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Same, Same But Different
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Same, Same But Different

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  558 ratings  ·  157 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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A library customer asked me to share this with my dear friend and colleague who is from Kolkata and just returned from a visit there. The concept - Indian and American pen-pals who find that so much in their lives is "same, same but different" - is realized through evocative illustrations and the sweet storyline, in which the boys compare families, pets, cities, alphabets, and even their favorite classes - art and yoga - where each boy "can be anything." The concluding pages made me a little tea ...more
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
Living in two countries has made me appreciate this concept even more - same, same but different. I always say to whoever will listen that at some level there is not too much of a difference amongst us humans. The core values of goodness, kindness are truly the same. Living conditions, cultures, economics, indoctrination of some ideas may create divides but if one can look beyond the boundaries we will find we are 'Same, same but different.'
Amy Forrester
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
Lindsay Weideman
Same, Same But Different (Primary)

This book reminds me of my pen pal when I was younger!!! We met when both of our families were on vacation in Florida at a resort and wrote back and forth to one another through high school. She was from Chicago, so it was a very big city. We were the same age, but we always wrote about our different experiences. I think this book would be very beneficial to use in the classroom to teach students about different cultures.

Remembering: Where is Elliot from and wh
Brandi M.
Text to Self
Elliot and Kailash are picture pals who learn about their similarities and differences as they mail pictures to one another. This story reminds me of the pen pal I had when I was in elementary school. In third grade we were given the names of students, also in third grade, from another state. We were each paired up with a pen pal to whom we would write monthly. Through our letters, we were able to find things we had in common and also shared some differences about where we lived, wha
Jun 07, 2014 Kristin added it
Shelves: multicultural
A. Text to Self Connection: I love meeting people who are not from Omaha and especially when they are not from the United States. I find it fascinating to hear their stories. I notice our differences but, I'm amazed by our similarities. For instance, I was looking at a photo from a refugee camp in Thailand and was amazed to see satellite dishes fixed to the top of some of the bamboo homes and hear that many of these bamboo homes were wired for television!
B. Six Discussion Questions (Bloom's Revi
Bloom's Questions:
1. Can you tell me three things that were the same between the two boys?
2. Explain why the author continues to use the title through the book.
3. What examples can you find to support the differences between the two boys?
4. How would you compare yourself with these two boys?
5. It states that they are 'best friends even though we live in two different worlds. Or do we?' What is your opinion of how the author ended the story this way?
6. What inferences can you make about cultures
Apr 25, 2014 Sarahi added it
Shelves: multicultural
Picture book #1 Same, Same but Different

1. This is a story about two boys who are “Picture Pals” instead of Pen pals; they draw art and send it to each other. One boy seems to be from a big city in America, the other boy seems to be from India (they never really say in the story). Throughout the story, they draw about their families, towns, languages and schools. The connection I made with this book is a text to self connection in part of the book where the boys send pictures of how they say “h
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
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
Haley ten Hope
This book is about two young boys who live on complete opposite sides of the world. They become pen pals, describing where they live, who they live with, and some of their favorite activities. Through talking about this they realize how similar they really are, even though they come from different places. They both live with their families, take a bus to school, and enjoy expressing themselves through creativity. I think this is a great book to read to young readers because it shows how similar ...more
Although email messages and a Skype conversation or two over the miles might be more likely in today's world, I'd still like to believe that there are youngsters and adults who enjoy sending missives by snail mail. After all, there's a delicious pleasure in knowing that one must wait for the letter or carefully-chosen card to reach its destination and then continue to wait for a response. In this lively picture book, embellished with illustrations created with acrylics, crayon, pencil, collage, ...more
Two young boys become pen pals from complete different parts of the country. They express themselves and try to inform each other on the differences of each of the lifestyles. Elliot is from America and lives a very traditional lifestyle for American children, Kailash is from Indonesia. Although the boys have different looks and understandings of the world because of where and how they are brought up the children realize through all the differences they share many common qualities as well. The b ...more
Natalee Huguez
This story is about two boys, Elliot and Kailash. Elliot lives in America and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals and through each letter they tell the other about where they live and describe their daily life. Both boys have a lot in common, and a lot of differences. Elliot and Kailash both like to climb trees, they both have pets, and they both take the bus to school. However their families are very different and their busy communities only have rush hour in common. Even though these boy ...more
Samara Winter
Same, Same But Different written by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Sahw is a fun book to read. The story takes place in two different parts of the world: The United States and India. The book begins with a little boy (Elliot) in the U.S. drawing of picture of how he see's his world, his teacher sends this picture all the way to India. In India a little boy (Kailash) receives his picture, then sends a picture back portraying his world. The boys become really close. They talk about where they are from, who th ...more
Brooke Leone
This book tells the story of two boys who live in different countries, and become pen pals through school. The boys write back and fourth many times explaining their worlds and how they can "same, same but different." I personally loved this book because it shows the difference in cultures but it relates everything back together and shows how two different places and people and lifestyles can be so similar.

