Same, Same but Different is a story about a unique set of penpals. One lives in Nepal and the other lives in the United States. What makes them different is that instead of writing to each other, the bulk of their correspondence is made up of drawings of their homes. This inspiring book is based on author Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw’s experience teaching art at Sunshine School in Nepal. The penpals write to each other and compare the way they live, play, and study.
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and intricate. Kostecki-Shaw has a unique style that combines paper collage, printmaking, and painting to create a whimsical final product. More on her process can be found here on her website: http://dancingelephantstudio.com/visualart/illustration/book/.
This book would serve as great inspiration for an art or writing class looking to compare experiences with another culture. I believe that this book is best engaged with and connected with on a personal level. Classrooms may benefit from going through it slowly, using it to inspire reflection on environment. Teachers could introduce real life examples of how children around the world live as this book is read. It does an excellent job of driving home the message that though we may be different in many ways, at our cores we are still the same. Children everywhere like to use their imaginations, to climb trees, to go to school. However this book is used, it is sure to inspire delight!