I’m a sucker for those lists of funny questions kids ask (who isn’t?) particularly if I’m not the one who has to answer them all. Which is why I haven’t put down the absolutely engaging new book, Father Knows Less, Or "Why Can’t I Cook My Sister?": One Dad’s Quest To Answer His Son’s Most Baffling Questions.
The author, NY Times editor Wendell Jamieson, gathered an assortment of funny, smart, and strange ("Is dinosaur poop like hummus?") questions from young children including his own seven year-old son. He then used his journalist resourcefulness to track down an incredible variety of fascinating sources for the answers, weaving them all into this memoir-cum-q&a.
Astronaut Donald Pettit describes how high a balloon can go before it pops. David Blaine explains why hands get wrinkly underwater. A cerebrovascular surgeon takes on "brain freeze." An Emmy-winning hair stylist talks about men with ponytails.
Jamieson even has the cajones to ask Yoko Ono why the Beatles broke up.
Father Knows Less is a home run: As thoughtful as it is humorous, as informative as it is enjoyable. I honestly loved every word. It would make great bedtime reading for an older kid, or if you’ve got little ones who aren’t quite out of the WHY? stage, tear through it yourself and start stockpiling answers.
Before you know it, it will be your own kid asking, "Mommy? What’s porn?" And now you’ll have a better response than "Go ask Daddy." –Liz