Same or Different?

I am excited to participate in Picture Book Month – thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for alerting me to this celebration! I am hoping to share a picture book title every day or every few days via this blog and twitter using the hashtag #PictureBookMonth.

I love picture books for endless reasons. I do not even dare to begin a list. But, one of the best? I love picture books for the conversations that they inspire. I will be sharing adored picture books I am reading with my students (or they are reading to me) or to my own children and snippets of what we talked about. Listen in . . .

A little mad scientist (it was Halloween after all) read a book to me from our beloved books shelf: The Hueys in The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers. I love this book for the message about daring to be yourself and not always having to be the same as everyone else around you. It also reminds us that we do not need to be afraid of those “rule breakers” who aren’t worried about being unique and standing out.

Summary from GoodreadsThe Hueys are small and mischievous, unique compared to the world’s other creatures–but hardly unique to one another. You see, each Huey looks the same, thinks the same, and does the same exact things. So you can imagine the chaos when one of them has the idea of knitting a sweater! It seems like a good idea at the time–he is quite proud of it, in fact–but it does make him different from the others. So the rest of the Hueys, in turn, decide that they want to be different too! How? By knitting the exact same sweater, of course!

Same or Different? Picture Book Month There's a Book for That

The Hueys in The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers inspired a thoughtful discussion mid book.

Mad Scientist: Is it better to be the same or different?

Me: Big question. Do you have an answer?

Mad Scientist: I don’t really know. I’ve talked to my Mom about it before.

Me: What did you come up with?

Mad Scientist: Well it’s both kind of. It’s good to be the same as everyone because you can feel comfortable. But we also don’t want to be just the same because we want our own style and thoughts and stuff. I really didn’t know which is the right one.

Me: It’s kind of great that this book makes us wonder about that. We’re actually talking about a really big question – one of those questions that you can keep adding to-  both to your answer and to your question.

Mad Scientist: Oh. Yeah. Let’s keep reading.

Me: Great idea.

Same or Different? Picture Book Month There's a Book for That

Are you in the picture book mood? Share some favourites! It’s Picture Book Month!

pb month logo

8 thoughts on “Same or Different?

  1. Two of my favorites are Roses Sing on New Snow by Paul Yee (Canadian!) and The Dragon Kite by Nancy Luenn. Talk about big questions! Roses Sing … prompts conversations around the differences between artists & technicians, gender roles, and what can happen when two cultures interface and intangibly combine to form something new. I love Dragon Kite, a Japanese Robin Hood tale, for its moral ambiguity, perfect for 3rd graders to grapple with. In it generosity collides with morality and ambition. The ending is deliciously satisfying.

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