Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Same, Same But Different” as Want to Read:
Same, Same But Different
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Same, Same But Different

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  649 Ratings  ·  171 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Same, Same But Different, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Same, Same But Different

I Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenThe Trouble With Chickens by Doreen CroninClever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace FlemingThe Camping Trip That Changed America by Barb RosenstockOne by Kathryn Otoshi
2014 Monarch Nominees
12th out of 19 books — 11 voters
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz RyanMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeThe Name Jar by Yangsook ChoiThe Sandwich Swap by Rania Al AbdullahThe Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Best Multicultural Books for Children
74th out of 210 books — 186 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,144)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 19, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 23, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Apr 19, 2015 Piyali rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 03, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, 12-texas-2x2
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
Apr 26, 2014 Lindsay Weideman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
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.
Jun 11, 2014 Brandi M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
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
Jun 09, 2014 Maureen rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 15, 2012 David rated it really liked it
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
Aug 23, 2011 Bill rated it it was ok
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
May 07, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, read-2013
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
Judy Desetti
Jan 22, 2012 Judy Desetti rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book-k-3
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
Elaine Bearden
Nov 28, 2011 Elaine Bearden rated it it was amazing
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
Kelly Kline
Mar 31, 2016 Kelly Kline rated it it was amazing
1. What is the book about?
The book is about two kids who are pen pals. Though they are from different countries there are so many similarities between the two cultures. Both kids find out how different they are but at the core of what they are doing, they are the same. Both kids love their family and both have many pets. Though they don't have the same pets or the same family, they both bond over their love for the same interests.
2. What can you take away from the illustrations?
The illustrator
Allison Early
Feb 01, 2016 Allison Early rated it really liked it
Elliot and Kailash live on different sides of the world, but they actually aren’t so different! Elliot lives in America and he enjoys climbing trees, he loves animals and he likes to write his pen pal Kailash. Kailash lives in India and enjoys climbing trees as well and loves his pets. He also likes writing his pen pal, Elliot. Even though they live completely different lifestyles, they both enjoy the same things. I like this book because I think it correlates very well with today’s social issue ...more
Haley ten Hope
Oct 28, 2015 Haley ten Hope rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2015 Madison rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 22, 2015 Natalee Huguez rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 01, 2015 Samara Winter rated it really liked it
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
Feb 15, 2015 Brooke Leone rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 06, 2014 Cameron Devaughn rated it really liked it
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
Oct 13, 2014 Amanda Hayes rated it really liked it
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
Mar 21, 2015 Marissa Horton rated it really liked it
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
Kristen Sawyer
Summarize the book:
This story is about two boys who live on opposite sides of the Earth. They become penpals and write to each other about their lives. Throughout the story there are some things are similar in both boy's lives, yet different.

Identify the characteristics from the text that support the specific genre:
This book is multicultural literature because it shows the perspectives of two different cultures and the lives they live.

Identify specific literary or educational concepts that cou
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team
  • 11 Experiments That Failed
  • Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia
  • The Camping Trip That Changed America
  • Clever Jack Takes the Cake
  • The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School
  • The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
  • Deep in the Sahara
  • I Wanna New Room
  • Four Feet, Two Sandals
  • The Quiet Place
  • Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm
  • Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
  • Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
  • Chicken Big
  • Mirror
  • Jimmy the Greatest!
  • The One and Only Stuey Lewis: Stories from the Second Grade

Share This Book