I wanted to give my good friends’ baby a book, in honor of her existence. And I recalled children’s books being an exciting genre. Yet checking in on that thirty years later, Amazon had none I could super get behind. They did have books I used to like, but for reasons now lost. And I wonder if as a child I just had no taste because I just didn’t know how good things could be.

What would a good children’s book be like?

When I was about sixteen, I thought one reasonable thing to have learned when I was about two would have been the concepts of ‘positive feedback loop’ and ‘negative feedback loop’, then being taught in my year 11 class. Very interesting, very bleedingly obvious once you saw it. Why not hear about this as soon as one is coherent? Evolution, if I recall, seemed similar.

Here I finally enact my teenage self’s vision, and present A to Z of things, including some very interesting things that you might want a beautiful illustrative prompt to explain to your child as soon as they show glimmerings of conceptual thought: levers, markets, experiments, Greece, computer hardware, reference classes, feedback loops, (trees).

I think so far, the initial recipient is most fond of the donkey, in fascinating support of everyone else’s theories about what children are actually into. (Don’t get me wrong, I also like donkeys—when I have a second monitor, I just use it to stream donkey cams.) But perhaps one day donkeys will be a gateway drug to monkeys, and monkeys to moths, and moths will be resting on perfecttly moth-colored trees, and BAM! Childhood improved.

Anyway, if you want a copy, it’s now available in an ‘email it to a copy shop and get it printed yourself’ format! See below. Remember to ask for card that is stronger than your child’s bite.



Volcano and world

Natural selection and orangutan

PFL and quantification

Donkey and experiment