Book Review: Preschool Gems

Preschool Gems is a collection of wise words straight from the mouths of perspicacious preschoolers.

One of the reasons I love working with preschoolers in the research that I do is that they are so darn honest. This is great if you study stereotype development, as I do, because preschoolers know the world they live in and are happy to report on it frankly. This can actually be something of a horrifying experience for parents when it becomes clear their child is privy to all sorts of cultural stereotypes about gender, race, and so on, and hasn’t yet developed that filter that keeps them from talking about touchy subjects with strange adults. I find it both charming and fascinating.

As it turns out, preschoolers have all kinds of opinions and they don’t mind sharing. For example, preschoolers have many rules about pants and more importantly, when and where you are allowed to take your pants off. Indeed, preschoolers have the same theories about the workings of the world many adults hold, which they express in the pithy way only preschoolers can. Leslie McCollom has captured their sage advice in her new book, Preschool Gems: Love, Death, Magic, and Other Surprising Treasures from the Mouths of Babes. Preschool Gems is a collection of the frank, witty, and occasionally deep things McCollom overhears in her own preschool classroom. Or, as McCollom terms these witticisms – “cracked wisdom.”

Preschool Gems is organized in 18 thematic sections including “Familial Relations and Home Life,” “Rules and Society,” and “Don’t Mess with Me.” Let me share with you some of the preschooler-isms that I found particularly insightful or downright hilarious:

  • “When I was in my mom’s belly, I had a look at her future. I know your future, too.”
  • “Wanna come hold hands in the sunshine?”
  • “What even is a zucchini?”
  • “He has the happiness of truth and I have the sadness.”
  • “We’re all just little babies in this world.”
  • “Since I’m at my house, I can take my pants off. When you get to your house, you can take off your pants.”
  • “You’re in the kicking zone.”
  • “I saw a puddle in the shape of a heart and no one harmed me, so it was a good day.”

and…perhaps most inspiring all:

  • “First college, then space.”

Preschool Gems is the latest addition to my coffee table collection. It will resonate with anyone who regularly interacts with young children – parents, teachers, the babysitter – as well as those who don’t. These preschool pearls of wisdom appeal to the young and not-so-young alike. As McCollom says about her preschoolers, their wise words will restore your faith in humanity.

You can find Preschool Gems on Amazon for $11 via Amazon Prime two day shipping. You can also follow McCollom and her sage preschoolers on twitter (@preschoolgems). While you’re there, don’t forget to follow Fair Play (@fairplaytoys) to stay on top of all our news!

Because of its all-ages appeal and the timeless wisdom of preschoolers, not to mention Fair Play’s favorite, Amazon Prime availability, Fair Play gives Preschool Gems five pinwheels.

This post is the first in a new series called Book Review, where we’ll talk about new books, favorite books, books for children, books for their parents, and more. Books are also often part of holiday-themed series, like our Halloween book review in the Trick or Treat series. To request a review of a particular book or type of book, head on over to Request a Review and leave a comment!

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