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I Am Different (Global Fund for Children Books) Hardcover – July 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An informational picture book presenting diverse languages to child readers, this offering from Indian novelist, playwright and cartoonist Padmanabhan and the Global Fund for Children is a tour de force.

Each page opening includes a brightly colored picture puzzle image with one item differing from the others, accompanied by the question Can you find me? written in one of 16 languages from page to page and supported by phonetic pronunciation guides. Supplemental text provides information about each language, including words potentially familiar to English speakers ( Algebra, giraffe, and candy are words you might know that come from Arabic, for example) or words and phrases for readers to learn ( Count to five in Cree: peyak, nîso, nisto, newo, nîyânan ). The resulting whole broadens readers awareness of how languages evolve and adopt words from one another, culminating in photos of a child using American Sign Language to present a non-textual visualization of language. Backmatter includes an answer key to the picture puzzles (with the caveat that there may be different right answers according to each reader s unique perspective) and a closing note about language diversity.

A substantive, engaging title for multilingual education. Bravo! --Kirkus Reviews

Leave it to the Global Fund for Children (and the always innovative small press Charlesbridge) to offer a colorful new book that uses a clever game of hide-and-seek to celebrate our differences, while sharing our universal sameness. And, of course, novelist/playwright/cartoonist Manjula Padmanabhan also deserves equal praise for her entertaining, enlightening creation.

Although 80% of the U.S population speaks only English (I confess I cringed at that statistic, given how so much of the rest of the world is multi-lingual), many many many languages were brought to American shores from all over the world. We are, after all, a continent of immigrants, with roots that extend all over the world over hundreds and hundreds of years, as well as origins that begin right here for indigenous Americans.

Here you ll learn how to say, Can you find me? in 16 different languages from Hebrew to Cree to Hawaiian to Arabic to Chinese to Spanish to Nahuatl to even American Sign Language (!) along with 16 puzzles in which you ll need to identify the one crow, iguana, flower, ladder, key, etc. etc. that is not like the others.

With each puzzle, you also get a little language lesson, including the many words from various other languages that have become a part of everyday English. Take a guess where these words might have originated: hallelujah, ukulele, giraffe, candy, tote, silk, shampoo, and so many more. You ll just have to get the book if you re not sure of the answers!

In case you needed any more convincing, click here to hear some of the Global Fund staff read to you from this delightful title. Don t you want to join in? --BookDragon, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program.

Leave it to the Global Fund for Children (and the always innovative small press Charlesbridge) to offer a colorful new book that uses a clever game of hide-and-seek to celebrate our differences, while sharing our universal sameness. And, of course, novelist/playwright/cartoonist Manjula Padmanabhan also deserves equal praise for her entertaining, enlightening creation.

Although 80% of the U.S population speaks only English (I confess I cringed at that statistic, given how so much of the rest of the world is multi-lingual), many many many languages were brought to American shores from all over the world. We are, after all, a continent of immigrants, with roots that extend all over the world over hundreds and hundreds of years, as well as origins that begin right here for indigenous Americans.

Here you ll learn how to say, Can you find me? in 16 different languages from Hebrew to Cree to Hawaiian to Arabic to Chinese to Spanish to Nahuatl to even American Sign Language (!) along with 16 puzzles in which you ll need to identify the one crow, iguana, flower, ladder, key, etc. etc. that is not like the others.

With each puzzle, you also get a little language lesson, including the many words from various other languages that have become a part of everyday English. Take a guess where these words might have originated: hallelujah, ukulele, giraffe, candy, tote, silk, shampoo, and so many more. You ll just have to get the book if you re not sure of the answers!

In case you needed any more convincing, click here to hear some of the Global Fund staff read to you from this delightful title. Don t you want to join in? --BookDragon, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program.

About the Author

Manjula Padmanabhan is an author and illustrator in India.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Series: Global Fund for Children Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157091639X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570916397
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,326,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Another fun picture book from Charlesbridge's Global Fund for Children line of books. In I Am Different: Can You Find Me?, creator Manjula Padmanabhan has created a book that celebrates differences--a nice change of pace from focusing on how we're all alike. Of course, our differences and similarities, regardless of where we live and what we look like, are all crucial. But it's nice to rejoice in difference, too!

Each spread says "Can you find me?" in a language. The language is identified, plus there is an image featuring a bunch of similar items with one that's different. And you find the one that's different. Then there's a short prose piece, just a few sentences, giving a bit more information about the language. I especially love that the prose part identifies common words that come from that language.

I think the spreads work especially well when the image is obviously tied to the language and the place that language is spoken. For instance, the Hebrew spread has the phrase (with phonetic pronunciation), then the explanation of Hebrew and the fact that "camel" and "hallelujah" come from Hebrew. And then the image is of stars, all five-pointed, except one lovely six-pointed star. Many spreads have a somewhat obvious link like that. A few, like the eggs for Spanish and the linear shapes for English, don't.

But that's a quibble. It's a vibrant, appealing book with a key to the different items in the back, plus a short piece on "Languages Around the World." Fun art that looks like (but might not be) cut paper and puff paint will really draw kids in. This would be a really nice addition to preschool and primary classrooms. It would be fun for random exploring, but also great when working on concepts of same vs. different, places around the world, and languages.
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Format: Hardcover
Accepting cultural diversity is a vital aspect of living in a global society. Manjula Padmanabhan`s vibrant illustrations coupled with the Global Fund for Children informative text are the key assets to the picture book, I am Different! Can You Find Me? This unique book focuses on 16 languages and simultaneously celebrates multiculturalism.

Using the simple question, "Can you find me?" readers are introduced to sixteen different languages. The over sized font and the pronunciation guide assist the reader to see differences and similarities between languages. The text provides some basic facts of each language and includes common English words that are derived from some of the languages.

To highlight diversity, Manjula includes a colorful puzzle that is in harmony with the colors associated with each language. Readers are asked to identify one item that is unique to the page. An answer key is found at the back of the book. The authors acknowledge that there may be more than one answer for each page.

This book would be a welcomed addition to any classroom. In a culturally diverse classroom, children could share information about the language(s) they speak. In a more homogeneous setting, students could learn about a variety of languages. There is no shortage of engaging topics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know the author's sister and have met Majula. This book is great. I am a French teacher and appreciate exposing children
to Foreign languages. Her message is important. I am a substitute teacher and if I need something at the end of the day
to fill time I use this book. The students enjoyed searching for the different item on each page and practicing the language.
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A great concept and wonderfully executed - it will be the sort of book that will keep children engaged for many years - from the visual interest of the lovely illustrations to the phrases in different languages. A wonderful introduction to young readers to the rich diversity of the world we live in.
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