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All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,831 Ratings  ·  644 Reviews
Twenty-five years ago, Robert Fulghum published a simple credo--a credo that became the phenomenal #1 "New York Times" bestseller "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Now, seven million copies later, Fulghum returns to the book that was embraced around the world. He has written a new preface and twenty-five essays, which add even more potency to a common, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 1986)
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Jul 11, 2008 Roy rated it liked it
When I read this book years ago, my first thought was that it would make an excellent Christmas gift for anyone who I couldn't figure out what else to get. The simple philosophy of living that it promotes and the author's easy going style of prose would elicit a smile from a stone. I can't quite say that it changed my life, but I was certainly charmed by this book. It also taught me a lesson in the money making potential of publishing because I happened to work for Ballantine at the time and was ...more
May 28, 2009 Raymond rated it liked it
I am not sure this book is important to me. But I will tell you this - one of the most delightful things I had read in a long time, and a thing I have tried to memorize, is Fulghum's wonderful list:

"Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and th
Oct 05, 2013 Maegan rated it it was amazing
Essentially the GREATEST book I've ever read. I loved the humor, but it also expressed hidden truths that integrate themselves into our day to day lives in a quirky sort of way. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight that you received through out the entirety of the book. Made me think about things...lots of things. Mr. Fulghum reminds me a lot of, well, ME.
I thought it was stunning.
Nov 26, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
The only people who learned all they needed to know in kindergarten are the people who died when they were six. This stupid book is as facile as its title.
Sep 23, 2010 Jinky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I've found reading adult non-fiction books to be a tedious read because it involves many facts. I finally gave up on one that I've had for almost a month because telling me every detail history of her relatives just got too much and it looked like she wasn't going to let up! But this book had nothing tedious about it. It had me chuckling through the entire book. It was sooooo easy to turn from one page to the next and time just flew by. I would have been disappointed that it ended but Mr. Fulghu ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Marie rated it really liked it
I find it funny that so many people who reviewed this book made comments about the title. Why on earth does the title really matter? I know I have read hundreds of books with odd titles, but I did not base my review on it.

This book was easy to read - I read it in one rainy afternoon. I did not pick this book up to find the answers of life - I read it because it seemed light and fun - which it was.

I feel the book is very cool - hundreds of times I have thought random, misc. thoughts and told myse
Jan 13, 2013 Apple rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfic
So, I don't understand why this is a New York Times best-seller? To each his own, then. But to me, this book felt like a venue for the author to explain away his own mulling. The title is "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten";
(a) and it sounds like an excuse to be a bit too childish and simplistic
(b) but hardly any of the book is about things he really learned in Kindergarten.

I don't know. I'm just really confused, annoyed, and disappointed.
Vishal Khatri
Oct 24, 2015 Vishal Khatri rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
"Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well."
Julie Rylie
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every after
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 15, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Shelves: humour
Funny and witty. I like the short anecdotes that support those learnings in kindergarten. I still remember one: "When crossing the street, hold each other hands" This is very true especially in the crazy streets of Manila.
Jaideep Khanduja
Oct 28, 2012 Jaideep Khanduja rated it it was amazing

Book Review: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten - Robert Fulghum
Surprise 1: The book is listed at MS
Surprise 2: There is only 1 review on such a marvelous book till date

Before coming to the contents and other details of this book, let me create an atmosphere by phrasing some basic facts (and some queries), you are free to agree or disagree on each point:1. You will be bli
Jul 16, 2007 Malbadeen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: hippies & cultivated garden haters
the lecture series that accompanies this book can be called: how I will display my self actualization to judge your lawn care habits.
I don't remember much about this book except the over all sense that the author was pretty pleased with himself. I remember one part where he talked about his carefree acceptance of natures impression on his yard by explaining how silly his neighbor was to rake his leaves and mow the lawn.
I didn't do a ton of gardening at the time (nor do I now) but I remember thi
Aug 25, 2010 Louize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

I’ve been chewing on this book for a month. Trying to read and absorb it gradually; and never wanting it to end. Yes, I was hooked.

