By: Dana Salim
Illustrated by: Pavel Goldaev
Publisher: DS Publishing
Publication Date: 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 2017
Author Dana Salim tackles an issue that all children will likely face at one point in their lives – why am I different – in her newest book, Beautifully Different.
Yousuf and his dad are in their house, having a great time playing with building blocks. But then Yousuf asks his dad a very important question – “...some of the kids in my class are different than me. Why is that? Why can’t we all be the same?”
To explain to his son why we’re all different - and perhaps more importantly - why that’s a good thing, Yousuf’s dad suggests they play the “Imagination Time Travel” game. Yousuf loves that game so he gleefully agrees and before long, he’s traveling through the ocean with Captain Baboon. They see an island and once on solid land, Yousuf spots some beautiful flowers. The young boy loves their varied colors and styles and is having a great time until a batch of weeds come along to scare off the flowers. Oh, oh...Yousuf is worried. Will the flowers be able to survive the invasion of the weeds? What will happen to them?
Author Dana Salim has written a clever story to explain to children the differences among us, why that’s good and how we can overcome adversity if we work together. The analogy of the flowers and weeds works well and is one youngsters will understand. The story is told in a mix of rhyme and prose and it is here that the story suffers just a bit. A few lines of rhyme don’t quite flow and the back and forth makes the reader stop and re-read to correct the rhythm while reading to a child. Other than that minor quibble, however, this was a lovely story.
Quill says: Children all fear being different - Beautifully Diifferent nicely explains and celebrates those differences.