The Same but Different
Molly Potter and Sarah Jennings
This is the latest in the excellent series written by Molly Potter and illustrated by Sarah Jennings that are used by so many teachers to stimulate thought and discussion.
Herein youngsters are invited to recognise, explore and celebrate both the things we have in common with other people and those that make us different. After all, every single one of us is a unique human being and our differences need to be acknowledged, respected and celebrated. Imagine a world wherein we are all identical in every way: how dull and boring life would be.
Sarah Jennings’ splendid illustrations portray a diverse mix of children (and some adults) and Molly’s narrative focuses largely on differences including how people look – skin colour, hair styles and colours, eye colour, whether or not we wear glasses, height and clothing styles.
There’s a page on talents and skills, another explores preferences such as foods, favoured times of day and another on personality.
That everyone is entitled to have his or her own opinions and beliefs is acknowledged and these should be respected (provided that nobody is harmed, that is.) The concept of family and that of a home are both presented and some of the ways families and homes can be different, mentioned.
However, in addition to the differences, there are spreads that look at some things that are likely to be same or nearly the same as other people –
things that are part of our shared humanity such as the need to eat, a desire to be loved, a felt discomfort at excessive cold or heat, a brain that enables decision making and an imagination.
The book concludes with some helpful tips for adults sharing it with children to help in their understanding of various forms of diversity and the celebration of difference. There’s also a final glossary. All in all a very useful starting point for discussions on inclusion both at home and in the classroom.