Vive La Difference: No Two Alike by Keith Baker
NO TWO SNOWFLAKES ARE ALIKE.
BUT NOT QUITE.
Two playful young birds frolic through a wintry landscape, superficially the same in its ubiquitous covering of white snow, but filled with things that are each unique within their similarity--nests, leaves, trees, forests, foxes, fences, even the two little playmates themselves.
AMONG US ALL! ARE WE THE SAME--JUST ALIKE?
Listening preschoolers will be chiming in with the rhyming response evoked all the way through the text, "Almost, almost, but not quite." in Keith Baker's No Two Alike (Beach Lane Books, 2011). A quietly humorous book, in which the two mischievous little birds play at making things different, knocking snow caps off of fence posts and pecking out snowflake patterns in brown oak leaves, their red plumage and jaunty mobility a standout difference in the sameness of the snowscape done up in digital media that somehow is both soothing and cozy.
But even the two protagonists have a difference in their plumage, as we see when two of their tail feathers float down, one all red, one with a telltale black spot at the base, almost, but not quite alike. Baker uses what appear to be photos of real objects, such as a red toboggan cap, set against the smooth whiteness of his winter woodland landscape, as he works in his simple but telling text into the theme of differences between things that are at root two of a kind.
A great book for those seasonal concept units dealing with snow and winter with a quiet message that there is order in our similarities and beauty in our differences. As Booklist's reviewer summarizes it all: "Baker’s seamless combination of well-worded rhymes, evocative landscapes, and playful protagonists make this a standout title for reading aloud, especially in winter."