Book Review: Same

Book: Same
Author: Katrina Roe
Illustrator: Jemima Trappel
Hardback: 32 pages
Publisher: Wombat Books, Australia, 2015
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9781925139266
RRP: AUD $19.99

Reviewed By: Penny Reeve

Blurb:  ‘When uncle Charlie comes to visit, Ivy keeps her distance. He seems different from other people she knows. Can Uncle Charlie find a way to show her he is not so different after all? 
Same is a touching story based on one family’s experience. It explores love, acceptance and finding common ground.’ 

What I thought: Before I begin, I probably need to admit my approach to this book was one of expecting to be impressed. I know and am friends with both the author, Katrina Roe – author of Marty’s Nut Free Party, and Jemima Trappel who illustrated my Madison books. But putting bias aside, I have to admit this book is something special.

The story is essentially a recount of a series of exchanges between the author’s brother Charlie who has Cerebral Palsy, and her young daughter. As the story progresses through simple and minimal text, the reader becomes aware of Charlie’s differences and the distance and fear these differences present to the child character Ivy. The illustrations by Jemima are gentle and expressive, capturing both the emotion and tension in the story. By the end of the book Ivy has overcome her fear of Charlie and is able to celebrate what they have in common.

What I found special about this book isn’t just the way it tackles the topic of disability, but the acknowledgement it gives to the emotions around disability. Both Charlie and Ivy have to process their feelings in this story, from disappointment to hope, fear to connection. The combination of subtle text and emotive artwork pull this off with clarity. Like many picture books, this is one with layers that will warrant repeated readings and discussion for children and adults alike. Definitely worth adding to your library.

You can read more about the author’s story behind Same here.

Rating:  :) :) :) :)

Where to buy: Australian readers should be able to purchase this book from their local bookstore. International orders are best made online from the publisher who offers very reasonable postage world-wide. See the Wombat Books website for more details. Wholesale orders can be made through Novella Distribution. 

This book was reviewed by Penny Reeve as part of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance. Penny is a children’s writer from Australian and is always on the look-out for great stories for kids that explore faith related concepts.
If you are interested in being part of the blog alliance and tasting some amazing writing by Aussie writers, click on the link to find out more!

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