Robert Fulghum wrote his journal-type stories in a very honest, child-like manner that it will capture you both in wonder and profound realization. It is amazing to know how our everyday life may be improved if we but apply things we already learned as a child. Life can be more meaningful, indeed, if we just stop worrying a lot and enjoy the simple things it offers.
Jul 03, 2008 Pandora rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
I had to add this book after seeing it on the worst book list. Come on. It wasn't meant to be Les Mes or even a John Steinbeck. It was meant to be a happy book that helps you remember that it is and can be a good world out there. Which is needed after Neal Shusterman - a great author but, perhaps too good. See Unwind review - this book was used as an antidote.

I did learn that sometimes it is the simple things that make life good. It is bettter to let go of our pride, judgements and just be in mo
Paiman Chen
Jul 03, 2012 Paiman Chen rated it it was amazing
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain.

1. Share everything
2. Play fair
3. Don't hit people
4. Put things back where you found them
5. Clean up your own mess
6. Don't take things that aren't yours
7. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
8. Wash your hands before you eat
9. Flush ....
10.Warm cookies, cold milk are good for you
11.Live a balanced life- learn some, think some, draw,paint,sing,dance, play,work everyday some
Jules Alder
Mar 25, 2014 Jules Alder rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100-books
If you've never read Robert Fulghum before (It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It), this is a good place to start. This wee book made a substantial impact on me partly for personal reasons, but mainly because modern philosophers are too few and not always focused on what matters in the grand microcosm--being kind to others and kind to ourselves. In an age when it seems like everyone and their mother is diagnosed as suffering from some sort of depression, I can't help but think that we lost someth ...more
Yva Ladera
Jun 10, 2011 Yva Ladera rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yva by: Queenelle Gazmen
I have to say this book has not taught me a lot but rather it has opened my eyes to things I had somewhat already noticed. But I MUST thank Queenelle for recommending this book. It was a fun yet thoughtful read. While reading, i have come to realize that my ideas about simplicity being the best form of happiness are headed in the right direction. I rather enjoyed how the author showed his wit and simplicity through his credo. He spoke of, "Warm cookies and cold milk" and how we should, "go out i ...more
A few days ago, I ran across this book on my bookshelf. It had been sitting on one shelf or another, moving with me from place to place for about a decade. So I finally cracked it open. Two days later I'm wondering what exactly it was I read. It's a collection of stories, written almost like journal entries. Some that uncover wisdom, some that I didn't really get any deeper meaning from.

The best part of the book, and my favorite quote from it, is within the first few pages:

Share everything.
Feb 04, 2013 gauldy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Já vlastně nevím, co o téhle knížce psát. Tak jsem si říkal, že nenapíšu nic. Ale to by zase bylo škoda, nic nepsat. Takže přeci to zkusím.

