Same, Same But Different
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Same, Same But Different

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  342 ratings  ·  101 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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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...more
Amy Musser
This is the story of two boys are the same, same, but different. Although Elliot lives in America and Kailash in India, the pen pals discover their similarities through letters and drawings. They both take the bus to school, although one is a yellow bus and the other powered by bicycle. They both live in cities, although the sights on the streets differ. The illustrations are combination of childlike drawings and paper collage. Pages are marked with an E (Elliot) or K (Kailash) to make it clear...more
Love the illustrations and the juxtaposition of two different (but the same!) worlds.

I remember having a penpal from Swaziland when I was a kid. We continued to write for a couple years then drifted from doing so.

I know there are epals and Skype chats (when time zones can match up) with classes from other countries. I just don't see anyone doing them in my circles. Dunno if it's because I just don't hear about it (I'm the school librarian ... so to do anything with kids I need to get the teacher...more
Sara K.
Realistic Fiction - I loved sharing this brand new book with my students. A great side-by-side story of a US child and an Indian child's day-by-day activities and experiences.

I have an Indian student and it is important to me that her culture was represented in our genre unit as well.
Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw is the story of two pen pals, Elliot from the U.S. and Kailash from India. By exchanging letters and pictures they learn that their worlds may look different, but they are actually similar.

The straight forward yet clever text is in a large font, in several colors, making this a good choice as a storytime read-aloud. The boys learn through questions, comments and pictures that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school where they...more
I found this a quite odd work. It takes on a familiar topic in children's books: things/life/people/etc. in different cultures are similar in some ways and different in others. (So, it is at least perhaps a step better than those books that ridiculously try to point out how we are all alike.) But it feels like it is a work that is in a time warp. Perhaps 25 or more years ago when children in the US or other parts of the globe may not really have seen much of each other, this would have been a us...more
Two boys, one in the U.S. and one in India, are penpals, exchanging letters about their lives. They (and the reader) learn that despite living in two different places, their lives are similar in many respects. The colorful multi-media illustrations are superb and really add to the story. Parents and teachers might remember being penpals with a child living in a different country but students today have instant access through social media, so pre-teaching about the long-lost art of letter writing...more
Elaine Bearden
This is really a fabulous book - great art that extends the story of a pen pal relationship between two boys. The phrase "same same but different" repeats throughout the book, giving it shape and allowing for the reader/audience to repeat with the characters. This would be great with a unit on maps or worlds or letter writing. I would like to see this one considered for the Caldecott honor books. Pairs nicely with Alice McGinty's Thank You, World. Could also use with an older storytime (4's a...more
Edward Sullivan
Are kids pen pals anymore? It seems like hardly anyone writes letters these days and it seems especially unlikely children would do it. Email seems more likely. Although the mode of communication Elliot and Kailash use seems anachronistic, the story is enjoyable and the illustrations are vibrant.
Kristina Moss
Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki- Shaw is a story about two boys living in two different parts of the world. After being pen pals they soon learn despite the distance in which they live, they share many similarities such as climbing trees and being pet lovers. I would use this book in my classroom to introduce students to diversity. I would inform my students that although we may come from different parts of the world, we're all alike. I would also use this book as a in class activ...more
I am madly in love with this picture book about two pen pals (a boy in the U.S. and a boy in India). Vibrant, fun, and clever, clever, clever, I think it's a "must have" for any classroom. Wonderful!
Heather T.
Beautiful artwork, nice story.
I enjoyed reading and sharing this book. Not only is the language simple and straightforward, but the illustrations compliment the writing perfectly. The illustrations are bright and colorful and highlight the similarities and differences between the two boys. I've really come to love collage as an art form and this book demonstrates the characteristics that make collage so unique. I had a fun discussion with a group of kindergartners about the different materials used in collage I had a fun dis...more
Oct 07, 2013 Kelsey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: k-3
Same, Same But Different is a simple story of two pen pals who live in the same world, but who are part of two completely different cultures. Elliot (from the U.S) and Kailash (from India) write back and forth about different aspects of their life, such as family, school, and their hometowns. Even though their lives are different in many ways, they are still able to find similarities and come to find that even though their ways of life are different, they are still part of the same world.

This s...more
Emily H.
Book type: Picture storybook
Intended audience: K-2

Same Same But Different (2011) is about two boys writing art postcards to each other. Elliot lives in America and Kailash lives in India. They both have animals, ride a bus to school, like to climb trees and exercise, but in very different ways. They are same, same but different. The students are called "picture pals" and they are told to paint a picture of their world and then mail it across the oceans. Of course, the American classroom contains...more
Elliott lives in America and Kailash lives in India. They start a relationship by being pen pals, learn that they love to play outside and climb trees, have pets, and ride a bus to school. They learn that many things in their lives are the same, same but different. It’s a terrific book to begin conversations about differences being interesting and similar, just a little different. The illustrations are happy pictures, showing fun in both places to live.
Kassie Houston
Grade: Pre-k to 2
Genre: Multicultural
Award(s):2014 Monarch Award Nominee, Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, 2012 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