The reason I like this book best is because of the way the illustrations play along with
Cameron Devaughn
I liked reading this story of two boys that are the same, but different. Even though one of the boys Elliot lives in America and the other boy Kailash lives in India they were very similar. They were pen pals and discovered their similarities through letters and drawings. It’s interesting how much we can learn about someone through artwork. They have many similarities like; they both take the bus to school, even though Elliot’s bus is yellow and Kailash’s was powered by bicycle. They both live i ...more
Amanda Hayes
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 sh
This book was one of the nominees for the Monarch Award in Illinois for 2014. It didn't win the top prize, but I still enjoyed reading it and sharing it with children. This book is not as authentic or "insider" as it might have been had it been written by someone from India, but it's the next best thing. According to the book jacket, the author, Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw lived for a significant amount of time in Nepal and organized a pen pal letter and art exchanged with her friends back in the U. ...more
Shelli Holechek
Elliott is a young boy living in America and Kailash is a young boy living in India. The boys become pen pals and share all kinds of great information about their lives with each other. Even though their worlds are far apart and different, they also are very much the same. They learn many things they have in common.

I will be focusing on a text-to-self comprehension strategy for my skill lesson. After reading this story to my students I would ask them what things in the story remind them of their
Marissa Horton
In the book, "Same, Same but Different" there are two little boys from very different parts of the country who become pen pals. One boy is from New York and the other is from India. The little boys quickly find out that they have a lot in common...well similar. Such as when Elliot from New York, takes the bus to school, Kailash also takes the bus to school but is is not the same kind of bus that American's would be used to. Hence the title, "Same, Same but Different". The author uses text that i ...more
Melissa Berke
Reflection on ONE: Text to text, text to self, text to world connection with the book
This book reminds me of a book/song "We All Sing with the Same Voice"

Write six discussion questions using all six stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy
1. Knowledge:
How many characters are in this book?

2. Comprehension:
How do the children in this book communicate?

3. Application:
What are other ways that the characters in the book could share information with each other?

4. Analysis
Lisa Lathrop
Opening: "Who knows what a pen pal is? (children respond) "When I was about your age, I had a pen pal. She lived in Colorado and I lived in New York. I would send her a letter and she would answer it and send a letter to me. We learned a lot about each other that way. This book 'Same, Same but Different' is about two boys who live in different countries. Listen carefully and try to understand why the author titled the book the way she did."

Opening Moves:
1) Tell the meaning of a key word (pen pa
Allison Barry
Text-to-self: What a cute story! I remember having a pen pal in my Spanish class. We had to go onto this website and we would e-mail them. Unfortunately, they never replied back to any of our e-mails, but it was a great learning experience. We had the opportunity to talk to other students in an English class from Mexico!

Text-to-text: This isn't another text, but it reminds me of the movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Both boys become friends behind the line of a concentration camp. Their fri
Sarah Wheeland
Same, Same, But Different

Text to World: This book actually is a wonderful parallel to the “Danger of a Single Story” TED talk we listened to for this week. The story is about two pen pals who write back and forth between the US and India. They write about how they do a lot of the same things even though they might do them a little differently. It is a great way to teach kids that there is more to people of other cultures than stereoptypes. We are “same, same but different.”

1.Why did the two boys
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