University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Field of Philosophy: Ethics; Metaphysics;

Plot Summary: This is the story of a young fruit bat who becomes separated from her mother and lands in a nest of baby birds, becoming an adoptive member of the bird family. The baby bat learns to act like a baby bird and struggles to accommodate to the family, but she never completely fits in. Eventually she is able to regain her identity as a bat, and she and her bird friends wonder together about friendship and being alike and different at the same time.

Some Discussion Questions:

WHAT MAKES A . . .
Duck a duck?
Cat a cat?
Man a man?
Woman a woman?
Parent a parent?
Car a car?
Bird a bird?
Smile a smile?
Feeling a feeling?
Thought a thought?

WHAT DOES A THING NEED TO. . .
What does a kite need to fly?
What does a tree need to grow?
What does a car need to drive?
What does a bat need to fly?
What does a person need to live?
What does a person need to be happy?
What does a person need to dream at night?

COULD A . . . AND HOW DO YOU KNOW?
A duck catch mice?
A bat write a letter?
A television eat grass?
A person fly?
A dog purr?
A teddy bear talk?
A person turn into a lion?
A painter plant a garden?
A child drive a car?
A doctor play the piano?
A book talk to you?

WHAT DOES FRIENDSHIP MEAN?

WHAT CAN YOU BE FRIENDS WITH?
Can you be friends with any of the following?
The moon.
A car.
A stone.
A pair of shoes.
A book.
A movie.
A cat.
A plant.
A bird.
A house.
A piece of land.
An idea.
A dream.
A song.
A painting.
A tree.
A parent.

WHAT IS A FRIEND?
If someone is a friend, is the following true?
I play with him or her a lot.
I talk to him or her a lot.
We share thoughts with each other.
We share feelings with each other.
I share my toys with him or her.
I like him or her.
I want to be near him or her.
We help each other.
She or he thinks that I am their friend.