*Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (823 K8475S PIC BK)
*Mirror Mirror by Jeannie Baker (823 B1743M PIC BK)
*A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray (823 G793C PIC BK)
Three books that are similar, yet -- different.
Each of these picture books compares the lives of two children (coincidentally, all boys) from a western culture (North America, Europe or
Australia) with that of a boy from either Africa or . India
All take a different approach in illustrating how each child lives day-to-day.
A Country Far Away uses a single sentence that applies to either child’s life, depicted in a series of panels running across the top or the bottom of the page depending on where the boy lives. For example, when a baby sister is born in each family, we see a midwife arriving by donkey in the African village and children crowding into the family’s hut to visit mom and the new baby. The urban, western family awaits the arrival of the baby in a hospital, with dad, brother and grandparents visiting after the baby is born.
In Same, Same but Different the story alternates between correspondence and drawings exchanged between the two boys, comparing and contrasting their lives. Elliot lives in an American city with his mom, dad and baby sister, whereas Kailash lives in an Indian town or city with his extended family (23 members) plus their animals (cattle, goats, chickens, dogs, rabbits and birds). Elliot has a dog and a pet fish.
Mirror, Mirror is a single book but has two wordless narratives, independent stories that can work side-by-side or separately. Two stories, beginning at each of the book’s covers, are read either left-to-right (Australian story) or right-to-left (Moroccan story), depicting the events that occur for an average family from each of these countries. The stories overlap by the end, emphasizing that in this world of mass globalization we are all connected. The Moroccan family has traded a hand made carpet for a computer and the Australian family has purchased the same carpet for their living room.
All three books are enjoyable and suitable for grades 1-4.