By Manjula Padmanabhan
Charlesbridge Press, $7.95, 32 pages
I Am Different is named correctly. It’s a different sort of children’s book. This isn’t a book you hand to a child and let them go. This book needs an adult to interact with the child and explain things. I believe the writing is slightly above the reading level of younger children. The book explores differences in cultures by exploring the corresponding languages. Every other page has art with a number of things that are the same, but one thing is different and it’s up to the child to find which one is different. Parents, don’t worry if you can’t tell which one is different; the answers are in the back of the book.
“The Hawaiian language has twelve letters. Only two thousand people speak Hawaiian as their native language today, but people in Hawaii have started schools to teach Hawaiian to children.”
I Am Different is a parent’s dream. It helps teach a lot of things a child needs to know, if the parent (or teacher) is willing to invest the time with the child. From an educational standpoint, this is a good book. I don’t know whether or not a child will find it fun, I don’t happen to have any around to test it on at the moment. If they like learning new things, or that kind of puzzle, I’m sure they will.