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.
Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different!
Through an inviting point-of-view and colorful, vivid illustrations, this story shows how two boys living oceans apart can be the best of friends.
The theme of commonalities among the world's children is a familiar one, so readers aren't likely to be surprised that a city-dwelling American boy and his pen pal in rural India have a lot in common, even if those similarities are embodied in different ways. But Kostecki-Shaw (My Travelin' Eye) makes her tribute to brotherhood sing in a way that feels fresh and inviting. Both of her heroes are anchored by warm, caring home lives: for Elliot, that means living with his parents and baby sister in a brick row house, while Kailash shares a farm with 23 members of his extended family "and our animals." Elliot uses art to fuel his imagination, while Kailash uses yoga. "Same, same but different" is Kostecki-Shaw's refrain, but what keeps it from being saccharine or pedestrian are her terrific naif, mixed-media pictures. Working in exuberantly detailed spreads with a playful sense of proportion and perspective, she immerses readers in her heroes' worlds, showing them as confident navigators of even the busiest landscapes. On every page, readers will sense they're in the company of a generous, open-minded talent. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 1-2—While traveling in Southeast Asia, the author learned the popular saying that inspired this charming story of friendship and universal connections. In an American city, Elliott paints a picture of his world as part of a school project. His teacher mails it "across the oceans" to Kailash, who soon replies with his own drawing. Elliott lives in a city where tall buildings hide the sun, and cars and taxis crowd the roads. Kailash is growing up near a river in a village where "peacocks dance under trees shaped like umbrellas." Although their worlds seem different, the boys are not. They discover that they both like animals, enjoy climbing trees, and ride the bus to school. The correspondents compare their cultures and eventually they decide that their worlds aren't so different after all. The imaginative multimedia illustrations, drawn in an animated, childlike style, add vibrant color and rich details to the story. Kostecki-Shaw presents a meaningful message of inclusivity in this engaging title. Like Elliott and Kailash, young readers will conclude that children from other cultures are "different, different but the SAME!"—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MACopyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"There is considerable usage potential here, from art projects to classroom community projects to diversity awareness projects...there's also plenty of pleasure to be found just in sharing the thoughtful story and perusing the artwork." —BCCB
"Young readers will close the book longing to have a friend from another place; for schools with global partnerships, this will be a go-to book for introducing these projects to classrooms." —Horn Book Magazine
"The imaginative multimedia illustrations, drawn in an animated, childlike style, add vibrant color and rich details to the story. Kostecki-Shaw presents a meaningful message of inclusivity in this engaging title." —SLJ
"Working in exuberantly detailed spreads with a playful sense of proportion and perspective, she [Kostecki-Shaw] immerses readers in her heroes' worlds, showing them as confident navigators of even the busiest landscapes. On every page, readers will sense they're in the company of a generous, open-minded talent." —PW
"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." —Kirkus