A picture book with fundamental philosophical questions, posed in a way only Jostein Gaarder is capable of. The illustrator has made an independent visual narrative that underscores the existential aspect of Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions. Questions Asked shows confidence in a child's capacity to think deeply and read between the lines. The book follows a little boy traveling alone in an open landscape. Soon we realize he is on a journey of thoughts and dreams, asking questions about loss, myth, language, magic, and what it means to be a human being. Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions merge with the beautiful illustrations of Akin Düzakin into a tale of friendship, love, and grief - and about daring to think about life as you live it.
In a heady contemplation of mortality and existence, Gaarder (The Orange Girl) and D zakin (Why Am I Here?) follow a boy as he ventures out into the woods under the cover of night. Initially, the boy's questions seem inspired by his surroundings. "Is our planet the only one with life on it?" he wonders, leaping over hilly terrain as a shooting star streaks overhead. "Can anyone know what I think?" he asks while digging up a box buried in the woods. The book's small trim size makes D zakin's gauzy, carefully drafted scenes all the more intimate and introspective, and b&w flashbacks a visit to see a magician perform, a boating trip triggered by mementos collected in the box, reveal the existence of a twin sibling who is no longer the boy's constant companion. The absent boy's ghostly presence in several scenes, including a climactic rescue, signals to readers that the distance between the twins is not entirely unbridgeable. It's a haunting and provocative reminder that the void left by a person's death or departure is often filled by difficult, even unanswerable questions. Ages 3 7.