Review: Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

same same but different

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Elliot and Kailash are new pen pals.  As they share letters, they share the differences and similarities of their lives in Elliot’s America and Kailash’s India.  Both boys like to climb trees.  Their families are very different with Elliot living with his mother, father and baby sister and Kailash living with an extended family of 23.  They both have pets, but the pets are different.  Both boys take a bus to school, but the communities are very different except for the traffic.  The boys discover that they can be friends despite their obvious differences by looking to see how much they are actually they same.

Kostecki-Shaw writes with a very positive tone here.  Through the two boys, she demonstrates how we are all so much more similar than we may realize.  At the same time, she rejoices in the differences between the two characters, allowing us to see the different cultures side-by-side.

Her art is very effective as well, rendering both cultures with bright colors, plenty of motion, and a natural energy that captures the eye.  She makes the differences between the cultures quite compelling. 

A perfect book to share in a class along with a pen pal unit, this book is also a good pick for sharing when discussing differences since it takes such a positive approach.  Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt & Company.

Why Do Adults Like Children’s Books?

Oh good grief.  Do we have to do this again? 

Just a second while I fill my Harry Potter mug up and sit at my desk surrounded by children’s books waiting to be reviewed.  Yeah, I don’t have an opinion about this…

Why do adults like children’s books?  Why do adults read comic books?  Why do adults read romances?  Mysteries?  Why do we read anything but the most literate of fiction and nonfiction?

Best of all in the article are the theories about why people like me read children’s books.  It appears I’m a lonely, nervous person desperate for “the pleasure of home-cooking” and looking for a “tolerance towards eccentricity.”  OK, so that last bit about eccentricity may be true.

I’ve got an idea!  How about we all are just allowed to read whatever we darn well want to.  And be free of people creating theories about what makes me odd.  Heck, reading children’s books is actually one of the more normal things in my life.

I predict the next article will be fretting about why adults don’t read any more.