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The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  358 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Parents are always spouting these rules. Do they really care about nutrients and mattresses, or are they hiding something? Luckily, one fearless grown-up will risk his neck and his dignity to find out. Disguised as everything from a chocolate milk scuba diver to a giant nose, this counterspy uncovers the disturbing truth. And what he learns will shock you like nothing befo ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published July 31st 2001 by HarperCollins (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 697)
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Lisa Vegan
I thought that this book was ok; I thought I was going to be wild about it, but it’s not one of the memorable ones for me. The premise really appeals to me. I’d think my sense of humor had taken a vacation for the day, except that I’ve been thoroughly amused by the humorous parts of the young adult book that I’m also reading.

The first example (the “real” reason why adults tell children they have to eat their vegetables) was very funny and I was entertained. But then it got old fast for me; I did
Julia Jasztal
(Mommy's review from 5/12)

I guess I'm the only one not adoring this book. Honestly I found it stupid. I like the idea and once I knew that was the premise I was excited to share it with Julia and have both of us laughing. Instead of smiles there were grimaces.
The set up of the book is so totally off that it 100% takes away from any humorous parts. (Not that there are many, but a few.) It's all over the place and this is the kind of book that, IMO, should be just the opposite.
The whole 'secret k
This is a favorite of mine. I have 2 or 3 copies in my classroom as well as one at home. I read it every year to my class when I taught 3rd doesn't seem to go over quite as well in 2nd grade...they don't all really "get it". But I love all the details..the date and time and disguises, the silly stories, the great illustrations, every thing about this book!! In 3rd grade, I would have my students write more "secret knowledge". They would pick a rule that they had at home or school and ...more
Great picture book for older grades. It takes "parent rules" and changes them to tell you the "real" reason behind the rule! My 5th grade students brainstormed other rules and then created a class book in a similar style. Loved it for higher level thinking!
Teri-mae Delay
"Shh! You are about to open secret files, heretofore hidden from kids for thousands of years. Steel your mind for the truth. Prepare yourself for knowledge never before held by America's youth. Get ready to learn the REAL reasons grown-ups tell you to do things!" The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups gives each command typically given by parents a reason why you should listen to them. But not a normal reason. David Wisniewski comes up with outrageous reasons as to why adults tell us to comb our hair ...more
Margie Potter
During our writing camp we read this book to a group of twenty three 3rd and 4th graders and they absolutely went crazy for it. They loved it so much they parents had to ask us for the name and author of the book so they could buy it. The teacher must read it with enthusiasm, that's a true key point.

Why can't kids jump on the bed? Why do they really need to comb their hair? Why must they eat vegetables? The author lists the grown up rule and then the he gives the real official reason kids must
This hysterically funny spoof takes an outlandish look at why grown-ups make kids do what they do! A fantastic read-aloud, it begs response and fosters connections from kids who never really understood why it was so important for them to eat their vegetables, get haircuts, not jump on their beds, or blow bubbles in their milk.

David Wisniewski,1997 Caldecott winner, has created a delightfully funny picture book, perfect for older students ( 4th grade and older) who can appreciate the spoof-like f
This book is about things that parents tell you that are fake ex eat your vegetables it say the real reason you vegetables is to keep them under control. I chose this book because I remember one of my teachers reading it
Potential Problems: none
Personal Response: Very cute way of explaining the “secret” reasons adults do things we don’t want to.
Hilarious and clever! A lot of little hidden gems in both main text and illustrations with captions. I especially enjoyed the truths about why we need to drink our milk and why we shouldn't bite our fingernails.

The book reads like a top secret document with entries in our spy's log about when, where and how he obtained the true reason for timeless adult rules, like Eat your veggies or Don't pick your nose!

