Same, Same But Different
by Kostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue






Pen pals Elliott and Kailash discover that even though they live in different countries-America and India-they both love to climb trees, own pets, and ride school buses.





Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is the author and illustrator of My Travelin' Eye. She is a freelance illustrator who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and The Illustration Academy. She lives in the mountains of Northern New Mexico with her family.





Elliot, who lives in America, and Kailash, who lives in India, are pen pals exchanging details about their lives through the pictures they draw for each other. By sharing these illustrations and letters, they realize that they have many things in common, like going to school, having pets, and climbing trees. But some things are different, like their alphabets. The repeated phrase "same, same but different" is included in every exchange the boys share. This story, which celebrates similarities and differences, was inspired by the author's own experiences as a teacher in Nepal, where she arranged a pen-pal program with students in the U.S. The vibrant acrylic, crayon, pencil, and collage illustrations exaggerate shapes to pleasant, semicomic effect. Pair this book with Rachel Isadora's Say Hello! (2010) to help children with cultural awareness. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.





Although today's kids usually communicate through texting or email, Elliot from the United States and Kailash from India use pictures and a few simple sentences to exchange information about their lives. 

Their teachers facilitate the snail mailing of pictorial letters, just as the author-illustrator did when she visited Nepal, which provided the inspiration for this book. The title, also used as a refrain throughout the book, is a popular saying in India and Nepal, heard by Kostecki-Shaw when she traveled there. Elliot and Kailash explore their similarities and differences, concluding that their lives are "Different, different but the SAME!" The engaging childlike acrylic paintings with crayon, pencil, tissue paper and other collage elements show the busy crowded American streets of Elliot's city, the traditional buildings of Kailash's riverside village, the taxis and buses in the States and the taxis and camel-pulled carts in India. The English alphabet is reproduced on wide-ruled notebook paper and the Hindi alphabet (unfortunately unidentified) on a small slate, and both typical American pets (dog and fish) and a whole farmyard of Indian animals appear. Both kids live unusually low-tech lives (no computers or cell phones in sight), but they each enjoy learning about their pen pal's world.

Purposeful, but saved from didacticism by the sheer exuberance of the illustrations; the accessible text introduces the idea of traditional two-way communication and demonstrates just how small our world can be. (Picture book. 5-7) 

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions