I have added this book to the business category, as well as children’s literature, because the relationship between the main characters could easily apply to adults in the IT industry – or any other industry where overly-intellectual people doing very technical (or fact oriented) work can be found.
The story takes place in a world where everyone is a super hero, including the garbage man, the mail man, the police officer and the man who fills residential fuel tanks. All of these masked and muscled adults are afraid of Question Boy and Little Miss Know-It-All. While reading this story to a child who happens to be at the age of questioning (why does it do that? why can’t I? why? why? why?) I made a point of getting exceptionally dramatic when Question Boy re-entered the battle with why? why? why? – and the child LOVED it.
Later, I thought about how these two characters were so reminiscent of geek culture and the way intellectual battles will (sometimes) result in unlikely, yet true, friendships (or, at least, alliances). It’s worth a few minutes of fun reading (the art is also quite good).
“Little Miss Know-It-All stopped. She felt dizzy. Below her, Question Boy lay still. She looked to the sky, sighed, and dropped her chin to her chest. She watched a leaf skitter past. The crowd slowly parted, making a path for her, and she started to head home.
Little Miss Know-It-All froze.
“Why?” Question Boy repeated. “Why can’t kangaroos walk backward? Why do octopuses have three hearts…why? why? why? why? why?…
The crowd gasped. Little Miss Know-It-All could not take much more.
why? why? why? why? why?…
“Because I Said So!”
–Question Boy meets Little Miss Know-It-All by Peter Catalanotto