This book would be a grade addition to my class library because not only does it shows the similarities between two foriegn worlds, yet it will embrace an ESOL students feel embraced and connected with the class. These young characters shows us a different perspective on how we can communicate through pen-pal. For a...more
Alex Smith

1. Genre- Multicultural

2. Awards- South Asia Book Award for Grades 5 & Under

3. Grade Level- K-2nd

4. I would use this book in my classroom to show my students that just because someone lives on the other side of the world from you does not mean that they are drastically different from them. This book shows that we share many things across the world such as families, homes, shops, etc with just a few differences between one another. A follow-up activity I would use would be to give each stude...more
1. Genre- Multicultural
2. Awards-South Asia Book Award for Grades 5 & Under
3. Grade Level- K-2
4. This is a great book to explain how every home and family is different, yet many aspects are similar no matter the culture. Elliot and Kailash use primarily pictures to describe their worlds when communicating with each other. I will have my students do the same thing. They will draw a picture of their worlds, such as their families and houses, using techniques shown in the book. After, the stud...more
This is a story of two boys, Elliot and Kailash, who are overseas pen pals. Elliot and Kailash send each other beautiful pictures that describe their homes and find that, while they live in different countries and have different cultures, there are many things they share in common. It's a great tale of finding the things that connect us and make us more similar than we think!

Same, Same but Different is a great story to use with 1st or 2nd Grade classes. The colorful illustrations can be used for...more
Genre: multicultural
Awards: South Asia Book Award, Ezra Jack Keats Award, GA Picture Storybook Award, Illinois Monarch Award: K-3 Children's Choice Award Master List, MD Frostburg State University Children's Literature Centre Award, Texas Armadillo Readers' Choice
Grade: k-2
Classroom: I would discuss with my students how everyone has different cultural backgrounds. After we read the story, we will draw pictures of our families and the pictures will be redistributed to random students in the clas...more
Judy Desetti
Cute idea and I think kids would like it, however children corresponding by letters and art seems pretty far fetched in our digital age.

It could be used to teach a bit about how we are the same but different in various cultures BUT I objected to the stereotypical images of a backwards society for India!! Yikes how egocentric is that?! A child in India who is in a great school corresponding with American students is more likely to live in a city. I would have liked a more accurate depiction of t...more
Same, Same, but Different is about two pen pals, Elliot, who lives in America, and Kailash who lives in India. Through their letters they discover that there are many things that make them the same but that they are also very different. Even though they live across the globe from each other, they are still best friends. This text is related to my theme unit in that it teaches that there are different kinds of people all around the world. The unit could help students to think about what makes the...more
Stephanie Croaning
This book has an old-fashioned feel to it; maybe it's the idea of kids exchanging pen pal letters instead of using technology to connect to each other. The idea it conveys is important and timeless - even though cultures may look different at first, there are actually many similarities. It is understanding and seeing the way things are the same but different that makes people more compassionate and able to expand their world outside the small boundaries that we start in. There are a lot of detai...more
Brittany Lee
Genre: multicultural
Awards: South Asia Book Award, Ezra Jack Keats Award, GA Picture Storybook Award, Illinois Monarch Award: K-3 Children's Choice Award Master List, MD Frostburg State University Children's Literature Centre Award, Texas Armadillo Readers' Choice
Grade: k-2

After reading this story to my students, I will discuss with them how everyone comes from a different culture. My follow up activity that I would use with my students would be to have them draw a picture of their family and w...more
Sun Hee  Yoon
This children's picture book, Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw reminds me of the experience that I used to write a letter to a pen-pal in overseas in my middle school year. Growing up in S.Korea, I encountered a booming trend which students could make friends by writing a letter in different language - English, and ultimately get to know about the outside of the world. Personally I benefited from these experiences in the past, and now living in States, being a parent, I'd love...more
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 ride a school bus. Their works might look different, but they are actually similar.

Same, same, but different!

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw traveled to Nepal and India where she learned the popular saying "same, same but different" that natives use to compare cultures. At Sunshine School in Bhaktapur, Nepal, she organized an art exchan...more
Two boys, one in an American city and one from India, exchange pictures and information about their lives. Using short sentences with clear contrasts, Kostecki-Shaw helps young readers find out how life is alike and different. The boys discover that their lives are "different, different but the same!"

A beautifully illustrated text that serves as a good introduction for compare and contrast. Recommended for kindergarten and first grade. Second grade might also find this a good discussion starter...more
Ashley Williams
This book is about 2 boys that come from very different places but have a lot of things in common. This would be great to read to a mixed class with people with children that come from different countries or a class where there are students that have exceptionalities. I would like to point out to the students that although we are different in so many ways we have some commonalities at the same time. I would also have the students write a letter as if they were writing to their pen pal and tell t...more
This is on the 2014 Monarch list.

Even though this book simplifies cultures, I really liked the way it showed two boys from different parts of the world learning about each other through an art-based pen pal program. The power is in the images--the collage, the bright colors, the nuances. My preschool-aged boys loved looking for the parallels and differences in Elliott's and Kailash's pages. For little boys like mine who are just learning that the world is a very big place, this book was a helpf...more
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