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Foreword I I heard about Jeff Johnson long before I met him, when an enthusi- astic conference attendee told me, “He’s like a male Bev Bos!” She went on to say that Jeff was the coauthor of Do-It-Yourself Early Learning, a book filled with great ideas for things you could make yourself with just a couple visits to your local home improvement store—to which I replied, “OMG! I just ordered that book!” I’d ordered it because I was intrigued by the slightly punk–DIY con- nection, and I thought it would be cool to have some of that l’esprit du punk in an early childhood environment. And though I loved the book, my respect for Jeff deepened not when he taught me how to make a swamp in my sensory tub or launch ping-pong balls using a homemade catapult, but when I read these words of his: “Children are curious, not suicidal.” I knew immediately that anyone who had the chutzpah to put pen to paper to write and publish such a bold (and true!) statement was destined to become a friend and colleague of mine. And I’m proud to say he has. When Jeff asked me to write the foreword for his new book, which he coauthored with Denita Dinger, I was honored and amazed—and then the fear and intimidation moved in. Just what had I committed to? What would I say? This was their rodeo, after all. How do you even write a foreword? Give me guidelines! Give me instructions! (And this I requested of a dude who keeps dead squirrels in jars and brings them to dinner if you ask him nicely.) Jeff said he trusted me to write what I needed to say. So I thank him for his trust and the opportunity, and I am grateful for his sup- portive team at Redleaf Press, who said they’d help me clean up my ix