Richard Fortey, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Alain de Botton, Dan Snow, Bear Grylls, Jessica Ennis, Tracey Emin, Derren Brown, Miranda Hart, Jarvis Cocker, Dr Christian Jessen, Dame Kelly Holmes, Marcus du Sautoy, Noam Chomksy, Philippa Gregory, AC Grayling and many more.

  • Sir David Attenborough answers ‘Are there any undiscovered animals?’
  • Lorraine Pascale lets us in on ‘Why cakes taste so nice’
  • Dame Kelly Holmes gives advice on ‘How do you keep going when you’re losing?’
  • Oliver James the psychologist answers ‘Why are some people mean?’
  • Dr Richard Dawkins tackles ‘Are we all related?’

Where did the children’s questions come from?

Gemma gathered the questions from thousands of children aged five to twelve, at ten primary schools around the UK.
Read more about the project