I Am Different! Can You Find Me?
by Manjula Padmanabhan
Another fun picture book from Charlesbridge’s Global Fund for Children line of books. Creator Manjula Padmanabhan has created a book that celebrates differences–a nice change of pace from focusing on how we’re all alike. Of course, our differences and similarities, regardless of where we live and what we look like, are all crucial. But it’s nice to rejoice in difference, too!
Each spread says “Can you find me?” in a language. The language is identified, plus there is an image featuring a bunch of similar items with one that’s different. And you find the one that’s different. Then there’s a short prose piece, just a few sentences, giving a bit more information about the language. I especially love that the prose part identifies common words that come from that language.
I think the spreads work especially well when the image is obviously tied to the language and the place that language is spoken. For instance, the Hebrew spread has the phrase (with phonetic pronunciation), then the explanation of Hebrew and the fact that “camel” and “hallelujah” come from Hebrew. And then the image is of stars, all five-pointed, except one lovely six-pointed star. Many spreads have a somewhat obvious link like that. A few, like the eggs for Spanish and the linear shapes for English, don’t.
But that’s a quibble.?I Am Different! Can You Find Me? is?a vibrant, appealing book with a key to the different items in the back, plus a short piece on “Languages Around the World.” Fun art that looks like (but might not be) cut paper and puff paint, will really draw kids in. This would be a really nice addition to preschool and primary classrooms. It would be fun for random exploring, but also great when working on concepts of same vs. different, places around the world, and languages. Older kids could try to figure out the link between the art and the language (maybe each one relates and I’m just missing something!). And it would be very cool to have a class pick a phrase they like and each choose a language to translate it to, with accompanying art. That could make a wonderful bulletin board display or classroom book. Definitely worth checking out!
Perogies and Gyoza has the Nonfiction Monday roundup today. Go learn something great!