What’s Better and Why?

A story from the book Thinking Trees and Laughing Cats (A Thinking Curriculum for Pre-School Education), a book published by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC). These stories are meant to be introduction stories for a philosophical discussion with children (and adults, too!). I spent two weeks in New Jersey, USA just inhaling and exhaling the philosophies of Philosophy for Children (how redundant). This is one of the books I really liked. Enjoy 🙂

photo from http://www.desktoppedia.com


There was once a little girl who loved asking questions.  She especially liked to ask “Which is better?” questions.

         She would say to her mother, “Which is better, apples or pears? Water or lemonade? A ball or a doll?”

         Her mother answered patiently, although she did have her doubts.  How can you say whether a ball is better than a doll, or a rose is better than a tulip?

         One day the little girl asked, “Mother, what’s better: fairy tales or songs?”

         Her mother replied, “If you tell me, which is better, the sun or the sky, I’ll tell you which is better, fairy tales or songs.”

         The little girl thought long and hard, but it was no use.  She looked up at the sky and at the bright round sun.  They were each so beautiful and you couldn’t see one without seeing the other.

        After that the little girl no longer asked what’s better.  She had other questions: What’s the best thing about fairy tales? And what’s the best thing about songs?

         And her mother was delighted to answer these new questions.

Click this to view the whole book (with exercises)