See that girl, sitting alone on the bleachers, waiting to get picked for a team in gym class?
Nobody calls her name because she’s the girl that doesn’t play to win. She plays for the joy of being with others. To her, winning means someone has to lose, and she doesn’t want to be the cause of anyone’s sad feelings.
See that girl in the lunchroom, eating a sandwich while pretending to read a book?
Nobody sits with her because she never brings ‘normal’ food to school–nothing anyone would want in trade for something they brought.
See that girl at the back of the classroom, the one that doesn’t wear anything cool?
Nobody wants to get to know her because they think they know everything based on her appearance.
Then, one day…
Someone calls her name and asks her to be a part of their group.
One day, someone sits beside her in the lunchroom and offers to trade snacks.
One day, someone asks questions to find out what she likes to do in her free time, what places she dreams of seeing, what thoughts fill her head at night when she can’t sleep, what she hopes for, what she cares about, and what she loves almost as much as air.
This brings me to today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review of Something Else.
Title – Something Else
Written by – Kathryn Cave
Illustrated by – Chris Riddell
Published – MONDO Publishing -1994
Suitable for ages – 4 to 8.
Topics – Being different, acceptance, compassion, and friendship.
Opening – On a windy hill alone
with nothing to be friends with lived Something Else.
He knew that was what he was because everyone said so.
If he tried to sit with them or walk with them or join in their games, they always said, “Sorry. You’re not like us. You’re something else. You don’t belong.”
Amazon Review – View it HERE. A little creature is ostracized despite his attempts to fit in, but his experiences enable him to be accepting of others’ differences.
Why do I like this book? The first impression we form about a book usually comes when we glance at the front cover. We read the title and see if our curiosity is piqued. We look at the illustration and decide if we connect with the art enough to want to see more.
I came across the book, Something Else, and wondered what the something else was. Then, I looked at those sweet eyes of the main character, who’s been named by everyone as Something Else. Although his eyes take up very little cover space, they gripped my heart and made me want to offer up hugs.
Because Something Else looks and acts differently, he is rejected by all. Despite the sad treatment he receives, he continues to make an effort to have friends by sharing his paintings, joining in on games, or sitting with others for a meal. But he is told, “You’re not like us. You’re something else.” So, he goes home. (Please say your heart is breaking for him.)
One day, a creature, much like Something Else, shows up at his front door and offers understanding and friendship. But does Something Else accept this gift? You’ll have to read the book to find out. The ending is filled with surprises sure to soften the hardest of hearts.
Words of wisdom on writing from Kathryn Cave HERE.
Illustrator for JK Rowling and other writers–meet Chris Riddell HERE.
See you back here on Monday when I share a special poem.