"VŠECHNO, CO OPRAVDU POTŘEBUJI ZNÁT o tom, jak žít, co dělat a jak vůbec být, jsem se naučil v mateřské školce. Moudrost mě nečekala na vrcholu hory zvané postgraduál, ale na pískovišti v nedělní škole. Tohle jsem se naučil:
O všechno se rozděl. Hraj fér. Nikoho nebij. Vracej věci tam, kde jsi je našel. Uklízej po sobě. Neber si nic, co ti nepatří. Když někomu
Aug 27, 2010 Leftbanker rated it did not like it
This is a veiled swipe at anyone who has bothered to actually continue learning since age five. It’s another brick in the wall of pop culture that makes people feel good about the fact that they are stupid motherfuckers who have never worked hard to develop their minds. What they are saying is, “It’s OK to be quasi-literate; everyone else is just like you.” Everyone except the adults sitting around the dinner table of life. I’ll admit that I’m sort of a dumb shit but it’s not from lack of trying ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Cecil rated it liked it
Shelves: timeless-books
As a person who never went to kindergarten--look, it was a small rural community and my parents needed help in the grist mill--I decided that buying this book was not an option for me. The logical corollary of the title is that, lacking a kindergarten education, my BSBA, MBA and JD combined could not save me. Clearly, I knew nothing of what I REALLY needed to know. From the book, I learned that I should be nice to the other children, share my stuff, be quiet sometimes, and always take a nap. Sag ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't mind reading this book again and again. Glad I found this book stacked among the array of books at AWON Library. This book is full of tiny chapters yet worth book marking and re-reading and pondering. This book talks of life and tiniest details of day-to-day activities. A must read for those who call themselves cynical. This manages to touch you without being preachy.
Apr 24, 2016 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book due to the title... I have begun to realize that most of what we need to know we already know. The title essay is right on point and is certainly one of the highlights of the book. This is not a bad book... but it is a gentle, comfortable book... and I am a bit weary of gentle, comfortable truths.
Amanda Hankins
Sep 14, 2011 Amanda Hankins rated it really liked it

Robery Fulghum’s iconic bestseller about the simple acts of everyday childhood and beyond were turned into this memorable little gem. It has become one of my favorite books, not because it is the literary genius of a lifetime, but because his simple idea could become such a simple book that had the potential to touch so many people. I read it for the laugh, the moment where he ties the memory of a Styrofoam cup plant to the cycle of life is simple brilliance. Although it is not the self help boo
Nov 29, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, stories
I really enjoyed this book. Fulghum's musings and witicisms about everyday life and daily situations resonated with me. This is the type of book where people will relate to Fulghum's way of thinking, his teachable moments and overall philosophy of life. I don't know why I waited so long to read this.
Mar 07, 2008 sarafem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, memoirs
This is more of a 3 1/2 stars book; I have never wanted to read this book, but I bought it at a yard sale for a nickel and this morning I wanted something light that I could read while sitting in the doctor's office for. ever. I got the whole thing read, and frankly, it was a good book. Not at all the drivel I expected, based on the uproar made about this book by absolutely vapid people.

I'm a big fan of "the little things" and silver linings. That is what this book is about - finding life lesson
Nov 13, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten was Fulghum's first collection of essays. I liked his style then, and still do. His writing reminds me of evokes a sort of down-home feeling that brings to mind warm apple pie cooling on an open window sill, children playing on lazy summer afternoons, and neighborly conversations over backyard fences. Fulghum does a nice job of exploring simple things from a profound and thoughtful perspective to gently guide the reader to wisdom. ...more
Mary Davidson
Excellent. A masterpiece. Might be one of my favorite books of all time. Fulghum weaves amazing tales and captures the readers heart and mind with each story. Everyone should read this! And then read it again!
Eric Tracy
Jun 17, 2009 Eric Tracy rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most meaningful books I've read in my lifetime, up there with: Are You The One For Me, Re-Inventing Your Life, Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon, or The Road Less-Traveled. Robert Fulghum is and has been many things in his life from a reverend to a bartender to a Salvation Army bell-ringer which, I suppose, makes him the ideal philosopher, and at that he excels.

This book, and those that follow it from him, is a collection of anecdotes and stories from his life and experiences, and
Aug 13, 2011 Suzyberry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
How true. Life can be better for all of us if these wonderful guidelines were part of our everyday thinking. I think this book should be sent to every legislator in Washington...or better to EVERY legislator (and politician) everywhere. Perhaps they could get a clue about how to treat all of us out here paying the taxes, doing the right things for others and desperately trying to find our AMERICA of old. Read this and 'feel' exactly what is missing in our society will sm ...more
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Robert Fulghum is an American author, primarily of short essays.

More about Robert Fulghum...

Share This Book

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” 8393 likes
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first workd you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.”
More quotes…