The Little Book of Awe and Wonder: A Cabinet of Curiosities (The Little Book Series)

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9781781350010: The Little Book of Awe and Wonder: A Cabinet of Curiosities (The Little Book Series)
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A CONSUMMATE CORNUCOPIA OF THE AWE-INSPIRING, THE JAW-DROPPING, THE VERY WEIRD AND THE MOST WONDERFUL

A feast of learning, wit and lateral thinking.’’
Dr Allan Chapman, Wadham College, Oxford

weaves wonder into every page. Like a Victorian cabinet of curiosities, it offers a stimulating mix of the puzzling, the bizarre and the thought-provoking.”
Professor Mike Sharples,
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University

Poetry, philosophy, language, history, art and science in one little book brought together so effortlessly your mind will be buzzing and wanting more!”
Dr Lizzie Burns, Science-Based Artist

The Little Book of Awe and Wonder will pique your curiosity, encourage your humility and arouse your awe at the extraordinary collection of verbal and pictorial observations within its covers a literally awesome birthday present.”
Professor Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford

Matthew McFall’s love, enthusiasm and vast knowledge of all things wondrous he generously shares in this lovely collection; just dipping in one discovers joys and then, as is the nature of wonders, curiosity is rewarded by an uplifting feeling of astonishment.”
Peter Clifford, Actor and Magician

AN INDUBITABLE PHANTASMAGORIA THAT WILL DELIGHT THE HEAD, HAND AND HEART

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About the Author:

Dr Matthew McFall, Agent of Wonder at Nottingham University’s Samworth Academy and Associate of Independent Thinking, has gained acclaim for his work in education that includes the use of Wonder Rooms, Mazes, Labyrinths and Puzzles.
www.independentthinking.com/Who/Associates/Matthew+McFall/default.aspx

Ian Gilbert is one of the UK's leading educational innovators, speakers and writers with twenty years experience working with young people and educationalists around the world. He is the founder of Independent Thinking Ltd, the editor of the Independent Thinking Press and the author of a number of titles including Why Do I Need a Teacher When I've Got Google?. His book The Little Book of Thunks won the first education book award from the Society of Authors for 'an outstanding example of traditionally published non-fiction that enhances teaching and learning'.
www.independentthinking.com

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Excerpt from The Little Book of Awe and Wonder

Foreword:

How To Spot a Desert Island
Looking is one thing. Noticing is something else entirely. Wanting to notice is what starts it off. It is often remarked that the creative ones are the ones who see what everyone else sees but think something different. Who notice new connections. New patterns. But what makes them want to see the world differently to begin with? Why do they not just walk past the wall at the railway station in the middle of England without noticing the tiny desert island growing there?

Curiosity.
Curiosity is a useful word. It has the same root as the word curator’. To look after. To take care. Curiosity is what drives people to want to see the world through a different lens. To notice what’s there. And then value what they notice. It is what primes the creative pump. When Einstein was a young boy his father gave him a magnetic compass to play with. He was curious. This curiosity led to him noticing that there was something behind things, something deeply hidden’. Curiosity leads to fascination, curiosity’s bigger brother (although beware obsession, its evil twin). Curiosity isn’t about seeing what isn’t
there. That’s fantasy. It’s about taking delight in discovering what is there. Curiosity says, I wonder what there is? I wonder what? I wonder ’

Wonder.
This is the delight derived from curiosity. Curiosity drives the creative mind. Wonder rewards it. Curiosity motivates us to learn and explore. Wonder is the kickback we get that makes it all worthwhile. S’wonderful.

Wonder is what Matthew McFall does. He has a brain like a museum curator’s sock drawer at midnight. Everything is endlessly fascinating. Everything is eminently collectable. Everything is a stimulus for wonder. It’s this that he brings to his work in education, entrancing the entire school community, young and old, to want to learn. It’s the deliberate process of creating a natural state of wonder that turns learning into the self-satisfying act of satiating one’s own curiosity.

This book, for example. It’s a wonder. If you are curious enough to explore it you will be amazed at the wonder within it. Wasp hairs. Kidney stone crystals. The lost language of Rongorongo. Divided up into six different compartments, this book is a wonder full of wonders. It's a book to dip in and out of, one in
which each page is deliberately there to make you stop. And think. And then see the world differently. The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes’, as Proust said. This book shows you how every step you take can be a voyage of discovery. How you’ll never be able to look at the world again without wondering. How you’ll wonder how you got this far and noticed so little.

It will show you how to make sure you never fail to notice a tiny desert island again.

Ian Gilbert, Suffolk

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