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The Picture Book Buzz

Same Here!: The Differences We Share - The Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Releasing today, this wonderful book explores how the basic needs we have are universal, even if they might look a little (or a lot) different, throughout the world. It's a fun discovery of what we ultimately all share.

Same Here! : The Differences We Share

Author: Susan Hughes

Illustrator: Sophie Casson

Publisher: Owlkids Books (2022)

Ages: 8-12



Customs, traditions, basic needs, similarities, and cultural diversity.


Explore how kids around the world live and the common needs that unite them.

Children around the world live different lives from one another—different cultures, different geographic and socio-economic realities, differing access to health and education. Despite these differences, they all share common needs: the need to feel loved and protected, the need to have a place to live, the need to learn, to eat, to play, to share, and to dream for the future.

Grounded in careful and extensive research, this book by best-selling author Susan Hughes introduces readers to kids from around the world and the lives they lead. The child-centered narrative and playful illustrations explore how education, family, free time, and other aspects of daily life look different depending on who you are and where you live.

Perfect for fostering a global worldview, Same Here! encourages kids to draw connections to their own lives while learning about the experiences of others.

Opening Lines:

What if a group of children from all

around the world met to share stories

about their lives? Would they discover many differences?

Would they have anything in common?

Certainly, the lives of children around the world are different

in many ways—the languages they speak, the families they

belong to, the homes they live in, and the chores they

do. Depending on where they live, they might have

different favorite foods, favorite subjects at school,

favorite ways to have fun. Their dreams for the

future would probably be different, too!

But they all have something that unites them, no

matter where they grow up: they share the same

needs—we all do!

What I like about this book:

This is such an interesting way to explore the basic similarities that we all share, even amidst our differences. Susan Hughes has created a collection of short letters from kids around the world that look at what we ALL need - to communicate, feel loved, have a home, to learn, to eat, community, to play, and finally to dream.

The book is divided into "chapters," each of which pose a question - such as "What were your first words?" - based on the overarching, universal need - communication. Then it offers six or seven letters written from the point of view of kids all around the world which answer the question. In America, Erica's first words were "dah woozh, si, and “hi.”

Text © Susan Hughes 2022. Image © Sophie Casson, 2022.

Tying into the title and linking each section, the second child always starts with "Same Here!" A boy from Uganda echoes Erica - "Same Here! I know lots of words in Ugandan Sign Language and English. But my very first word was “ball.” Children from Colombia, New Caledonia, Egypt. Malaysia, and Canada also share their first words.

Sophie Casson's illustrations are imaginative, lively, and colorful. Condensed snippets of each child capturing so much of their emotions and lives both painfully poignant (a family fleeing war in Turkey or a father working in Saudi Arabia while the family is in Pakistan) and at times humorous.

Text © Susan Hughes 2022. Image © Sophie Casson, 2022.

Each chapter ends with a question for the reader - "What was YOUR first word?", "What's YOUR family like?" -which encourages kids to think about their own lives and how they are similar or different from the kids in the book. This book provides not only a glimpse into other's lives, but a wonderful acceptance (mirror) of children's experiences and dreams from all around the world. I'd be willing to bet everyone learns something new about kids around the world. The information about the solar-powered, school-boat and this striking image stuck with me.

Text © Susan Hughes 2022. Image © Sophie Casson, 2022.

Although it's 64 pages, it moves with quick, engaging pace that belies the length. It's a wonderful book for starting discussions about what we really need, some interesting differences, and how much we all truly have in common.


- can you answer some or all of the questions in the book? Draw an image to go with each of your answers.

- is there a story you can say "Same Here!" to? Was there any story that surprised you? Why?

- check out the discussion guide by Owlkids.

- try making a couple of crafts from around the world.

If you missed the interview of Susan Hughes Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Same Here!: The Differences We Share Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a copy of Same Here!: The Differences We Share.

- Simply comment below or on Susan's interview post (link above) to be entered in the random drawing.

- Be sure to say where you shared the post (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), and I'll add additional entries for you.

- *Sorry, Canadian & US Residents only.*

Ends on April 21st.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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