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The Big Question

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  73 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A stunningly beautiful and poetic illustrated book for children that poses the biggest of all big questions: Why am I here? A chorus of voices-including the cat's, the baker's, the pilot's, and the soldier's-offers us some answers. But nothing is certain, except that as we grow, each one of us will pose the question differently and be privy to different answers. Wolf Erlbr ...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Europa Editions (first published 2004)
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Feb 28, 2011 Sophie rated it it was amazing
I read this book about a year or so ago. A friend dropped it by and suggested I would like it. And I did. Indeed I ADORE this book. Contrary to those who find it to be an existentialist treatise, I found it to be the quintessentially clear and simple statement of the postmodern world view. Truths are simple and we all have our own simple truth. All the academic postmodern gobbledygook cannot explain it in better terms. Children can even learn --and as it appears to be a book meant for them -- ab ...more
Marcos Kopschitz
Jul 02, 2016 Marcos Kopschitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente pequeno livro com uma grande questão: “Por que estamos aqui?”! Provoca reflexão, característica do autor e ilustrador alemão. Com desenhos e colagens simples e excelentes, também é muito simpático. Ao final, espaço para anotar mais respostas à “grande questão”.

Wolf Erlbruch formou-se em artes gráficas e trabalhou em editoras e em publicidade. É professor de ilustração na universidade de Wuppertal e recebeu o importante prêmio Hans Christian Andersen em 2006. Seus livros já foram traduz
May 14, 2016 Mollie rated it it was amazing
This is an unusual book...the physical shape of it and the collaged illustrations and extensive use of white space. The simple answers, some humorous, some heart warming.

And the ending...inspires the child to continue opening to answers to the "big question" of "why am I here?"

The author's minimalist touch enables life's most elemental question to take flight, to soar beyond answers.
Samantha Penrose
Jan 11, 2016 Samantha Penrose rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
The big question is, why are we here?
The general consensus seems to indicate that we are all here for different reasons. Find out what a baker, a duck, a blind man, a soldier, a sailor, a bird, a rock, and many more (including death) have to say.
Nov 13, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
Sagt der Blinde: "du bist auf der Welt, um zu vertrauen."

This is such a beautiful, deep, philosophical picture book.
May 20, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
"Death: You are here to love life." "The rabbit: you are here to be caressed."
Sophie Fletcher
Mar 08, 2010 Sophie Fletcher rated it it was amazing
The big question is, "Why is this book not in print in English"? I found it in Germany and read it in German, but then tried to find a copy in English with no luck. I think that it retails second hand at around 200!

It's really a very early introduction to the concept of existentialism, with very few words and with beautiful illustrations as you would expect from Erlbruch. Reading it to my children is great fun as all sorts of questions arise from it. So if you have a copy in English count your
Jan 05, 2013 Aleta rated it it was amazing
Wonderful children's book that gives a good many answers to "why am I here?" The reader infers the question from the answers, which vary from "so that I can spoil you" (grandmamma), to eating well (the enormous man), and on to barking - and sometimes howling at the moon - (the dog). My personal favorites are "The bird: 'To sing your song", and "Death: 'You are here to love life." At the end, there's space to write in your own dated answers.
Oct 07, 2009 Debrarian rated it really liked it
Actually I read the Spanish edition, La Gran Pregunta.

Why are we here? To have birthday parties, says the brother. To bark, says the dog. To love life, says death. What do you say? (Pub. in Spanish by Kókinos.)
Why are we here? To have birthday parties, says the brother. To bark, says the dog. To love life, says death. What do you say? (Pub. Kókinos.)
Sherry Schwabacher
May 31, 2013 Sherry Schwabacher rated it it was amazing
This is one Anise and I keep going back to. It doesn't answer the big question - Why are we here? - but it certainly sparks discussion.
Carrie Gelson
Creatively tackles the huge question: "Why am I here?" Marries my love of clever picture books and my B.A. in Philosophy. Love.
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Wolf Erlbruch (born 1949 in Wuppertal, Germany) is an award-winning illustrator and writer of children's books. He combines various techniques for the artwork in his books, including cutting and pasting, drawing, and painting. His style is sometimes surrealist and is widely copied inside and outside Germany, and some of his story books discuss adult topics such as death and the meaning of life. Th ...more
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