I recently pre-ordered this book based strictly on the title and the fact that it was a 123 Sesame Street book. How could I go wrong!? I did not. It arrived today, the day of release on Amazon and I was super excited to received it.
I received this book today – kind of like a first day, first show presentation. The book became available for sale on Amazon today and I was able to read it on the same day in the cozy spaces of my home.
While I was always interested in diverse books, since the launch of theParentVoice, I have become particularly sensitized to books that unapologetically showcase diverse characters as a matter of fact and not an after thought. So far, it worked that given my kids’ ages, the books we read to them, were mostly about ordinarily inanimate objects doing the talking and story-telling. Which means whether I was reading my little one picture books to build her vocabulary (Apple, Sippy Cup, Chimp, Penguin) or whether I was narrating to my big one yet another story from Cars, the issue of diversity itself did not matter (although I have to admit, I was pretty thrilled that the protagonist in Cars 3 is Cruz Ramirez. Even a car with a Latina name is a good conversation starter if it needs to be, for diversity lessons). We do read a lot of more advanced books to our kids, books beyond their ages too, but the complexity of characters and their racial makeup was not particularly considered until recently.
The title of ‘We’ Different…” resonated with me. We were all at home when the package arrived from Amazon and we were all excited to open it. Once we did, TJ wanted us to read the book to him right away. And I did.
We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Jane Kates
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The book begins with highlighting, first, the fact that we’re all different. After all, we have different kinds of noses. But, guess what, we’re all the same because, even though our noses may be different, we all use our noses to do the same kinds of things like breathe, sniff, sneeze, and whiff.
Next comes the fact that our hair is different. The images show how everyone, from characters on Sesame Street to regular people, all have different hair. Our hair may be different but it is also the same because all of our hair, no matter the type or style or color, grows in several places, warms our heads, and frames our faces.
You get the drift. This is how the rest of the book continues. Mouths, skin, eyes, bodies, and feelings, are all explained in terms of them being different for all of us and yet the same in so many, many ways.
I loved the concluding words:
We’re the same. We’re different.
That’s what makes the world such fun!
A rainbow would be boring if it were only green or blue.
What makes a rainbow beautiful is that it has every hue.
So aren’t you glad you look like you?
This is the perfect age-appropriate book for my 3.5-year-old-son. We haven’t directly discussed any of the aforementioned differences yet but they do come up in conversation every now and then. One day he may wonder about the differences in skin color he sees at home or wonder about other related topics. To the extent possible, I want to make this a non-issue and one way to do this, in my limited experience, is to make differences a matter-of-fact reality of life. This does not mean ignoring or dismissing this country’s racial history or the struggles of people of color. It just means that my kids grow up with an awareness of these issues, their own multiracial makeup, and understand, appreciate, and celebrate who they are and who they are meant to be.
I loved reading this book and TJ enjoyed it being read to him. In the end, the important takeaway for all of us is that our differences don’t have to divide us but our similarities can surely unite us all and now, isn’t that just wonderful!
I highly recommend this book.
To purchase this book, click We’re Different, We’re the Same .