There's a great lesson on writing fix using this book as a model. I can see my students c
Dec 07, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children in grades kindergarten through 3
Wisniewski has written a picture book that is hilarious for adults and can offer ideas for children to stretch their imaginations. If the real reason you need to eat your vegetables is to keep them from eating you, how many different vegetable monsters can you think of? If you shouldn't play with your food because then it will play with you, what kind of games will your food want to play? What fun to extend these ideas!
All the rules we were told as children and have passed along are told in a clever, real, and funny untold reasons behind the rules. Graphics are amazing!! Great to use as a writing prompt or to get students think about rules, to explore other rules and commonly held perceptions. Let students come up with the most original and fantastic ideas for writing!!! Can come up with their own "secret rules" for the class.
"Don't bite your fingernails, don't blow bubbles in your drink" parent say to their children. This book reveals the secret knowledge of why parents tell you to do stuff that you want or don't want to do. This is a fun book to read if you want a laugh, or you just want a good reason to do or not do stuff your parents tell you to do. This is an awesome book and I hope you get a chance to read it.
Egad! Everything my parents told me growing up was a lie! Veggies aren't good for you -- we must eat the veggies lest they become veggiesaurui of the past and reclaim the earth as their domain! Very silly and a lot of fun, kids who read this will laugh and jokingly feel as if they have figured out the real reasons why us grown ups make kids do stuff they hate to do.
Why do kids need to comb their hair? Why can't kids jump on the bed? Why do kids have to eat vegetables? Adults know the answers. Why can't kids know? This book reveals... the Secret Knowledge of Grown Ups! Kids can learn what adults have known for years. This book is for kids with giant imagination. These facts kids need to know!!!
Funny book with secret reasons behind commong "grown-up no-nos." It provides alternative reasons to do things like eat veggies or not pick your nose. It is pretty outrageous, but I would be afraid it would undermine things adults say with it's silliness. I do like that it teaches kids some manners/rules.
Fun idea for a book, and middle grade students will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I would love to use this as a writing prompt, stopping before the page turn and having students come up with their own real grown-up reason for a rule, or writing one for another rule they think of.
I've been loving David Wisniewski's books. And then I hit this one. The paper-cut illustrations are as amazingly mindboggling as ever, but I prefer his retellings of folk tales. This was somewhat amusing, but very much a book for kids. It has that fun gross weird factor.
I used Debbie Dean's Secret Knowledge Assignment in correlation with this book and my students absolutely loved it. It was by far their favorite piece--and some of their most advanced writing. I was surprised how well they mimicked the model and the subtleties they pick out.
Hilarious book that I wish I had when the girls were small. It would have been one they would have asked for over and over. Super hard to choose but one of my personal favorites was why you should drink your milk...beware the (view spoiler)
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
This is one of the funniest books I have read. It's not new but it is a must read no matter what your age. We all need to know why our grownups set those silly rules like "no jumping on the bed!"
reviewed by: Susan Pinkowski- Youth Services, Vernon Area Public Library
I think this book is pretty funny. It gives the "real" answer to why kids should brush their hair, stop picking their noses and eat their veggies. My son who is 11 caught the humor in it. My daughter who is 5 kept asking if it really was the truth. :)
A story written in the point of view of a grown-up, telling all the facts to little children about why adults want them to eat their vegetables and drink their milk. It is completely full of lies, but imaginative and enjoyable.
Oct 09, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the irreverent
Shelves: childrensbooks
Off-beat and sarcastic enough for kids to think it's just a little bit bad and, thus, highly enticing. Full of puns to entertain the teacher and the nerds alike. The section on woolly mattresses had me in near stitches.
I love a good picture book and this is a treasure. It is so believable in its format that my seven-year-old kept saying "that's not true, mom, that's not true!" It was great! Fun book for kids and adults!
I think it was really cool because there were all these funny, not true things like your brain deflating and a broccoli monster. There is this really gross one where your brain deflates if you pick your nose.
Brenda Cregor
A child in fourth or fifth grade, who loves to giggle and enjoys the absurd would enjoy this book, which is filled with mini-narratives regarding the "truth" about adult rules.
Note: do NOT try to read the entire book aloud to an audience all at one go...far too long for a typical session.
I read this book during finals week during a study break. I had to hold back my laughter as I read this in the library. This is such a fun, absurd book!
Ever wondered what the real reason is why you have to eat your vegetables, drink you milk or comb your hair? Find out from this hilarious book. Just loved it!
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