Posted in:

Along Came a Different

For many young children, copying family members and parents is the way they learn the ways of the world. They want to be grown up like Mum or Dad or older siblings. Many of life’s rules and practices are learned by watching and mimicking. It is not surprising then, that they accept sameness as being the way things are, and when challenged, find comfort in being part of “The Group.” But for children who are different, it is much harder. It may be that they wear glasses or have a physical disability or come from another country. Without much thought, it is easier to ignore these people. This book is a fantastic way to suggest that children can behave otherwise.

Tom McLaughlin has very cleverly created a story using abstract shapes. We begin with the “Reds.” They love being red, the same as all the others and love wearing the same colour clothes. Then one day along came some “Yellows.” They thought that yellow was “The best thing.”  The Reds and Yellows didn’t like each other and kept apart. Along came other colours and the boundaries had to be drawn, and rules made. It was a tense time. Suddenly along came a “Different”; different in shape and colour and very friendly. Then more Differents’ came along and there was fun and laughter and the rules didn’t seem to matter anymore.

Tom has put a message across so cleverly. Maybe it doesn’t matter what colour we are, and maybe it doesn’t matter if our shape is different. Being kind, helping out and having fun with each other, is the way forward for a happy life.

The structure and presentation of this book makes it eminently suitable for the youngest child and also older children. It provides a fantastic focal point for discussion with children about getting on with people and enjoying life.

The strong colours used in the book make a great reference tool for teaching children colours, and also shapes. Each double page spread has a block of colour and a few small illustrations. The message is clear and simple. The text is large, and the colours are printed in bold letters. Through the simplest of drawings, the author conveys the feelings and emotions of the shapes.

This is a Picture Book with many layers. The discussions and the concepts in here are excellent. This should be in every child’s library.

AuthorTom McLaughlin
PublisherBloomsbury Childrens Books
DistributorBloomsbury Childrens Books
ReleasedMay 2018