School Library Journal Book Picks: Similarities and Differences
Similarities and Differences are opposites that are not as absolute as they might seem. Similarities are how we find our common bonds, e.g., we both love seahorses, we both eat hummus, we both love country music! Differences help us learn about and appreciate other people. We can celebrate our similarities and our differences!
This list of books that highlight similarities and differences was curated by Kimberly Olson Fakih, Senior Editor, Picture Books at School Library Journal.
Home is In Between
- How does Shanti feel when she arrives in America?
- How is it different from India?
- How is her new home similar to the one she left?
- Have you ever moved to a new place? How did it feel?
- What are some things we can do to make new people feel welcome?
- What are some questions we can ask when we're meeting new people?
- How does the child in the story want to cool off on a hot day?
- How do YOU like to cool off on a hot day?
- What does the child in the story observe as he runs to Paletero José?
- What seems familiar and different about this child's neighborhood and your neighborhood?
- What happens in the end? How does it make everyone feel?
Opposites: Bilingual Firsts
- What's the opposite of hot?
- What's the opposite of little?
- What's the opposite of fast?
- What's the opposite of on?
- Can you help me think of more opposites — in English o en Español?
Nana Akua Goes to School
- What is different about Nana Akua?
- Zura loves her grandmother, so why is she nervous?
- Where is Zura from? Where is Nana Akua from?
- What happens when Nana Akua comes to school?
- What are some differences that YOU want to celebrate in your life?
¿Cuál es diferente? / Which Is Different?
- Which things are different from the other things on the page?
- Can you point out the different colors?
- Can you point out the different shapes?
- Can we find things in real life that are similar and different?
If I Were a Dog
- Do you have any pets?
- What would YOU be like if you were a dog (or a cat)?
- We all have a lot in common. What similarities do you share with your favorite pet?
- We also have differences. What's different between you and your favorite pet?
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Each face shows a different emotion on each side happy, sad, angry, surprised, calm, and confused. As you go through the book it asks you what emotions you, the reader, feel when you see certain animals or situations or foods. I know that a fair amount of work done with children on the autism spectrum uses similar facial images, and this book could potentially be a useful tool.
In addition to providing Bilingual Storytimes in Mandarin and English, Christy also co-chairs this year’s NYPL Best Books for Kids committee. When not reading graphic novels or playing the uke, she’s volunteering with Heart of Dinner, a NYC-based Asian American nonprofit. Cicely Lewis , 2020 SLJ School Librarian of the Year, is the media specialist at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, GA.