Everyday childhood activities, such as an excursion to the park, splashing in the bathtub, or fixing a snack in the kitchen, can arouse many questions in young children. Why is the sky blue? Why does my stomach g-r-r-owl? Why do cows moo? Curious kids want to know, and no adult has all the answers. The 10th anniversary edition of Why? provides kid-friendly explanations for nearly one hundred of these everyday mysteries for a whole new generation of children. This delightfully light storybook approach takes young readers inside the kitchen and out to the park, from the farm to the supermarket, and from bathtime to bedtime. The question and answer format reveals fascinating tidbits about nature, science and the world around us. Bright, playful illustrations by Scot Ritchie are the perfect complement, setting the scenes for the common questions that kids ask. Perfect for reading aloud at bedtime or in a classroom setting, Why? combines the best qualities of nonfiction and picture book to delight young readers.


  • Commended, Canadian Toy Testing Council, Top 25 Great Books 2002
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection 2011
  • Winner, Smart Book Awards
  • Commended, Science Books & Films, Best Books 2002


"The perfect book for the child who always asks ‘Why?’"


"Reveals valuable and fascinating information about the things kids want to know. Bright, playful illustrations by Scot Ritchie are the perfect complement to the text, adding a further level of explanation. "

- Regina Leader-Post

"Cheery, simple color illustrations fill this wonderfully informative and entertaining book, enthusiastically recommended to parents and children’s library collections alike, in order to kindle a passion for learning in inquisitive young minds. "

- Midwest Book Review

"This book is fun to pick up. .. You can open to any page and learn something fascinating. .. provides easily understood explanations for many of life’s everyday mysteries. "

- Solano Magazine

"If you have a child in this age range, chances are you receive a stumper that starts with the magic word “why" just about every day. .. This question and answer book offers hungry learners dozens of easily digestible answers, accompanied with colorful illustrations, about topics related to our bodies, our homes, and the world beyond. "

- Modern Babies & Children

"This book is a terrific place to find answers in simple, kid-friendly terms. .. I fully recommend having this on your shelf. "

- Shelf Candy

"A fabulous book for kids who just can’t stop wondering about the world around them…Why? will help nurture a playful, scientific curiosity in early-school-aged children. "

- Today’s Parent

"Great book for ages three to eight to help parents answer some of their kids' weird questions. "

- Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"A useful resource for both parent and child. "

- Quill & Quire

"A useful, interesting, and enjoyable read. "

- School Library Journal

"A colorful and well-written collection. .. it answers many of children's most pressing questions — and it's a picture book too!"

- Professionally Speaking

"If you find yourself scrambling to explain why the sky is blue. .. this book can help you come through with some kid-friendly but scientifically accurate explanations. "

- City Parent

"This book is an excellent resource for any classroom, school or home library! Colorful illustrations accompany the fun and informative text. "


"This book is an excellent reference for any classroom, school or home library! Colorful illustrations accompany the fun and informative text. "


"Understanding the world around us is such a big part of learning, and Why? does that in a fun and approachable way. "

- Picture Book Junkies

"Catherine Ripley quenches kids' thirst for knowledge. ..Bright, cartoonish and often humorous illustrations help demonstrate the answers. "

- Publishers Weekly

"I recommend Why?. .. It helps children to notice, wonder, and ask questions based on observations. "

- Canadian Review of Materials

"The perfect book to answer all those never-ending why questions. .. a great book designed for future great thinkers. "

- Rita Lorraine

"This book is a terrific way to satisfy your child's curiosity while encouraging inquisitive thinking. .. It's sure to delight, inform and entertain. "

- St. John's Telegram

"With its subtitle, The Best Ever Question and Answer Book About Nature and the World Around You, this book promises much and delivers on that promise for its intended readership. The questions are divided into categories indicative of where or when they might pop up — i. e. bath time, night time, the supermarket, the kitchen or the farm. In the latter category is, for example, the question, `Why do horses sleep standing up?' There is a longish (and good) answer, but the short answer is: `For a quick get-away. '"

- The Globe and Mail