"More room to run"

One definition given in the Macquarie Junior Dictionary (3rd edition) for “curious” is ‘wanting to learn’. Gifted children possess inquiring, inquisitive minds. They want to explore areas of interest, often in great depth, and when they do that, they are behaving normally for them.

In her article, “Is It a Cheetah?” Stephanie S. Tolan says: “When a cheetah does run 70mph it isn’t a particularly “achieving” cheetah. Though it is doing what no other cat can do, it is behaving normally for a cheetah.” This is its biological design.

Dr Linda Silverman cites a letter she received from Kathy Courchene:

“I am an artist, not because of what I may or may not produce, but because of the way in which I see.As I look at the world around me, I am always aware of patterns, of contrasts, of line and mass.I make art in my mind, as I perceive certain things visually and translate them . . .”

In my first book for gifted children, Chelsea is very curious. She turns a simple game into a problem. She wants to find a solution that is more complex than the usual, everyday one. This requires some analysis and thinking about possibilities. She understands the purpose of the game. Perhaps she figures out the answer to the puzzle below and builds on this premise to find her unusual solution. Then it’s on to the detailed planning and organising what she needs.

Whether mildly gifted or profoundly gifted or somewhere in between, curious children, whose minds explode with ‘what ifs’, need “more room to run”; to do whatever is ‘normal’ for them so they can express who they are.


In Stephanie Tolan’s words, my stories are a welcome expansion of her cheetah metaphor. To complement these, I’ve compiled some puzzles/activities that may interest these children. They come directly from my books or require some general knowledge. The first puzzle answers and the new puzzle are here. Click here to download the puzzle.


Silverman, Dr Linda. Intensitive! Intensities and Sensitivities of the Gifted. Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented. 2005. Web. 31st October, 2017


Tolan, Stephanie S. Is It a Cheetah? 1996. Web. 31st October, 2017.

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