The bookstores, the public libraries and the school libraries in rural Japan don’t really store English-language books. If they do, they’re Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. Fortunately for me, my dear friends and neighbours, Olivier and Hiromi Charles have a small collection of which I’m able to borrow. Through limited choice, I’ve had the opportunity to read some books which I wouldn’t originally judge by the cover and pick up at a bookstore. All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum is not like any book I’ve ever read before. In fact, I believe it is more of a blog than a novel. Each chapter, written in casual first-person covers a random topic of Fulghum’s choice. The book does not work as a whole, rather as well, blog posts, snippets of musings on the author and his/our world. As per Fulghums own advice, there is no hurry in finishing it, it is best read a little bit at a time. Seeing as you’re already here and reading this blog post, I’d say you can enjoy literature in a short but sweet dose (yes, I just complimented my own prose) which makes this book perfect for you. Also, for those of us who enjoy learned advice, life wisdom and killer quotes.
“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”