Questions Without Good Answers: A Comic - Mutha Magazine


Published on February 4th, 2021 | by Cara Gormally


Questions Without Good Answers: A Comic

My child asks "Why" constantly--and I don't always have good answers.


  1. Sak R. 2020. Preschoolers’ difficult questions and their teachers’ responses. Early Childhood Education Journal.
  2. Ronfard S., Zambrana I.M., Hermansen T.K., Kelemen D. 2018. Question-asking in childhood: a review of the literature and a framework for understanding its development. Developmental Review 49: 101-120.
  3. Corriveau K.H., Kurkul K.E. 2014. “Why does rain fall?” Children prefer to learn from an informant who uses noncircular explanations. Child Development 85(5): 1827-1835.
  4. Corriveau K.H., Harris P.L. 2009. Preschoolers continue to trust a more accurate informant 1 week after exposure to accuracy information. Developmental Science 12(1): 188-193.
  5. Birch S.A.T., Vauthier S.A., Bloom P. 2008. Three- and four-year-olds spontaneously use others’ past performance to guide their learning. Cognition 107: 1018-1034.
  6. Koenig M.A., Clement F., Harris P.L. 2004. Trust in testimony: children’s use of true and false statements. Psychological Science 15: 694-698.
  7. Crowley K., Jacobs M. 2002. Building islands of expertise in everyday family activity. In: Leinhardt G., Crowley K., Knutson K. Learning Conversations in Museums. 2002. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  8. Chouinard M.M. 2007. Children’s questions: a mechanism for cognitive development (monograph). Serial no: 286. Society for Research in Child Development 72(1): 1-126.
  9. Direct quote from: Sak R. 2020. Preschoolers’ difficult questions and their teachers’ responses. Early Childhood Education Journal. Idea from: Olsson L.M. 2013. Taking children’s questions seriously: the need for creative thought. Global Studies of Childhood 3(3): 230-253.

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About the Author

Cara Gormally is a biology professor who draws comics to make science relevant to everyday life. She teaches at Gallaudet University. She lives in the DC metro area with her favorite mammals: her partner, poodle, an extra-large cat, and a very curious preschooler. Her autobiographical science story comics have recently appeared on Medium’s Spiralbound and at Popula, among other places. See more of her comics on Instagram and at She’s currently working on a longform comic piece about the science and technology of making babies.

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